2013 Postseason / 2013 Reds / 2014 Reds

More on the Baker firing [updated] [update 2]

Mark Sheldon’s story at the Reds site is the place to start. Regarding the rest of the coaches:

There was no announcement regarding changes on the coaching staff. “That will be determined after we hire a manager,” Jocketty said. “Several of them are still under contract. Once we hire a manager, then we’ll review the coaches with a new manager. Obviously we’ll recommend some but you have to allow a new manager to hire some of his own coaches.”

John Fay’s story at the Enquirer, with more quotes from Jocketty, says the “collapse” was the reason Baker was fired.

Jon Heyman at CBS talked with Dusty Baker and this fairly lengthy account. Heyman says when Jocketty told Baker on Wednesday [*since corrected, see update 2] that he was planning on firing hitting coach Brook Jacoby, that Baker said “If you’re going to fire anyone, fire me.” According to Hayman, that’s all Jocketty needed to hear and ended the conversation. Jocketty called Baker in yesterday and fired him.

John Fay tweets that Bob Castellini denies that the Jacoby firing response was the trigger. Castellini also refers to this theory as “someone’s imagination.” Slightly longer article by Fay on Castellini fully denying Baker’s account.

Note: That’s a pretty big difference in accounts between Baker and everyone else. There are rumors that Dusty Baker is attempting to organize a conference call with the media.

Fay also tweets Castellini saying: “He’s a good man, a renaissance man. But this was not working.”

C. Trent Rosecrans reports some player responses.

Sam LeCure: “I love Dusty, I have an opinion like all the people on Twitter, I don’t agree with everything he does. Everyone has an opinion on how they’d manage a game or fill out the lineup card. But I do know Dusty was doing the best job he did. I think it was a time for a change with some of the personalities.”

Bronson Arroyo: “I’m surprised it was him. I had a conversation with him two days ago and if it was coming, he didn’t know it. He was talking about his plans for next season and he was worried about his coaches.”

Jay Bruce: “The Cincinnati Reds became relevant again with Dusty at the helm, and that’s something people should never forget. From a personal standpoint, I’m thankful to have had Dusty there with me from the time I was 21 years old. He taught me so many valuable things about the game of baseball, things that have helped me become the player I am today, and I’m very appreciative of that. Aside from the on field aspect, he took an interest in myself and the other players on a personal level that far exceeded that requirements of a manager.”

Arroyo endorsing Bryan Price to be manager: “I think he’d be unbelievable,” Arroyo said. “He’s as organized as anyone in the game, he holds people as accountable as well as anyone I’ve seen. He doesn’t buy into stereotypical things in the game, things that other people buy into that I don’t feel are relevant. Price looks at evidence. He’s a freaking smart guy, he makes his decision on reasonable evidence. Sometimes in baseball we go by hunches, what someone else said or they way things have gone in the past. He doesn’t do that.”

LeCure, expressing the need for fundamental changes in the tone: “I don’t want there to be a comfortability, I want someone to come ruffle some feathers.”

Player reaction story from Sheldon, with many of the same quotes, plus this from Todd Frazier:

“I really enjoyed having him,” said Frazier, who just completed his second full season in the Majors. “He’s a player’s coach that’s been there before. He could relate to anyone, that’s why I liked him. He could break it down for you. A five-year-old could understand how to hit after talking to him. That’s what made him so good. Dusty taught me a lot of things about hitting and life. I really thank him for that.”

Ken Rosenthal at Fox writes that Baker was fired because the team “stopped playing for him.”

Fay tweets that Jocketty says LaRussa is through managing and Morgan isn’t interested.

Rosecrans talked to LaRussa who confirmed he’s not interested in managing again.

Buster Olney’s talks about the Baker firing at the start of his podcast. “There’s been a lot of unhappiness in the organization with what’s been going on, especially in the postseason.” “Too many questions in the Reds front office with how the clubhouse has evolved. About leaving Cueto in the game too long.” “Didn’t like the clubhouse culture that had evolved where they felt there was a lack of a sense of urgency.”

