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Friday, October 20, 2017

Dusty Baker Will Not Be Back as Manager

The Nationals on Friday announced that Dusty Baker would not return as the team’s manager in 2018. Baker this past season led the Nationals to 97 wins a second-straight NL East title. However, the team once again failed to advance past the division series in the playoffs. In two seasons on the job in Washington, the Nationals on Baker’s watch posted a winning percentage of .593.
Baker’s now managed for 22 seasons, and over that span his teams have gone 1,863-1,636. Those 1,863 wins rank 14th all-time, and Baker’s also led four different teams to the playoffs. As well, he’s been named NL Manager of the Year three times. It’s possible, though, that his never winning a World Series will keep him out of the Hall of Fame. At age 68, Baker may also have managed his last big-league game.

Not fired, just simply let him go at the end of his contract. That seems really rare to me, but it’s the third time out of his four stints where the team has simply let him go at the end of his contract.

Greg Pope Posted: October 20, 2017 at 01:59 PM | 88 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, dusty baker, giants, nationals, reds

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   1. Bote Man Posted: October 20, 2017 at 02:15 PM (#5559088)
All ye Cubs fans, rejoice!
   2. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 20, 2017 at 02:22 PM (#5559092)
I wonder if this is it for him.
   3. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 20, 2017 at 02:25 PM (#5559096)

Not fired, just simply let him go at the end of his contract. That seems really rare to me, but it’s the third time out of his four stints where the team has simply let him go at the end of his contract.

Same thing with Terry Collins at the end of this season. At 68 (born less than a month apart) I believe they were the two oldest managers in baseball by a decent margin.
   4. caspian88 Posted: October 20, 2017 at 02:31 PM (#5559103)
Bringing up Baker and the Hall of Fame produces a question in how the Hall of Fame treats people who are players and managers.

My impression is that the Hall of Fame largely elects managers purely on the basis of their managerial career and ignores their playing career (with some exceptions). Baker has had a successful career as a manager outside of the lack of a ring, and he was a decent player. Should the two be considered together?

My belief is to consider the sum of persons contributions to baseball and compare them to others as much as possible. This is why I come down against supporting Gil Hodges - his playing and managing career isn't really any more impressive than Fielder Jones, and there were a couple others in the vicinity (I think Al Dark was one). Baker probably still falls on the outside, but as a principle I have to go with the whole approach.
   5. Bote Man Posted: October 20, 2017 at 02:33 PM (#5559106)
Chris Lingebach @ChrisLingebach
"This had nothing to do with negotiation dollars," Nats GM Mike Rizzo says of moving on from Dusty Baker.

Translation: this had everything to do with dollars.


Nats GM Rizzo: “Winning a lot of regular season games and winning divisions is not enough.” Made decision last night.

Getting a little too big for our britches, are we??
   6. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 20, 2017 at 02:37 PM (#5559108)
Largely repeating myself from the dugout, but I'll say this --

I think this was a mistake by the Nats - unless Dusty was insisting on some long extension. For all my antipathy more than a decade ago towards him, I think he's as good a choice as any if you're in the "win now" mode. My Dusty experience is tainted by the Cubs - i.e., when it goes bad, it goes REALLY bad -- but I didn't really get the sense it had hit that level yet in DC. For all his deficiencies I won't re-document, he's a very successful manager.

Anyway, if this is the end of the line - that resume looks like HoF manager to me, even without a (managerial) ring.
   7. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: October 20, 2017 at 02:42 PM (#5559114)
Memo to Sandy Alderson: STAY AWAY!

If you're coming off the season the Mets just had injury-wise, would you really want to bring in Dusty, Destroyer of Arms?
   8. Bote Man Posted: October 20, 2017 at 02:45 PM (#5559119)
James O'Hara‏ @nextyeardc
"Winning only in the regular season isn't good enough" is a weird charge to levy against a manager who has been here two years. So Dusty Baker is getting fired because Matt Williams and Davey Johnson failed too?


Jacob Rasch‏ @serious_jammage
Replying to @nextyeardc
And it’s a weird charge to levy for the guy who’s been here since 2009 and been the GM for every playoff loss.
   9. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 20, 2017 at 02:48 PM (#5559122)
For all his deficiencies I won't re-document, he's a very successful manager.


I really think this doesen't get talked about enough with all managers. The job of a manager is to win baseball games and Dusty has a pretty good track record of doing this. He's going to be 69 years old so he might not have it much longer but he's won 90 or more games in 5 of his last 6 years as manager. There are a lot of guys who get a lot more credit for being good managers that haven't and won't put up that kind of track record.
   10. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 20, 2017 at 02:50 PM (#5559126)
My impression is that the Hall of Fame largely elects managers purely on the basis of their managerial career and ignores their playing career (with some exceptions). Baker has had a successful career as a manager outside of the lack of a ring, and he was a decent player. Should the two be considered together?

My belief is to consider the sum of persons contributions to baseball and compare them to others as much as possible. This is why I come down against supporting Gil Hodges - his playing and managing career isn't really any more impressive than Fielder Jones, and there were a couple others in the vicinity (I think Al Dark was one). Baker probably still falls on the outside, but as a principle I have to go with the whole approach.


I wouldn't have a huge problem with the first (taking both together), but I do think Dusty probably deserves to go in on his managerial record alone... not inner circle or obvious, or anything - but the case is pretty simple...

14th all-time in wins -- everyone ahead him save Gene Mauch is in (and everyone ahead him did so with more seasons at the helm). Bochy will pass him next year - but Bochy is almost certainly in eventually, too. 3 times manager of the year (for whatever that's worth). Took 4 different teams to the playoffs. Tied for 5th with 9 playoff appearances. The big ding against him is that his playoff record as a manager is pretty poor - it's not just the lack of a ring (as manager), 23-32 (.418%) stacks up near the bottom of HoF managers (a quick glance looks like Bill McKechnie is the only one with a worse postseason record).

Like I said - that's not a shoo-in, and I certainly wouldn't make the claim he's even in consideration as the manager for some "all-time" team... but it feels like it's enough for me, even if he was just a career minor leaguer or cup of coffee scrub.
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: October 20, 2017 at 02:53 PM (#5559129)
If you're coming off the season the Mets just had injury-wise, would you really want to bring in Dusty, Destroyer of Arms?


