Dusty vs. Walt: The Subtle Showdown
Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker catches a lot of flack for all sorts of things, from his lineup construction to playing veterans over young guys to letting pitchers pitch for too damn long. Some of it is warranted, and some of it isn’t.
But since the non-waiver trade deadline came and went, some Reds news has seeped through the cracks about one failing of Baker’s that may prove his downfall: a disagreement with General Manager Walt Jocketty. And Redleg Nation has put it all together.
The post starts in the off-season before this one when Jocketty signed Fred Lewis and Edgar Renteria. The things Jocketty said about how he viewed those players fitting in with the team were quickly shot down and never really implemented by Baker.
I think a majority of us were extremely disappointed with the relative inaction of the Reds last off-season, and our skepticism has been proven right by the team’s performance this year, falling short of their 2010 season. Walt Jocketty’s moves were small bore, at best. You can debate the merits of Lewis, Gomes, Renteria and Janish all you want. But when even the meager steps taken by the GM are deliberately sabotaged by the manager, you have a recipe ripe for failure.
It’s true. The post fails to touch on the most recent difference of opinion between the two: Yonder Alonso. When Jonny Gomes was traded, it was ostensibly to make room for Yonder Alonso to take over in left field. But Baker cancelled that after three games in Wrigley Field.
This situation is clearly something that needs to be addressed in the next off-season. It might even be more important than whether Aroldis Chapman is a starter or reliever.