Jason Stark, as interviewed on Olney’s podcast: “There was a clear vibe in Pittsburgh that the front office was extremely unhappy with the way the season had ended.” “The way they played in the game in Pittsburgh was a bad showing considering what was at stake.”

Fay tweets that Jocketty acknowledges front office failures.

One interesting name as a possibility for the next manager that I heard on the radio was Davey Johnson.

Updates: Paul Daugherty’s take: “Castellini had been firmly in Baker’s corner, until this year. A few events changed that: When Brandon Phillips interrupted Baker’s daily pre-game press briefing to berate an Enquirer reporter, Baker didn’t stop it. That suggested Baker didn’t have the necessary control of his players. Then, as the Reds drifted, then nose-dived late in the year, Baker insisted there was no need for urgency. Castellini is not a patient man. He’s also a fan. He understands he has a core group of very talented players, in the prime of their careers. After three first-round playoff losses in four years, he had seen enough, both as a fan and businessman.”

John Fay with some insight on Bryan Price: “Logic on why I THINK Price gets the job: Keeps him from leaving. Pitching is strength of team. Has that managerial air.”

Tom Verducci at Sports Illustrated writes about Dusty Baker’s future, his past record in the postseason, and how generational change among General Managers may work against Baker getting another job: “Baker may be out of chances around the game, too, especially as more and more people who do the hiring in baseball are at least a generation younger than him and understand and embrace the game from an analytics standpoint that never interested Baker. Davey Johnson, 70, who retired, Charlie Manuel, 69, who was fired by the Phillies, and Baker, 64, are from another era. The irony is that Baker remained current with his young players — few managers ever connected with his players like Baker — but not with the modern analytics of the game.”

FWIW, I see Dusty getting another job, maybe not this year, but eventually.

Update 2: Baker comments, as per CTR: “You kind of like go places and you raise the bar and then if you don’t take it all the way, if you have the team or not, you’re a failure,” Baker said. “It got to the point where everything was on me — if we don’t hit or don’t pitch — it seems like it was me. It wasn’t very much fun at the end.”

Baker also says in the article that the Jacoby conversation took place last week, not on Wednesday. That makes sense. It occurred, but wasn’t the proximate trigger for the firing. It took place with Jocketty and may not have even gotten back to Castellini. To BC, the entire issue was the collapse of the team at the end, not the coaching changes. Heyman has now corrected his story so that it doesn’t say this occurred on Wednesday, but a “few days ago.”

That substantially changes the story. If Heyman got that wrong, then he really blew it. It changes everything about how the firing came about. Heyman’s conclusion that Baker was “fired for standing up for what he thought was right” is entirely false. All the people in the twitterverse who are complimenting Heyman’s reporting better rethink it.

182 thoughts on “More on the Baker firing [updated] [update 2]

  1. I’d have been happy with replacing Jacoby. Can’t see why it took them this long on that conversation.

  2. My biggest hope is that several candidates are interviewed and objectively weighed against each other based on their merits, and ultimately, WJ, BC, and whoever else is important in the organization, gets to weigh in with their opinions before the final call is made.

    This is a watershed moment for the Reds, I think. Make the wrong choice here and you could end up wasting this great window we’re in with the current roster.

  3. If Arroyo’s assessment is accurate, I’m already sold on Price. And although I doubt he meant it as a knock against Baker, I can’t help but read his comments that way. I assume he’s implying Price would be an improvement over Baker in those ways.

  4. I’d echo Jay’s comments about the positive things Dusty’s tenure brought to Reds, but from Sam’s and Bronson’s quotes/tweets, it does indicate that some of the things that annoyed the fans had also begun to annoy the team and that Price may be the leader in the clubhouse for the mgr spot (figurativly and literally).

    I wish dusty well and he always seemed a good guy in my book and he didn’t rip his players in the media (like a Bobby V et al. would do). It happened maybe a few times but was the exception.

    Price for mgr make alot of sense, it shakes things up, brings in a new perspective and way of doing things maybe, but he already has clout with the team.