That's mostly a mythical creature.

That's quite possibly it. I doubt too many managers have ever made the postseason during their last four seasons, and been let go twice.

As a manager alone, I don't think he's a Hall of Famer. As a combo candidate (which I support), I'd put him in (he looks a lot like Red Schoendienst - a little less on the playing side, better on the managing one).

Bochy will pass him next year


Pass him back.
   12. Voodoo Posted: October 20, 2017 at 02:54 PM (#5559132)
What a weird managerial career for Dusty. He's won everywhere he's been, but didn't win the whole thing, and was pretty soon thereafter shown the door.
   13. Batman Posted: October 20, 2017 at 03:02 PM (#5559139)
At 68 (born less than a month apart) I believe they were the two oldest managers in baseball by a decent margin.
Pete Mackanin was third oldest this year. With Collins, Baker, and Mackanin gone, Joe Maddon is the oldest left. Ned Yost is second, six months younger than Maddon.
   14. fra paolo Posted: October 20, 2017 at 03:02 PM (#5559140)
There was some harsh comment on Twitter about how the Lerners were behind this, and there is a pattern here:

They took over the team in May 2006. Frank Robinson was let go after the 2006 season. Then Manny Acta stuck around two years, until Mike Rizzo took over and was fired part-way through the 2009 season. There was some indication that Acta was on the hot seat, as Jim Riggleman seemed to be 'shadowing' him as bench coach.

Riggleman lasted about two years until he was fired part-way through the 2011 season.

Davey Johnson lasted two years.

Matt Williams lasted two years.

Now Dusty Baker has lasted two years.

The thing is, Mike Rizzo's contract is up after 2018. Something makes me think he's the one on the hot seat now.
   15. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: October 20, 2017 at 03:05 PM (#5559142)
Maybe they'll hire Jack McKeon...
   16. Khrushin it bro Posted: October 20, 2017 at 03:07 PM (#5559145)
He got pretty close to a ring in SF.
   17. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 20, 2017 at 03:08 PM (#5559146)
Pete Mackanin was third oldest this year.


It's a shame Mackanin didn't get an earlier opportunity. He's taken over three crummy teams, and this was the first year his record wasn't relatively impressive.
   18. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 20, 2017 at 03:08 PM (#5559147)
That's mostly a mythical creature.


MOSTLY, but entirely... and FWIW - I've said it before - I think he did improve in this regard as he got 'older'. I.e., I think one can make the case that, strictly on Giants/Cubs - he wasn't mythical... but yes, his track record with Reds/Nats is much, much better. That said - I do think it ought to be recognized that this may very well be the case of team FOs being much more cognizant of this sort of thing over the last 10-15 years, to the point that it's actually somewhat hard for a manager to be a 'destroyer of arms' (whether such creatures are mythical or not). No manager today is going to say "gee, we lost track of the PC".

As a manager alone, I don't think he's a Hall of Famer. As a combo candidate (which I support), I'd put him in (he looks a lot like Red Schoendienst - a little less on the playing side, better on the managing one).


You know - since we've kind of groupthought ourselves into (near) universal unanimity on which players belong in and which don't.... and even when there are disagreements, have kind of all arrived at a perfectly fine 'agree to disagree' detente when you start quadranting people into big hall vs little hall vs peak vs career -- maybe defining the HoF manager is the next, great BBTF/saber frontier.

To me - Dusty feels a bit like a compiler sort. The lack of postseason success akin to a lack of black ink. He feels like the sort that meets the low bar WAR line -- but makes you little skeptical when you factor in WAA (FWIW, on players -- while it's not wholly that simple, I look to take both numbers in parallel).

Just spitballing a player comp -- maybe someone like Andre Dawson?
   19. SoSH U at work Posted: October 20, 2017 at 03:09 PM (#5559148)
Riggleman lasted about two years until he was fired part-way through the 2011 season.


That was more of a mutual thing. Riggleman wanted an extension, which didn't seem to be in Rizzo's plans, so he walked away at midseason.
   20. Bote Man Posted: October 20, 2017 at 03:10 PM (#5559149)
Riggleman lasted about two years until he was fired part-way through the 2011 season.

Jim Riggleman walked away to go drinking at Caddies in Bethesda, not fired in the conventional sense at all. Thus began the managerial career of John McLaren.
   21. SoSH U at work Posted: October 20, 2017 at 03:13 PM (#5559152)
To me - Dusty feels a bit like a compiler sort.


My feeling is that there are too many other guys in his peer group. If you assume Bochy is in (and maybe Tito, following the trio already enshrined), you still have Davey Johnson, Mike Scioscia, Jim Leyland and Lou Piniella as guys with equally strong cases.


I think one can make the case that, strictly on Giants/Cubs - he wasn't mythical...


Still mostly mythical. With the Cubs, you've got Prior (Wood went down under Riggleman, I think). With the Giants, I'm not sure who he torched. It seemed like he had an endless stream of low-velocity No. 3 starters there.

But pitchers get hurt. I don't know that they ever got hurt at a greater rate under Dusty than any other skipper.
   22. Voodoo Posted: October 20, 2017 at 03:18 PM (#5559155)
Dusty's always been known as a "player's manager". I have to imagine that the other side of the coin is that he doesn't always play nice with upper management.
   23. Copronymus Posted: October 20, 2017 at 03:20 PM (#5559156)
I think one can make the case that, strictly on Giants/Cubs - he wasn't mythical... but yes, his track record with Reds/Nats is much, much better.


Obviously the Cubs have reason to complain, but I think the problem with his young Giants pitchers was that they weren't very good. There's a couple guys who burned out, but the problem with guys like Shawn Estes and Russ Ortiz wasn't health, it was ability. Even with guys like William Van Landingham and Joe Nathan, I'm not convinced they were ever going to be significantly above average starters.
   24. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 20, 2017 at 03:22 PM (#5559157)
Getting rid of a good manager in hopes of finding a great one doesn't work out that often. I would have offered Dusty a new 2-year deal and been willing to eat the second year if 2018 provided an indication a change was in order. Maybe it works out, the next guy doesn't have to be better than Dusty if he's just a bit luckier.
   25. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 20, 2017 at 03:33 PM (#5559163)
My feeling is that there are too many other guys in his peer group. If you assume Bochy is in (and maybe Tito, following the trio already enshrined), you still have Davey Johnson, Mike Scioscia, Jim Leyland and Lou Piniella as guys with equally strong cases.


