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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Baseball Notes: Baker is a question Reds have to answer

It’s ALL Dusty’s fault!!

Baker’s two-year contract ends after this season. Owner Bob Castellini is fond of Baker and talked last February about giving him an extension. The question is whether the front office is ready to make a commitment to Baker after the Reds lost in the opening round of the playoffs again.

“I’m not sure where my career is going here in Cincinnati,” Baker said. “We’re going to talk about that in the next couple of days. But I’m not through managing yet.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 13, 2012 at 08:47 AM | 31 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, dusty baker, reds

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   1. Chris Fluit Posted: October 13, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4267830)
It's not all Dusty's fault but that doesn't mean the Reds shouldn't consider an upgrade.
   2. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: October 13, 2012 at 09:51 AM (#4267834)
It's not all Dusty's fault but that doesn't mean the Reds shouldn't consider an upgrade.

Who is available that would be a true upgrade to Dusty? The players love him, he drives some fans crazy, but, the all the more casual Cincy fans know is that he has led the team to 2 division titles in the last 3 years.
   3. severian Posted: October 13, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4267916)
I hated it when my Reds hired Dusty, but aside from the Harang idiocy from a couple of years ago, he seems to have abandoned his arm-shredding ways, and the guys seem to love playing for him. I'd rather he didn't put middle infielders automatically atop the batting order and/or indulge his Veteran Moxie Bench Player fetish, but (1) those are small potatoes given the success of the club under Dusty, and (2) a smart GM like Jocketty oughta be able to have some control over the Veteran Moxie Bench Player Fetish by keeping those playthings safely off the roster.

I am shocking myself by saying that I'm for re-upping Dusty. But I am. I'm for it.
   4. puck Posted: October 13, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4267922)
Wouldn't his health be a concern? I thought he had a minor stroke and irregular heartbeat late in the season.
   5. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 13, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4267994)
Who is available that would be a true upgrade to Dusty?


Pete Mackanin? Yeah, I'm still bitter about that.

More serious answer: Leyland?
   6. robinred Posted: October 13, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4268000)
I think Baker will be back.
   7. KT's Pot Arb Posted: October 13, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4268015)
The players love him, he drives some fans crazy, but, the all the more casual Cincy fans know is that he has led the team to 2 division titles in the last 3 years.


and the guys seem to love playing for him


(1) those are small potatoes given the success of the club under Dusty,


So what I'm getting is that you should retain even a bad manager if the players like him and if the organization stocks the team with such a studly assortment of talent (esp. arms) that even a bad manager can win the division with them.

Results.

Oriented.

Every time Cueto throws a complete game win does it prove Dusty smart for starting him?

Every time Votto is healthy enough to crush the ball with authority does Dusty get kudos for not pinch hitting for him?

And since when is it effective to let players pick their manager?

Players are typically going to like their manager when they win, and ##### about him when they lose. And with exceptionally rare exceptions, I think even the Red Sox would have rallied around Bobby V if they were in first place. Dusty is obviously more of a players manager than most (esp. Bobby V), but again, it's winning that's the key to keeping the respect and love of the players.

The Reds have been good enough in 2010 and 2012 that virtually any manager should have won the division. As poor as their offense was this year, their defense was good and their pitching was otherworldly, they were definitely an above average club. In 2010 they had an average to above average staff with one of the NL's best offenses, and good defense again, for an excellent combo.

Dusty had zero hits, struck out no batters, and made no defensive plays for either division winner. His chief impact was making playing time decisions, and if you don't think he did that well then credit for those divisional titles should accrue solely to the players and to the organization.

The real question is who is the best manager to run the team in the future, what skills do you value and does Dusty have them?
   8. cardsfanboy Posted: October 13, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4268037)
  4. puck Posted: October 13, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4267922)
Wouldn't his health be a concern? I thought he had a minor stroke and irregular heartbeat late in the season.


That would be my take. If Baker interviews and says that he will take care of himself or not put undue pressure and maybe delegate more work etc(whatever it is that caused the problem) then he should be invited back.

I don't see how a team could justify getting rid of Baker, even with the rumors of TLR going to work for Jocketty, I imagine that you don't want to upset the balance of the clubhouse right now. It's a no brainer that you give Baker a three year contract this off season. Easiest, most justifiable decision any team has to make.
   9. StHendu Posted: October 13, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4268053)
The Reds cannot decide to bring Dusty back, they can only decide to offer him a contract. Dusty is successful enough to get job offers from other teams, so I expect the Reds would have to make another large offer to get him to sign.
   10. hokieneer Posted: October 13, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4268076)
Who is available that would be a true upgrade to Dusty?


If only Francona would have waited a week.

I wonder what kind of compensation for the Rays (and to Joe), would it take to pry Maddon away. Just mom's basement wishcasting, but I would love for me favorite team to be managed by Joe Maddon.
   11. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 13, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4268111)
"But I’m not through managing yet.”