  5. Sorry, one more thing.

    It now seems that the decision to put Chapman in the Pen had a price tag to it. Baker fought for it, got it, but when the team underachieved this year, Dusty himself paid the ‘dusty tax’.

      • @Johnu1: He is an awesome pitcher in my opinion also, but what’s telling about using him as the closer is that he has an average SV%. There were 24 pitcher in MLB this season who had 30 or more save opportunities. Chapman was #12 out of 24 in terms of converted save percentage. Chapman converted 88% of his saves. The other 23 converted 88.9%.

        • @Greg Dafler: Further credence to the idea that being a “good closer” is more about being a good pitcher. I think Latos and Bailey would both be excellent closers, too.

          As a baseball exec, though, I think WJ needs to push for Chapman to at least start the year in the rotation to see how it goes. An above-average started is more valuable to a team than a lock-down closer over the course of a season. Also, Randy Johnson proved a 100mph fastball and a 90-91 mph slider is all you need to succeed. If Chapman could even be 75% of the pitcher the Unit was, he’s a #1 or #2 starter on pretty much any staff. Sure, it’d be nice for him to develop a 90mph changeup, but if he doesn’t, I think he can be an effective starter if his arm is conditioned to go 100pitches every 5 days.

        • @prjeter: Don’t forget about Chapman’s curve. He used it was devastating results in Spring Training, even in the dry Arizona air. He didn’t throw it once as a closer.

        • @prjeter:
          WHat is the most he has ever thrown? Would it not make more sense to have him integrated in as a starter at some point mid-season so he actually could be used for the play-offs. If they start him out in spring training, he probably gets shut down before September.
          I am not sure if this was ever a possibility in 2013 but it would have been the perfect time to do this when Cueto went down.

        • @vicferrari: I like your idea, Vic. Use him as a “fireman” for the first part of the season, pitching 1-2 high leverage innings every few days, let someone else get accustomed to the closer role, then have him start, limiting him to something like 85 pitches for maybe june-july, then take the gloves of august/septebmer. That might keep his innings to down around the 160 or so we see with “young-armed” pitchers.

        • @Greg Dafler: I think Chapman’s problems with closing were from the neck up … tried to gun a 98 past a couple of guys who were looking for 98.

          As well, I think a cocky attitude that was partially deserved often overcame him.

          I think the closer, per se, is overrated. If you have 3-run lead in the 9th, almost everybody will get through that most of the time.

          The problem was, with Dusty and AC … he waited to get the lead in the 9th, overlooking the fact that you have to score some runs before that time.

          Reds were beaten by bad offense, which made misuse of Chapman all the more telling.

        • @Greg Dafler: We’ve been over this ad nauseum, but I would call Chapman an awesome THROWER. He had not demonstrated that he is a pitcher. Perhaps he will. Perhaps he will be a starter with poor control and one secondary pitch whose fastball (keeping the increased workload in mind) is a very hittable 96MPH. Perhaps we’ll find out.

  6. It’s disappointing but I guess not surprising that Dusty lobs a few grenades on his way out of town. So according to the CBS article his son is already picking out other teams. It will be really interesting to see if someone gives him another shot.

    • @vared: It’s what he’s done everywhere else, so why would this time be different. People in SF STILL hate Dusty because of the things he said on his way out of town.

        • @Steve Mancuso: @al: I’m with Al on this. I attended a Reds game in August 2010 in SF and Dusty was loudly booed every time he appeared. He is widely blamed by Giants fans for their loss of the 2002 WS.

          He was cheered last October in SF becauae he’d just come back from a stroke. He was getting cheered then as a person, not as a manager.

          Anecdotally, I know about 6 Giant fans, and they intensely dislike Dusty as a manager and have felt the Reds won’t get to a WS until they fire him.

  7. For me it’s just nice to actually get a sense of what’s been going on this year. I don’t know why everything has to be so secret all the time. For example, now we KNOW that Baker fought Jocketty and Price on Chapman as a closer, and ultimately won.

    Reading that the relationship between Jockeety and Baker was “strained,” I don’t know why it took this long. If one of my subordinates undermined my plans, and took shots at my management as much as Dusty did, I’d have fired him long ago.