Thing is - I think all those go in, too... the best case is probably that I'd be getting a little too "big hall" to say they all go in .

Still mostly mythical. With the Cubs, you've got Prior (Wood went down under Riggleman, I think). With the Giants, I'm not sure who he torched. It seemed like he had an endless stream of low-velocity No. 3 starters there.

But pitchers get hurt. I don't know that they ever got hurt at a greater rate under Dusty than any other skipper.


I think one needs to look a little deeper at the issue than just trying to the find the "looks like a Hall of Famer and got hurt" -- i.e., Russ Ortiz certainly wasn't going to make even the HoVG, but he got worked awfully hard and was washed up by 30 (granted, after moving onto ATL for one weird 21 win season). To be sure - Zambrano, maybe you say it was his constant lighting himself on fire - but he was another guy that got ridden pretty hard as a young pitcher and flamed out at a pretty young age. There are also things like the Chad Fox incident - again, maybe you want to say that the Chad Foxes of the world are just fungible so who cares, but Fox - at the point he got blown up for good - was clearly not the sort you can use on back-to-back days.

IOW - sure, I get it... maybe you can say it's all just picking nits. I'm just saying that in a lot of these instances, people were complaining literally, in real-time, as the choices were made. The other problem is a lot of these views were also influenced by real-time quotes -- the "lost track of Prior's pitch count" stuff.

Regardless - and not trying to be a jerkish "I'm right and you're wrong so last word nyah nyah nyah" -- but we've all obviously kicked this stuff around so, so much over the years past that I doubt any of us are changing our minds.

I'd be willing to live with admitting that us Dusty blamers are overstating the case at least to some extent, if that would work :-)
   26. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: October 20, 2017 at 03:37 PM (#5559166)
The Mets could do a lot worse.
   27. Bote Man Posted: October 20, 2017 at 03:39 PM (#5559169)
Craig Calcaterra Retweeted
Theo Gerome‏ @TheoHCH 29m29 minutes ago
Replying to @craigcalcaterra
I looked the other day, and Dusty's teams improved an average of something like 16.5 games in his first year with them.
   28. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: October 20, 2017 at 03:50 PM (#5559177)
The Mets could do a lot worse.


And they just might, as it turns out...
   29. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: October 20, 2017 at 03:57 PM (#5559179)
He's had a rough go of it in the playoffs, but I think we have to admit to ourselves that, if the playoffs are random, they're as random for Dusty Baker as they were for the 90s Braves or Billy Beane -- there's only so much a manager can do when the ball doesn't bounce the right way. He's never managed a team I cared particularly about, so I don't have an in-depth accounting of any mistakes or genius calls he might have made in the postseason. But he's done nearly all his managing in the Wild Card era, and I think one of the many things we're going to have to get used to as the game changes is the concept of a Hall of Fame-caliber manager who never won a World Series.

Is Baker that guy? I don't really think so -- he's largely been blessed with very, very talented teams, and done with them about what you'd expect -- but I could see an argument. And there may come a time when some manager wins 2500 games without ever even making the World Series, just because there are so many rounds of playoffs these days. If we're prepared to stick Bruce Bochy in the Hall because his teams eked their way into the playoffs and then sort of accidentally won the WS three times, we're going to have to think hard about guys like Baker who do much the opposite. It seems to me largely a matter of luck that Baker only has the one pennant and no WS titles on his resumé; if Livan Hernandez doesn't melt down in game 7 of the 2002 WS, this is probably a different conversation, whether it should be or not.
   30. 'Spos Posted: October 20, 2017 at 04:00 PM (#5559181)
The Mets could do a lot worse.


so could the red sox
   31. Khrushin it bro Posted: October 20, 2017 at 04:00 PM (#5559182)
Dusty leading the injury prone staff of the Mets to a world series would be awesome.
   32. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: October 20, 2017 at 04:00 PM (#5559183)
Also, color me unsurprised by this. Classic scapegoating.
   33. Khrushin it bro Posted: October 20, 2017 at 04:09 PM (#5559186)
No way Mike Scioscia is a hall of fame worthy manager.
   34. SoSH U at work Posted: October 20, 2017 at 04:16 PM (#5559192)
There are also things like the Chad Fox incident - again, maybe you want to say that the Chad Foxes of the world are just fungible so who cares, but Fox - at the point he got blown up for good - was clearly not the sort you can use on back-to-back days.


I think the Chad Fox incident is absolutely a black mark on Dusty's ledger, because he specifically said he wasn't going to use him on back-to-back days, then he used him on back-to-back days.

Of course, if you're a reliever and can't go on back-to-back days, you really need to be polishing that resume, because you're not a major league pitcher.
   35. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: October 20, 2017 at 04:36 PM (#5559212)
if the playoffs are random, they're as random for Dusty Baker as they were for the 90s Braves or Billy Beane -- there's only so much a manager can do when the ball doesn't bounce the right way.

Any single postseason is a crapshoot, but if there's a sustained pattern I begin to wonder. Were the Bobby Cox Braves just unlucky in October? For Dusty, he got to the playoffs five times in his last six seasons but lost the LDS four times and the WC once. He lost two LDS with a 2-1 lead and once with a 2-0 lead. Before that, there is of course the 2002 WS (up 3-2) and 2003 LCS (up 3-2).

I think Dusty is a good player's manager, which lends itself well to the regular season. In the playoffs, his poorer in-game management skills get exposed. And this is unknowable and goes against all of my sabermetric leanings but he seems to tighten up in the playoffs, and that anxiety spreads to his teams.

All that said I really doubt the Nationals can do better. Their players really like Dusty. I would have given him one more year (maybe they offered and he declined, though I doubt it) to see if they could finish on top.
   36. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 20, 2017 at 04:49 PM (#5559221)
Of course, if you're a reliever and can't go on back-to-back days, you really need to be polishing that resume, because you're not a major league pitcher.


Oh sure - the chances are pretty darn good Fox was gonna be done pretty soon anyway.