Stephen Strasburg suddenly grabs his elbow. "That was weird," he says. "I felt a disturbance in the Force."
   12. smileyy Posted: October 13, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4268115)
"Thats right son, get those elbows as high as you can...like the Nationals logo...but upside down."
   13. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: October 13, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4268118)
even with the rumors of TLR going to work for Jocketty

If I'm Baker, there's no way I work for the Reds is LaRussa is in the organization.
   14. cardsfanboy Posted: October 13, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4268122)
If I'm Baker, there's no way I work for the Reds is LaRussa is in the organization.


If Tlr goes to the Reds, Baker wouldn't be in the organization. Nobody honestly thinks that TLR is actually retired as a manager.
   15. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: October 13, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4268137)
If Tlr goes to the Reds, Baker wouldn't be in the organization. Nobody honestly thinks that TLR is actually retired as a manager.

Really? Why did he retire then?

Just because I'm genuinely curious. He'd been in St. Louis forever, they'd just won a world title, he is getting up there in years. I figured he meant it when he said he was done.
   16. cardsfanboy Posted: October 13, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4268169)
Really? Why did he retire then?


He doesn't like the city that much, the fans have never really taken to him. He doesn't care that much for the change in organizational philosophy that Mozeliek brings to the table. Basically he liked winning there and he likes the fans when they are in the stands, but he doesn't like the fans on the talk shows, on the web, in the papers etc. St Louis fans outside of the stadium are idiots when it comes to appreciating TLR. All of his success was due to Jocketty and Mo, all his failures were his own doing.

The Cardinal fans want a guy who will sit around and tell BS stories about the old days, Bragging about his accomplishments, and having the ability to deflect blame for their failures onto someone else. They don't want a manager who says "when things go wrong, it's my fault, but here is what I was thinking....and when things go right, it's the players being put into a position to succeed" which is what TLR says. They prefer the Whitey philosophy of "I did everything right, all failures were the results of other people not listening to me"


It was pretty much understood in St Louis that TLR left because he felt his input into the organization was being squeezed out by Mo. He didn't want to give up that much control.
   17. The District Attorney Posted: October 13, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4268186)
They don't want a manager who says "when things go wrong, it's my fault, but here is what I was thinking....and when things go right, it's the players being put into a position to succeed" which is what TLR says.
Yeah, that must be the problem.
   18. something like a train wreck Posted: October 13, 2012 at 06:17 PM (#4268229)
So what I'm getting is that you should retain even a bad manager if the players like him and if the organization stocks the team with such a studly assortment of talent (esp. arms) that even a bad manager can win the division with them.


Teams with talent don't always win. When they don't win, it is often because BS gets in the way of the players utilizing their talent. The primary job of a manager on a team with talent is to create an environment that protects the player's from the B.S.. Baker does that. Sparky Anderson did that. Joe Torre did that. Players like managers who do that. Decisions about when to hit and run or whether you should play Shlobotnick on day games against lefties are secondary.
   19. Swedish Chef Posted: October 13, 2012 at 06:21 PM (#4268233)
"when things go wrong, it's my fault, but here is what I was thinking....and when things go right, it's the players being put into a position to succeed" which is what TLR says.

Well, that was only if it wasn't the umpires' fault or the opposing team didn't break any unwritten rules.
   20. cardsfanboy Posted: October 13, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4268238)
Well, that was only if it wasn't the umpires' fault or the opposing team didn't break any unwritten rules.


Generally speaking he doesn't put blame on other people for the results. He will not agree with their actions, but he doesn't use those actions to escape culpability. I can't think of any time the he has actually said that they lost because of the umps(again, he's not Whiney Herzog). He's complained about the strike zone and usually followed it up with a line like "not that it matters if you go 1-8 with risp" or something like that.

   21. Tim D Posted: October 13, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4268241)
Many Tiger fans would gladly swap you Leyland for Dusty. I would too. (if you threw in Aroldis.....)
   22. hokieneer Posted: October 13, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4268242)
#16. Sounds like baker would be perfect in St. Louis. He loves deflecting blame.
   23. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: October 13, 2012 at 06:37 PM (#4268243)
It was pretty much understood in St Louis that TLR left because he felt his input into the organization was being squeezed out by Mo. He didn't want to give up that much control.

Why not? Mo's doing a good job. LaRussa can't possibly complain about trading Rasmus for Jackson and a bullpen. The only thing Mo did that Tony might not like is letting Pujols go. What kind of control freak needs control when the person taking control from him is doing just fine?
   24. cardsfanboy Posted: October 13, 2012 at 06:59 PM (#4268263)
Why not? Mo's doing a good job. LaRussa can't possibly complain about trading Rasmus for Jackson and a bullpen. The only thing Mo did that Tony might not like is letting Pujols go. What kind of control freak needs control when the person taking control from him is doing just fine?