    If they hire Price, and he puts in some new coaches, I will once again be very excited about the Reds.

    • @al: Walt plays thing very close to the vest. I admire him for that. IMO, we are very fortunate to have him. From my reading, he brought in Price, not to mention Rolen , Choo, XP, and Latos. Think he had little to do but facilitate Dusty’s desires by acquiring: Izturis, Harris and the like. He will be very quit on the new manager until it is unveiled. Expect the unexpected and “a lot” of changes.

      If John Fay believes Price will be the new manager, than he probably won’t be. Poor John does not have the pulse of the team and proves it time and time, again. He did however know exactly waht to expect from DB.. I recommend the Enquirer take a long look a Steve Mancuso.

        • @Kyle Farmer: All sounds good to me. Really would like to see Steve as a “special Assistant” to Bob C. If Bob would buy into advance statistics; it wouldn’t matter if Walt or anyone else did, for very long anyway.

        • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Every GM in baseball now has a whole team of econ and math majors doing advanced statistics. This could have been another source of conflict between Dusty and WJ.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: I’d beg to differ with you on Fay’s insights into the Reds org. He had Dusty Baker as the leading candidate to be named mgr weeks before anyone else ever even thought he was in the mix (and I believe several had actually written that Baker was not in the mix). He was also the guy who broke the story today as far as I can place it.

        I do agree Fay’s direct line into the front office seems to have slipped some in the last couple of years.

        Where he comes to most his grief is that he doesn’t get out of the box of being a native Cincinnatian and falls into the trap of viewing the team as a “small market” team when in fact Castellini has not behaved like a “small market” owner for the most part.

        • @OhioJim: Very good points as always. Nice call on his insight on hiring Dusty to start with. I just thought he seemed certain that DB would be retained. If he had read the “fans” comments here, The Enquirer, Yahoo, or MLB.com; it had to be that Baker was out. If you lose the fan base, you are taking a huge risk going against their wishes as strongly as they were. I have owned a couple of business and still retain some ownership in one. The customers are your life’s blood and you better listen to them or hard times are ahead.

        • @OhioJim: Yes. 100% agree. The Reds are not acting like a small market team.

          I went to 23 games in ’12. I went to 2 in ’13. I was planning on maybe 1 in ’14. Because the manager was ut of touch with modern baseball and his players didn’t fear failure now I am scraping the money together to buy season tickets with two friends who live in W. Va. and Kettering. Tgey went to a total of 9 games last year.

          The Reds’ (sometimes known as The Cincinnati Reds, depending upon proximity to GABP) market includes at least 6 states.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Not too sure of some fans perspective on a certain member of this blog. There have certainly been some fine points made to be sure, but he’s had plenty of misses as well (check above for an outstanding example).

        We as Reds fans will certainly see those effects come to fruition in the coming months when Homer Bailey becomes a member of the the Texas Rangers or Houston Astros.

    • @al:

      Reading that the relationship between Jockeety and Baker was “strained,” I don’t know why it took this long. If one of my subordinates undermined my plans, and took shots at my management as much as Dusty did, I’d have fired him long ago.

      Al, I truly respect your intelligence, and bet you can answer this yourself.

  8. Can’t think of a better hire for the Reds when the headlines were “Sparky Who?”. The obvious choices are all scattered over this and many other blogs, but lets not be surprised if an unsuspecting name surfaces and history repeats!! Go Reds!

  9. I think, as well, a new manager will bring with him an idea of the type of team that he thinks can win. All managers want “their guys” … and we blasted Dusty for it. I never had a problem with “his guys” if they could win. Debatably, they couldn’t.

    That aside, if a new manager wants a speedy team or a slugging team or small-ball, whatever … he’s going to lobby to get that sort of guy.

    So we might seem some personnel changes, or at least a strategy for that, very soon.

  10. I knew the way he handled the Phillips outburst would came back to bite Baker on the butt. Phillips crapped all over this team this year.

