Episode 79: Dusty Baker as Reds Manager
So, it looks like Dusty Baker has signed on with the Reds for three years. Dusty Baker. He whose managing quirks we have seen first hand for so very long.
I was just saying earlier today that I thought I might need a break from the blogging scene. I didn’t expect it to be three years long, but Baker’s not likely to last three years anyway, so it might just work out after all.
I wonder if I can get “fireDustyBaker.com” from that Cubs guy. In the meantime, you can listen to the heartbreak in my voice in this episode of the Red Hot Broadcast. Whether there are further episodes will depend on whether my need to express my rage outweighs my need to demonstrate how severely the Reds have alienated me.
Episode 79: Dusty Baker as Reds Manager (12.8MB, 18:42)
Yikes. Step back from the ledge, Amanda! It’s not that bad.
I’m brokenhearted that you’re thinking of giving up blogging. I’d offer to help, but I don’t have your knack for humor. (There’s a reason I’m an engineer.)
I actually don’t think Dusty Baker is that awful a choice. At least they hired a big-name manager, instead of sticking with cheap no-name guys without much experience, as they had been doing. To me, that says they really want to win, and are willing spend money to do it.
I don’t think Baker is to blame for Wood’s and Prior’s problems. They had injury issues before they crossed Baker’s path. Heck, there’s probably more reason to blame Girardi for the injuries the Marlins’ pitching staff has suffered. That was one of the reasons they gave for firing him.
One thing that does give me pause: the rumor that Jocketty will be joining the Reds, and that the reason he was ousted from the Cardinals was that he and the other old-school types were at war with the new school stat-head types. Bringing both Jocketty and Baker aboard suggests that the Reds are not embracing sabermetrics anytime soon.
But hey, Baker’s been successful in his previous manager jobs. I’d be happy if he got the Reds as far as he got the Cubs and the Giants (which is better than the Reds have done since the Clinton administration). Give him a chance, I say. At least the Reds are willing to try something different.
As for others who might have taken the job…I suspect the other candidates (La Russa, Girardi, Torre, etc.) probably made it clear to the Reds that they weren’t interested. The Reds have been looking for a new manager since Narron was fired. I think they got the biggest name they could (or thought they could), and rushed to sign him before someone else did.
Best of luck with Dusty. I hope you guys have better luck with him than we did. Yes he got us to the NLCS, but it was basically downhill from there. In 2004 we finished with a better record but completely melted down at the end of the season and missed the playoffs. When the players started bitching and whining that year, instead of telling them to shut up and play, he took their side and said the media and fans were being mean, Wah Wah! 😥
Then two straight losing seasons followed, each getting progressively worse. I’ve never seen such inept baseball played under a single manager before. The fundamentals just weren’t there at all. Throwing Wood and Prior’s arms off was just part of the problem. We all sat and watched frustrated as Dusty would inexplicably favor crappy veterans over young guys that could possibly improve the team (see: Perez, Neifi).
Not to mention the guy never, EVER showed any sort of passion or fire out there. Whether they were winning or getting their behinds handed to them, Dusty’s demeanor remained the same. I know Reds fans may not have great things to say about Lou at times, but it seems like we were able to comeback from late inning deficits a whole lot more than we could under Dusty.
Again best of luck. If you can get to the WS with him, more power to you. Since we rarely seem to do it, I’d rather see you guys take the division over the likes of Houston, St. Louis or Milwaukee.
Hey Amanda and Johnny,
Personally, I really dislike him. Somehow he developed a rep of being a great manager while at San Fran.
The first year that we had Roger and Andy… We had a very emotional series with the Cubs, where there was some bean ball wars going on. Michael Barret gave Roy O some lip… I am sure Dusty encouraged a lot of this nonsense.
However, Amanda, I do believe you are missing the big picture.. During the year, you complained about losing and the Reds being boring. Well, with Dusty, you should not be boring anymore! 😛
Talk to you soon,
OK, well I watched the press conference and a number of things were answered.
1> Adam Dunn. When Baker is askde if he wants Adam Dunn to remain with the Reds, he siad they haven’t started discussing personnel yet, but Bob Castellini uncharacteristically spoke up and said quite firmly “I want him back”… and to that, Dusty pretty much deferred saying “well if the big guy wants him….” So it looks like Dunn will remain.
2> Dusty first spoke with Wayne in mid-summer by phone. There were a few more conversations and that at the end of the season they approached him aggressively. So this was a well thought out plan by the Reds, he was there man all along. Apparently he was under contract with ESPN so they had no choice but to stick with the interim manager. I guess when they said Meckanin was a candidate it was kind of B.S. unless he pulled off some kind of miracle ala the Rockies — which was also Arroyo’s opinion, he seemed to have inside knowledge that Dusty was their man and that Pete wasn’t going to get the job.
3> Dusty pretty much denied the charge (as expressed by C Trent) that he was a poor handler of pitchers. I have to agree with that because Wood had problems long before Dusty came along, and Prior was his ace and had to pitch a lot of innings in that role. Also, Prior has a bunch of injuries not related to his arm so there is something up with that guy besides too many innings pitched. Dusty said he wants his front line players healthy and on the field so he would never put them in a situation where they are at risk for injury.
4> Most importantly Baker said he is well liked around the league and capable of ATTRACTING players. He says he has a number of players already contacting him asking him to consider them. With an interim or new manager it is difficult to attract players because people expect the franchise to lose. Dusty is a known winner so he has a good reputation and players will consider coming to Cincinnati to play for them. So no longer to we get bottom of the barrel free agents, hopefully. He said he wants to keep the stars with the team but we are a couple of players away from being a good team.
Dusty is a great addition to the Reds. It is about time that we got real manager! He knows how to win and the players really respect him. It should be a huge improvement over the recent string of managers that we have been through. Looks like Castellini is definitely putting his money (and a lot of it) where his mouth is! Start the countdown to opening day and keep your blog going!!!
My condolences to the long-suffering Red’s fans on the Dusty Baker hiring.
Baker is a hack at best — mediocre and pathetic. I will be shocked if he ever wins “the big game”.
Don’t believe me? I invite you to visit the archives at firedustybaker.com…there is plenty of evidence/substance there contributed by many long-time Cubs fans, a majority are baseball knowledgeable and thoughtful — as well as disgusted with the Cubs organization.
You’ll also encounter “ranting and language”…so, if you’re easily offended, beware…stay home and have a blessed day!
BTW, I just discovered this blog — good work! — and look forward to checking in from time to time.