Again, having mellowed with age - I'm ready to admit that we Dusty Destroyer of Arms clan probably did overstate the case... and probably did a little bit of decided on the verdict and then jumped on every little bit of evidence (and went off in search of more) to bolster the case.

Hey - it's Friday... I'm willing to negotiate the extent of the mythical nature to a certain degree.... I'm just saying no way I'm ever gonna say it was totally myth. The best you could probably get me to say is that he was merely subpar (again - first half of Dustydom, like I said - I feel like he did get better) relative to peers.
   37. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: October 20, 2017 at 04:52 PM (#5559224)
No way Mike Scioscia is a hall of fame worthy manager.


The longevity's impressive, though. Scioscia, Bill Belichick and Gregg Popovich are the only managers/head coaches in the major pro sports who still hold the position today that they held when the Twin Towers still stood.

And Scioscia's record is... somewhat less impressive than those other guys'.
   38. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 20, 2017 at 04:53 PM (#5559225)
The timing is a little weird; did Rizzo/Lerners see the Dodgers kick the Cubs ass so easily and decide that now Dusty was to blame for not being able to beat the Cubs? I don't really think Dusty did anything wrong that series - the most questionable thing was living and dying with Werth and moving him to 2nd in the order but even that worked out just fine for him. Superficially from the outside, it's hard not to be really impressed with the job Dusty did considering all the injuries the Nats had this year. Quite a few young players really blossomed under him and a number of veterans did quite well also. And as others had said, seems like the players liked him and liked playing for him.
   39. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 20, 2017 at 04:57 PM (#5559227)
I think Dusty is a good player's manager, which lends itself well to the regular season. In the playoffs, his poorer in-game management skills get exposed. And this is unknowable and goes against all of my sabermetric leanings but he seems to tighten up in the playoffs, and that anxiety spreads to his teams.


Yes.

The one issue I might take with him being a "good player's manager" is that I do think the way he goes about it can be a double-edged sword... I.e., he fosters very well an "us against the world" togetherness. But when it goes south, it can get ugly... i.e., the Cubs were an absolute #### show by the time he got canned. It wasn't the player's fault for sucking, it was the booth's fault. To a certain extent - while his Reds tenure didn't end quite as badly - I think I saw the same pattern in Cincy, at least, specifically with Brandon Phillips. Phillips wasn't exactly the quiet, unassuming sort before Dusty - but it felt like under Dusty, Phillips eventually came to care more about fighting with reporters than playing.

If I were to contradict myself and say that maybe the Nats got it right - that might be where it's better to pull the plug too early rather than too late. I.e., too small sample size to say it with any definite - but when it goes south with Dusty, it's a lost season. Of course, that's true with most managers/teams - but if the Nats do think the window is basically one or two more seasons given FA, etc, then I can see not wanting to roll the dice on one more year of Dusty.

He's actually a bit like Billy Martin in that regard.
   40. Rally Posted: October 20, 2017 at 04:59 PM (#5559228)
I think Dusty is a good player's manager, which lends itself well to the regular season. In the playoffs, his poorer in-game management skills get exposed. And this is unknowable and goes against all of my sabermetric leanings but he seems to tighten up in the playoffs, and that anxiety spreads to his teams.

All that said I really doubt the Nationals can do better. Their players really like Dusty. I would have given him one more year (maybe they offered and he declined, though I doubt it) to see if they could finish on top.


Agree. Dusty's strength as a manager is that he gets the most out of his players. This is a huge thing. He's not the greatest tactician.

In my opinion his worst moment was relieving Scherzer for Solis in game 3 to face Schwarber with a 1 run lead in the 7th. It should have been obvious to everyone that the Cubs would pinch hit, Schwarber is not Rizzo, the guy who stays in no matter who is pitching. I can understand taking out Scherzer despite the great game because that's 2017 bullpen management. But you have to go to one of your top guys here - Doolittle or Madson. Doesn't matter righty or lefty because either way the Cubs are going to respond with an option to give them the platoon advantage. You just need to make sure you have one of your best pitchers in at that point.

I don't fault him for anything in game 5. The Scherzer move blew up, but I thought it was the right moving going in. The general result in 2017 for ace pitchers in middle relief has been pretty good - Sale, Verlander, Price. Max was throwing 98 and got the first 2 out. After that he had about the worst luck a pitcher could have as 4 runs scored.

The risk of replacing a proven master motivator like Dusty is that you don't make the playoffs at all. Despite having some of the best talent in baseball this team missed the playoffs in 2013 and 2015.
   41. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 20, 2017 at 05:01 PM (#5559229)
The timing is a little weird; did Rizzo/Lerners see the Dodgers kick the Cubs ass so easily and decide that now Dusty was to blame for not being able to beat the Cubs? I don't really think Dusty did anything wrong that series - the most questionable thing was living and dying with Werth and moving him to 2nd in the order but even that worked out just fine for him. Superficially from the outside, it's hard not to be really impressed with the job Dusty did considering all the injuries the Nats had this year. Quite a few young players really blossomed under him and a number of veterans did quite well also. And as others had said, seems like the players liked him and liked playing for him.


Yeah - is there really any move Nats fans pin on Dusty in the NLDS (asking Bote and company, I guess). I don't really recall any moves he made where I thought from the other side "ah-ha! Dusty just screwed up - got 'em now!".

To be honest, I actually thought moving Werth up in the order was a good move... I know he's rather toasty, but the guy seemed like an annoying PA extender and count worker all series - don't recall if I voiced in the chatter or just thought it, but early in the series I was thinking "I might consider moving Werth to the 2 hole just in case Trea remembers how to get on base".
   42. bachslunch Posted: October 20, 2017 at 05:19 PM (#5559237)
Dusty Baker, Lou Piniella, and Jim Leyland have pretty similar managerial careers regular season. But Baker is the only one of these without a ring, which might make a difference. Baker was the best player of this group, however, so it might even out. My guess is he’ll get in but wait a really long time before doing so. Definitely think these three, Bruce Bochy, Terry Francona, and Mike Scioscia will be elected eventually.
   43. fra paolo Posted: October 20, 2017 at 05:35 PM (#5559243)
That was more of a mutual thing. Riggleman wanted an extension, which didn't seem to be in Rizzo's plans, so he walked away at midseason.