TLR had no problem with losing Pujols, he blames the system not the organization or the player(and he was already gone before that happened)

The organization is drifting to a more traditional top down management design, where the GM is the ultimate power and only requests input from the manager, for a person like TLR who had a significant say in the team, that is too much control to give up. Basically TLR was on a team where his job was being marginalized, in a city that doesn't like/love/appreciate him. It just wasn't worth the headaches. He retires for a year or two like Dick Vermeil, if the Reds have an opening or there is an opening with a California team, he will take it.

   25. Walt Davis Posted: October 13, 2012 at 07:14 PM (#4268276)
Just curious -- have any former Baker coaches gone on to be managers?

OK, not just curious. To me the main question would be his health. One solution is to have Dusty as manager for 1-3 years and trusted lieutenant and apparent manager-to-be sharing a lot of the load. But if Dusty doesn't like sharing the load and/or hasn't developed managers (or at least serious managerial candidates) then that's probably not such a viable option.
   26. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: October 13, 2012 at 07:50 PM (#4268299)
   27. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: October 14, 2012 at 12:47 AM (#4269057)
The Reds have been good enough in 2010 and 2012 that virtually any manager should have won the division.


reds pythag, 2010: 91-71. Cardinals pythag 2010? 91-71
Reds real world record, 2011, 79-83. Reds pythag, 2011, 83-79. Cards, 90-72 and pythag 88-74.
reds pythag, 2012: 91-71. Cardinals pythag 2012? 93-69

I don't think it's fair to say that a team that at best tied in pythag wins (in one of the two good years), and was the clearly inferior team over three years by pythag, was a team that "any manager" could lead to two division titles in three years. Dusty won [edit, ouch bad math] three more "real world" games in the last three years than STL did, and he did it with a team that wasn't as good, and a much lower payroll. And I don't think he's broken any young pitchers, has he? If anything, he's overprotected Chapman.

As a Cards fan, I don't know much about Dusty, despite seeing him manage more games than probably any other opposing manager- I just haven't paid that much attention, but other than the fact that we like to make fun of him, his record the last three years is, at least, interesting.
   28. bjhanke Posted: October 14, 2012 at 05:57 AM (#4269255)
I'm not sure I agree with cardsfanboy on this one. My take on the Cardinal organization is that its defining feature is that it is very stable, compared to other MLB franchises, probably because it has a very large reliable ticket-buying customer base. There's a lot of focus on Cards history, and there is a tendency, when they get hold of someone good, to keep him around until he wants to leave. If the owner of the Angels had not come into his Fox billions, they were willing to beat any other offer for Albert. They kept Whitey Herzog until he wanted to retire, they still have Jose Oquendo coaching, who is a Whitey holdover, and that's my take on Tony. If he had wanted to manage more, they'd have kept him forever, like they did with Red Schoendienst. When he did leave, they promoted from within. They still have Mark McGwire as a hitting coach. Also, I think the real problem that led to Jocketty moving on to the Reds was Jeff Luhnow, who is now gone. I think he is gone, at least partially, because he wanted to change the organization too fast (he was, also, apparently, "on the make", looking for a GM job of his own). Moze has kept that attitude under control, possibly because he understands the organization. I do think that it's possible that a team based in TLR's hometown might coax him out of retirement, but that's not the Reds. Also, I'm about Tony's age (I turn 65 on November 20), and I would not want to take on the massive task of managing a major league ballclub at my age, even if I did know how. I'd much rather be a consultant to the commissioner, even if it is Bud Selig. So I have my doubts. I don't have any opinion on who is responsible for what on the Reds. I think Jocketty is a fine GM, maybe even a great one. I don't know enough about Dusty Baker to be able to separate what he has done from what Walt has done. - Brock Hanke
   29. hokieneer Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4271060)
According to this, 2 year extension for baker through 2014.

*shrugs*
   30. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4271087)
According to this, 2 year extension for baker through 2014.

*shrugs*


That's fine. Now, if Jocketty can just get Dusty some (s)crappy bench guys that can hit a little better than Valdez (24 ops+) and Cairo (29 ops+) and save Dusty from himself, the Reds should be pretty set for 2013 (Though, it'd be nice to get some more lefties in the lineup).
   31. hokieneer Posted: October 15, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4271111)
That's fine. Now, if Jocketty can just get Dusty some (s)crappy bench guys that can hit a little better than Valdez (24 ops+) and Cairo (29 ops+) and save Dusty from himself, the Reds should be pretty set for 2013 (Though, it'd be nice to get some more lefties in the lineup).


The Broxton trade was a save dusty from himself Trade (Ondrusek).

I'm indifferent towards bringing Dusty back.

The Reds need some offensive upgrades if they want to compete for a playoff spot in 2013. That can come with the bench like you said, CF, Frazier for an entire year at 3b, votto for 150, etc.

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