True. He even got a a lot of grief here about it, now that I recall. In retrospect, it looks like Riggleman just accelerated his fate by a few weeks.
   44. Walt Davis Posted: October 20, 2017 at 06:13 PM (#5559251)
Let me make clear at the start that I believe Dusty is an above-average manager and is probably no worse than the 4th-best manager of my Cubs lifetime (Maddon then a battle among Dusty, Lou and Leo). He's also always seemed like a cool person -- I'd love to spend a night out on the town with Dusty.

It is interesting that teams always let him go. It kinda suggests they see him like a lot of us do -- he's done fine, he never was so bad he had to be let go mid-contract ... but do we want to sign on for 2-4 more years? He was definitely a hot managerial candidate coming out of SF thought. The only team he had that went disastrous was the Cubs. On the other hand, in SF, Cubs and Nats, he was handed teams with a lot of talent (his success in Cincy was pretty impressive).

In SF and Chi, he probably lowered the talent of those teams a little bit through his bench player and PT choices -- I haven't paid enough attention to Cincy and Nats -- which was one of those mistakes that probably doesn't amount to enough to be concerned about but is maddening because it should be so obvious and relatively easy to fix.

He said some dumb things to the press that we were probably too hard on him for. But the walks comment I think did reflect his philosophy at the time. Cub hitters were regularly near the bottom of the league in walks and Cub pitchers were regularly near the top. Part of the latter was that they were also near the top in Ks (which also didn't help pitch counts) but I think Dusty really did think the walk was more of a defensive move. Obviously the SF hitters always did pretty well in this regard but you've got to at least adjust for Bonds which I'm too lazy to do. (And Dusty would have seen those walks of Bonds as defensive moves by the other team -- which they often were.)

Not that anybody should go searching but I wonder just how hard I really was on Dusty with regard to pitchers. Don't get me wrong, I was hard and it still irks me but I don't think I ever quite signed onto "Destroyer of Arms." But certainly with the Cubs, my argument was that he regularly put pitchers at extra risk and generally for no good reason. Yes, Prior was probably going to break anyway but why risk hastening that process pushing him out for 130 pitches with a 7-0 lead? That's just bad managing. (Just look at all of Sept 2003 and try to justify that usage.)

Anyway, the impression I had seeing him up close with the Cubs and at a distance with the Nats is that he didn't really do anything (we could see) to make the team noticeably better and, if anything, did a few things to make the team a bit worse. I still rate him above-average because (a) he did win and (b) his players did seem cohesive so I assume there were positive clubhouse things we weren't seeing. And he did win and we've all seen managers who lost with good talent. I also suspect he was the main guy responsible for turning Aramis Ramirez into an excellent player and that obviously made those Cub teams better -- I just wish I had a few more examples like that I could point to. (At the Nats, I wonder if he was helpful in Rendon and Zimmerman turning things back around.)
   45. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 20, 2017 at 06:47 PM (#5559257)
Dammit, Walt... I'm trying to make peace with the man's legacy, give him his due - HoF or no, he was successful - and you've gotta go and bring up his F Troop crushes.
   46. Ken Griffey Junior Bacon Cheeseburger Posted: October 20, 2017 at 06:56 PM (#5559259)
Dusty's strength as a manager is that he gets the most out of his players. This is a huge thing. He's not the greatest tactician.


Dusty's career strikes me as being the kind of career Cito Gaston coulda/woulda/shoulda had.
   47. AndrewJ Posted: October 20, 2017 at 07:25 PM (#5559269)
How do you suppose Dusty might look in Phillies pinstripes? Crawford/Williams/Herrera/Nola could be on the verge of stardom...
   48. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: October 20, 2017 at 08:25 PM (#5559288)
nm, misread
   49. Howie Menckel Posted: October 20, 2017 at 08:55 PM (#5559302)
I have no quarrel with Baker's managing overall.

But at some point, you have to know that those players kicking off spring training are going to have a hard time telling themselves, "We'll win for Dusty THIS TIME!"

Bruce Springsteen wrote a song about this, actually, called "Reason to Believe." The Nats need a new manager to finally find it, maybe.

excerpts

Seen a man standin' over a dead dog
lyin' by the highway in a ditch
He's lookin' down kinda puzzled,
pokin' that dog with a stick.
Got his car door flung open,
he's standin' out on highway 31,
Like if he stood there long enough,
that dog'd get up and run.
Struck me kinda funny,
seem kinda funny sir to me.
Still at the end of every hard day, people find some reason to believe

Now Mary Lou loved Johnny,
with a love mean and true.
She said baby I'll work for you everyday,
and bring my money home to you
One day he up and left her, and ever since that,
She waits down at the end of that dirt road
for young Johnny to come back.
Struck me kinda funny, funny yea indeed
how at the end of every hard earned day you can find some reason to believe

Congregation gathers down by the riverside,
Preacher stands with his bible,
groom stands waitin' for his bride.
Congregation gone, and the sun sets behind a weepin' willow tree.
Groom stands alone and watches the river rush on so effortlessly,
Wonderin' where can his baby be.
still at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe
   50. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 20, 2017 at 09:02 PM (#5559307)
He said some dumb things to the press that we were probably too hard on him for. But the walks comment I think did reflect his philosophy at the time. Cub hitters were regularly near the bottom of the league in walks and Cub pitchers were regularly near the top.


There was some analysis done at the time that showed that players' walk rates in SF increased a little when he was hired and declined after he left, FWIW. Not sure what a similar analysis would show now.
   51. John Northey Posted: October 20, 2017 at 10:27 PM (#5559380)
If they want a playoff manager give Cito Gaston a call. He won his last 4 playoff series in a row over 2 years. I'd love to see him given another solid team to run.
   52. Howie Menckel Posted: October 20, 2017 at 11:02 PM (#5559423)
hey, Dusty is only 5 years younger!

both played in MLB before the 1969 expansion that added the Padres, Expos, Royals, and Pilots.

............

"Jim Riggleman walked away to go drinking at Caddies in Bethesda, not fired in the conventional sense at all."

small world: Then-Cubs manager Riggleman (and a drinking-buddy coach of his, and Bulls G Randy Brown and others) lived at the swanky Chicago Gold Coast condo that the phenom future Mrs Howie was office manager of when we met in the mid-1990s. she said he was a good tipper for the doormen; basically he'd ask those guys to go on a late-night food run, and he'd tip 50 percent or more for the effort.

   53. bookbook Posted: October 20, 2017 at 11:28 PM (#5559446)
I don’t know if you give him any extra credit for being one of only a few black managers in a game that’s been biased against that possibility forever. I’d go so far as to wonder if he would have gotten longer opportunities had his skin been more pasty. I know he isn’t Frank Robinson, and yet....
   54. Bote Man Posted: October 21, 2017 at 02:50 AM (#5559483)
by Howard Bryant
ESPN Senior Writer

Don't Blame Dusty Baker For The Nationals' Failures -- Look At Ownership

For all the talk of Brad Pitt and Billy Beane and the culture wars of scouts versus spreadsheets, it was in that interview where baseball changed forever. Alderson would ask why baseball teams changed philosophies whenever they hired a new manager, which, to Alderson was a mid-level position. The front office came first. The manager -- after a baseball history of Casey Stengel and John McGraw, Leo Durocher and Tommy Lasorda, in which the manager was the face of the front office -- didn't matter anymore.

This is how the Washington Nationals view the managerial position. It isn't important, not worth paying for, and it's certainly not deserving of the credit or respect for the 192 games the team won under Baker.
   55. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: October 21, 2017 at 08:48 AM (#5559492)
"Mid-level position" emphatically does not mean "unimportant." Viewing middle management positions as somewhere you can harmlessly put your nephew is a prominent failure state of management of any business.

That's without pointing out the fact, so obvious it hardly needs pointed out, that while a major league manager is, technically, a mid-level position, it's a very unique and very challenging position, because

(1) other mid-level managers don't manage a staff full of unionized multimillionaires deeply steeped in jock culture; and
(2) other mid-level managers don't have to explain every tiny thing they do to relentless media hounds every day.

It's a unique position that requires a particular skill set that is very difficult to find in one person.

I do not believe for a second that Sandy Alderson is stupid enough not to know this.
   56. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 21, 2017 at 08:54 AM (#5559495)
All ye Cubs fans, rejoice!

No rejoicing here. At first with the Cubs he did some things very well, and some things terribly, and then he didn't do anything well for two interminable years. But that is all a long time ago. And after leaving the Cubs he was pretty good. He managed the Reds for six years and they made the postseason three times. Managers are people with the capacity to learn and change just like everyone. When the Nationals picked him up, my first thought was that he was a very good match for that team. It seemed to me that he would do well managing an underperforming team with a strong, established roster, and I think that's proven to be pretty true. If the Nationals are firing him because he's not in possession of LDS magic fairy dust -- well, good luck with that.

If you're coming off the season the Mets just had injury-wise, would you really want to bring in Dusty, Destroyer of Arms?

That's mostly a mythical creature.


I think that's more of a dinosaur than a dragon. One of the ways in which he adapted to change.

I don't idealize him -- I think at this point Baker is more or less a sabermetriphobic version of Joe Maddon, and you can do a lot worse. At the same time, Nationals fans are rightly very disappointed, and thus angry, and that kind of anger usually ends up being focused on the manager, who gets fired. It's not fair but some fresh leadership might be very helpful.
   57. Greg Pope Posted: October 21, 2017 at 10:10 AM (#5559498)
When the Nationals picked him up, my first thought was that he was a very good match for that team. It seemed to me that he would do well managing an underperforming team with a strong, established roster, and I think that's proven to be pretty true

Probably, but points out that we really need to dig deeper than just "he has a lot of wins". At every step he's been given very good rosters and was expected to win. I consider him below average, but not terrible. This represents quite a bit of mellowing from when he left the Cubs and I thought he was the worst. I definitely harped on the negative. But those negatives still exist. As has been pointed out, he's pretty bad at the in game decisions. And while he might not be responsible for destroying Prior's career, he certainly handicapped the Cubs chances in the playoffs by riding Prior hard in September.

Like I said, I've moved from "terrible" to "below average", but I'm not willing to go any higher.

I do think it says something that he is just not renewed. It shows a lack of confidence going back more than just the final year.
   58. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: October 21, 2017 at 10:31 AM (#5559504)
Dusty Baker's reputation for ruining arms is overblown and largely a product of the era. From 1998 to 2005ish, MLB underwent a sea change in how it approached starting pitchers. In the late 1990s, no one talked about pitch counts. In Kerry Wood's rookie season (1998), I never heard any comment that he'd thrown X-number of pitches in a start. But, that same year, a little known start-up website called Baseball Prospectus wrote an article debuting the primordial version of a stat they called Pitcher Abuse Points.

Over the next few years, pitch counts caught on. By the mid-2000s, it was a common thing, and an outing of 120 pitches had become a rarity. In the transitional period, Baker's arms racked up some of the highest pitch counts of anyone. He was castigated for it and called a ruiner of arms even before there was any evidence for it. (Anyone else remember the annual predictions that Livan Hernandez's arm would fall off). Then Baker went to a team with a lot of young pitchers - Wood, Prior, Zambrano - and pushed them harder than most others went. Prior and Wood both had terrific seasons in 2003, but both soon went down with injuries and by 2005 were never the same. Since the narrative that Baker ruins arms was already there, this was held against him entirely. Never mind that Wood had already had Tommy John Surgery. Never mind that Zambrano held up throughout his tenure and beyond for a ways. And yeah, you can point to guys like Chad Fox and all them.

10 years earlier, Baker's use of the young Cubs arms wouldn't have raised an eyebrow - because everyone used their pitchers like that. 10 years later, and Baker wouldn't have pushed the Cub pitchers that hard because no one did. But Baker was the manager in the wrong place at the wrong time. I don't mean to totally absolve him. He was never considered to be a great handler of hurdlers even back in his San Fran days. But his reputation is far worse than it deserves to be.

As for Baker and the Hall of Fame.... as SOSU noted in post #21, the problem is there are so many guys clustered around each other - Baker and Pineilla and Leyland and Scioscia and Davey Johnson. It's hard to stick out from that pack. For that reason, my hunch is Baker doesn't get in. There is no clear criteria for managers making it into Cooperstown other than: 1) having success, 2) lasting long enough to justify getting in, and 3) having a really good reputation. Baker has success and length, but again - there's a cluster of guys with long careers and decent success, and Baker's has always received more criticism than the others mentioned. I'm not saying that's fair, but that's how it strikes me. If I had to rank their odds of making it in, I'd go Leyland-Scioscia-Piniella-Baker-Johnson.

Then again, it's possible they all get in. Look at the years 1940-43. 16 teams - and 7 of their managers are now in Cooperstown for their managing careers (Connie Mack, Joe McCarthy, Bucky Harris, Billy Southworth, Casey Stengel, Leo Durocher, and Bill McKechnie). That said, I doubt they do all get in. This is a problem for Cooperstown. They haven't adjusted for the fact there are twice as many candidates - both among players and managers - as there used to be. They still induct about as many people per year as they once had, so people have to stand out more than they used to. Bill James wrote about how it's made the standards higher for players now than it used to be.

   59. Bote Man Posted: October 21, 2017 at 10:37 AM (#5559507)
It's weird. I've tweeted back and forth with a few smart Nats fans who are absolutely convinced that this decision came directly as a result of Game 5. That's what Rizzo said so, by gum, that must be the truth. I can't believe Rizzo is capable of that level of shortsightedness any more than Alderson above.
   60. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 21, 2017 at 12:14 PM (#5559528)
Baker may not be the world's greatest manager, but the rationale for firing him (“Regular season wins and division titles,” Rizzo said, “are not enough. . . . With success comes expectations. . . . Our goal is a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue.”) means that the Nats essentially have the George Steinbrenner of the 80's as a GM. They've already had 5 managers in the last 11 years, and unless their so-called superstars learn how to hit in October, they're likely to keep replacing managers at the same rate for the indefinite future.

As Boswell says, "Finding a manager better than Johnnie B-plus 'Dusty' Baker probably can be done. But good luck trying."
   61. fra paolo Posted: October 21, 2017 at 12:26 PM (#5559530)
by Howard Bryant
ESPN Senior Writer

Don't Blame Dusty Baker For The Nationals' Failures -- Look At Ownership


That's an impassioned article, and possibly deserves its own thread.
   62. Bote Man Posted: October 21, 2017 at 12:48 PM (#5559531)
That's an impassioned article, and possibly deserves its own thread.

Meh. If I were running this place I'd start ONE thread and pile up all related links for discussion in one place. I don't see the value in fragmenting the discussion across different threads, sometimes with links to identical articles.
   63. Bote Man Posted: October 21, 2017 at 12:50 PM (#5559532)
There's also a strong thread that Dusty Baker can't get a break because of racial prejudice on the part of team owners and general managers, and even sports journalists writing about him.
   64. shoewizard Posted: October 21, 2017 at 01:05 PM (#5559534)
Yeah but we’ll always have Dusty Dice

Nobody can take that away from us
   65. fra paolo Posted: October 21, 2017 at 01:06 PM (#5559535)
There's also a strong thread that Dusty Baker can't get a break because of racial prejudice on the part of team owners and general managers, and even sports journalists writing about him.

There might be an element of that. The Lerners were fairly quick about getting rid of Frank Robinson, when he still wanted to stick around. Meanwhile, Bowden had to get caught up in a scandal before he was shown the door.

But, then again, as the article shows, Dusty was very much the second choice to begin with. He couldn't get them out of the NLDS, so take the next cab off the rank.

I kind of go along with Bryant's theme that the Nationals are 'a badly run organisation'. It's the simplest, least inflammatory explanation.
   66. Adam Starblind Posted: October 21, 2017 at 01:12 PM (#5559537)

And they just might, as it turns out...


I just read that Manny Acta "lit up the room" in his interview with the Mets. Which is EXACTLY WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT ART HOWE. You can't make this stuff up.
   67. Greg Pope Posted: October 21, 2017 at 01:26 PM (#5559539)
Baker may not be the world's greatest manager, but the rationale for firing him (“Regular season wins and division titles,” Rizzo said, “are not enough. . . . With success comes expectations. . . . Our goal is a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue.”) means that the Nats essentially have the George Steinbrenner of the 80's as a GM.

As much as I think Dusty is mediocre at best, he did exactly what the Nationals hired him for. Take a talented team and make the playoffs. That's what he does.
   68. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 21, 2017 at 01:57 PM (#5559546)
I just read that Manny Acta "lit up the room" in his interview with the Mets. Which is EXACTLY WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT ART HOWE. You can't make this stuff up.

Good interview =/= Good manager. Interviews are given a lot of weight in many fields, but interviewing skills don't always translate into what's needed to do the actual job.
   69. Rally Posted: October 21, 2017 at 07:49 PM (#5559680)
Dusty's career strikes me as being the kind of career Cito Gaston coulda/woulda/shoulda had.


Dusty has the longer career and more consistent success, at least for the regular season. Cito's got 2 rings.

If you asked Cito if he would trade careers with Dusty, I don't think he'd do it.
   70. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 21, 2017 at 07:57 PM (#5559689)
Managers are so tough to find. I’m tempted to say 4-5 years is about the max then you need to move on almost regardless of what the manager has achieved. In some cases it becomes less necessary because the players turn over so the limited motivation tools every manager has don’t lose efffectiveness.

Having said that I’ll give the contradictory opinion that it is a LOT easier to find a bad manager than to find a good one. If you fire a Baker after this kind of a season you set the bar VERY high for the new guy. It’s going to be a lot easier for him to “screw up” and win only 85 games and miss the playoffs than it will be for him to step in and win a World Series.
   71. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: October 21, 2017 at 10:00 PM (#5559824)
You'd think Nationals fans who remember the Matt Williams Experience would be in no hurry to see Dusty go.
   72. Satan Says Posted: October 21, 2017 at 10:28 PM (#5559872)
Precisely. They can -- and probably will -- do worse. Not a very attractive job from its history.
   73. Satan Says Posted: October 21, 2017 at 10:34 PM (#5559886)
There might be an element of that.

Dusty Dice says you might be right.

I've always felt that element with Baker, and Joe Morgan on teevee. A pair of old-school guys from the '70's when Black first became beautiful.

But yeah, the Nationals.
   74. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 21, 2017 at 10:55 PM (#5559927)
At every step he's been given very good rosters


Baker took over a 72-win Giants team, a 67-win Cubs team, a 75-win Reds team, and then finally an 89-win Nationals team. I don't know which of those teams had "very good rosters," but the Nats were the only team that was actually winning.
   75. Greg Pope Posted: October 21, 2017 at 11:29 PM (#5559984)
If you don't know, then please look. I didn't say that he took over successful teams, I said he was given good rosters. His first year in SF was also Bonds's first year there. That's a pretty big difference. His first year with the Cubs was the first full time year for both Prior and Zambrano. Big difference.
   76. greenback wears sandals on his head Posted: October 21, 2017 at 11:43 PM (#5560002)
Baker took over a 72-win Giants team

It certainly helped that Bonds showed up the same year as Baker did. More generally rosters, and front offices for that matter, aren't static. This kind of before-during-after analysis is a crude instrument for measuring managerial acumen.

AFAICT Dusty Baker was just fired because he didn't break the curse of Pete Kozma. Anyone with the slightest bit of sabermetric knowledge is aware of how silly it is to base decisions on the results of the October crap shoot (insubordination or an awful decision-making process are other matters). But our ability to evaluate the effects of field managers is much more limited than our ability to evaluate the effects of players. Managers are paid like their value is less, and in most cases significantly less, than one win per year over a replacement level manager. I struggle to see how anyone can make a strong argument one way or the other about this.
   77. Bote Man Posted: October 21, 2017 at 11:54 PM (#5560011)
More generally rosters, and front offices for that matter, aren't static.

And yet, as one of my Twitter buddies pointed out above, Mike Rizzo has been around to husband the Nationals through each and every one of their playoff losses over the years. Huh. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!
   78. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 22, 2017 at 12:00 AM (#5560016)
His first year in SF was also Bonds's first year there. That's a pretty big difference. His first year with the Cubs was the first full time year for both Prior and Zambrano.


This kind of analysis is designed to completely eliminate Baker's strength, which is maximizing the performance of his players. If you assume that performance as a given, then yes, he's not going to look like an exceptional manager.
   79. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: October 22, 2017 at 12:48 AM (#5560031)
This kind of analysis is designed to completely eliminate Baker's strength, which is maximizing the performance of his players. If you assume that performance as a given, then yes, he's not going to look like an exceptional manager.


But the other kind of analysis is designed to make Baker look better than he is. There has to be a middle ground on this kind of thing.

And I gravely doubt that anything Dusty Baker did made Barry Bonds the greatest player since Ted Williams. For what it's worth.
   80. fra paolo Posted: October 22, 2017 at 09:56 AM (#5560063)
Conforming with Boteman's policy of 'One thread to bind them all', I found this interesting ###-bit while crawling around the Internet today:

Nationals' Owners Spurned Johnson, Ripken, Black... Now Baker

“The impact that Scott Boras has on this ownership group is one of the biggest jokes in all of baseball,” [Thom Loverro] said....

[He] admits he didn’t expect Friday’s decision: “I’m surprised. I’m surprised that it took so long for them to do it, and then I’m surprised that the Nationals did it and did not renew Dusty Baker, because the word was, and it was an accurate word, that Mike Rizzo was determined to bring him back....

“When Bryce Harper was asked after Game 5 what he thought about bringing Dusty back, he was non-committal,” he went on. “He said basically that decision’s made by people above me.

“Now, when Matt Williams was in this same position two years before, he couldn’t say enough great things about Matt Williams, which really leads me to suspect that Team Boras was not happy with Dusty Baker.”


Baker's handling of Strasburg's health tantrum before Game 4 might have been a factor.
   81. Bote Man Posted: October 22, 2017 at 10:02 AM (#5560065)
Assuming The Great Strasburg Mold Mystery was not a ruse or misdirection, then getting that kind of awesome performance out of a presumably sick pitcher was a stroke of genius and works in favor of Dusty.

As far as the confusion of public information released the night before, that is very likely the result of the committee approach with Dusty being the mouthpiece for Rizzo, the Lerners, et al, each contributing his own conflicting idea of what should be released to the press.
   82. fra paolo Posted: October 22, 2017 at 10:04 AM (#5560066)
And the plot thickens!

A Washington post article about Cora's being flavour of the month for a manager's job:
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe tweeted Saturday morning that the Washington Nationals, whose manager’s job came open Friday when the team dismissed Dusty Baker, will also ask the Astros for permission to speak with Cora.

Guess who BB-ref lists as Cora's agent.
   83. Satan Says Posted: October 22, 2017 at 12:59 PM (#5560124)
And I gravely doubt that anything Dusty Baker did made Barry Bonds the greatest player since Ted Williams. For what it's worth.

His teams were high performers at every stop. The GOAT alone doesn't ensure team success. Particularly when he didn't follow Baker east.

What Baker does is put every player in a position to succeed (maybe with the exception of relievers). He knows he's not a genius, that players win and lose games, and has the good sense to get out of the way.

Taking bets now against the Nats performing as well next year as they have the past two, despite still clearly being the class of that division.
   84. Bote Man Posted: October 22, 2017 at 01:44 PM (#5560133)
Taking bets now against the Nats performing as well next year as they have the past two, despite still clearly being the class of that division.

Agreed. The only thing that will keep the Nats atop the NL East is the fact that the rest of the division is garbage. The Marlins will be back in fire sale mode, the Braves front office is in turmoil for the foreseeable future, the Phillies look promising with more work needed, and the Mets...well, they're the Mets.

But no way the Nats can get past the NLDS with the expected changes to their roster and wholesale changes to their coaching staff. They're like a rich man's Marlins.
   85. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 22, 2017 at 02:29 PM (#5560142)
The New York Mets are hiring Mickey Callaway.
   86. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 27, 2017 at 09:35 PM (#5564022)
The Nationals interviewed John Farrell today. Too bad the timing wasn't closer together, we might have seen 3 playoff teams roatate managers in search of an upgrade.
   87. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 28, 2017 at 08:05 AM (#5564256)
Dusty was the biggest racist in baseball, I can't believe he lasted this long.
   88. bunyon Posted: October 28, 2017 at 08:52 AM (#5564267)
Bote Man: of course they can advance in the nlds. It's if not entirely random, largely so. Win the division and take your chances.

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