    • @Kurt Frost: While I agree with this comment, I still think BP loves Cincy and wants to win here. I think he lets his frustrations get the better of him which leads to him not going 100% on the field or blowing up at CTR. On the record, I thought the CTR blowup should have netted Philliped 2-3 games of riding the pine, even if that meant Izturis.

      • @Kurt Frost: While I agree with this comment, I still think BP loves Cincy and wants to win here.I think he lets his frustrations get the better of him which leads to him not going 100% on the field or blowing up at CTR. On the record, I thought the CTR blowup should have netted Philliped 2-3 games of riding the pine, even if that meant Izturis.

        You know who I think Phillips loves more than anything? Himself.

  11. I find it so interesting that for as much as Dusty disdains speaking to the media at times, he’s actually quite adept at using it when it suits his own purposes.

  12. I’ll start by saying that I was wrong when I said that Dusty wasn’t going to be fired. As for my opinion on it, I am going to reserve making a judgement until the replacement is announced. I see the organization’s approach for a lot of things and it isn’t particularly encouraging. I’m hoping they use good judgement in hiring a proactive, forward-thinking, replacement. The ideal guy will have a lot of old-school knowledge of the game, hold accountability in high regard without being a tool, be charismatic with the players and to a lesser extent the press; and have an understanding of advanced metrics. I don’t feel going with the math is always the best bet but the math shouldn’t be dismissed. He also needs to understand that with mathematical metrics, sample-size matters.

      • @LWBlogger: That’s wanting everything except the occasional 4-game losing streak. Nobody you get is going to have all those qualities.

        Joe Madden

        • @Kurt Frost: I love Joe Maddon’s approach, but he still does some things we wouldn’t necessarily agree with. Just read an article (great article, BTW: Link below) over on ESPN where he used a 2-21 as a reason to sit James Loney against Ryan Demptster, but ultimately left him in the lineup because of his glove and the fact that the Rays pitcher going that night (Cobb) is a ground ball pitcher.

          Most of the mathematically-minded people would point to a 21 AB sample size as far too small to base decisions on, but Maddon did, even if he ultimatalte changed his mind on it. The fact that he had a logical through progression, however, is what I want the Reds new manager to do. “Sure, he’s 2-21, but are there other parts of the game that make up for it? Ahh! We have a groundball pitcher tonight. Loney can flash the leather. I’ll keep him in.” Some logic is better than no logic! :)

          Link: http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/9727219/a-usual-day-unusual-life-tampa-bay-rays-manager-joe-maddon

        • @prjeter: Anyone they hire is going to do stuff that we disagree with. Wait and see. We wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves if we agreed with the manager. What would happen to Cubs fans if they actually won the world series? Their identity would be shattered. I’d forecast mass hari-kari.

      • @Johnu1: Agreed to an extent. That’s why I said “ideal candidate”. That’s the qualities I’m looking for, not necessarily in that order.

  13. The Reds need a decisive, strong-willed manager who can demand accountability from his players, and extract productivity from them, and who can press the front office to make moves in the off season (and, if necessary, at the trade deadline) to strengthen the club. We don’t need a GM puppet in the Reds’ dugout.

  14. It’ll never happen but I’d love to see the Reds steal Bob Melvin from the A’s. Price and him are best buds. All we’d need is a hitting coach.

  15. Wow, what a ringing endorsement of Price from Arroyo, and what a stinging rebuke of Dusty by Sam LeCure.

    Brandon Phillips has some ‘splainin’ to do.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: Phillips has been vocal about “clubhouse” culture dating back to his displeasure of special treatment for Josh Hamilton. Then it was Dunn/Griffey. Most recently, it was about his most recent contract, both the amount and how the team signed Votto first. After a while, maybe you realize that it’s not everyone else?

      • @Greg Dafler: I could see BP being moved and with 100 rbi, there will be interested parties. The contract will be an albatross around the team’s neck if it isn’t already.

  16. Frankly, I found Baker’s comments in the Heyman piece to be classless. I didn’t see one nice word about his players–in fact, he kind of threw them under the bus with the “student” and “teacher” comment.

    By the way, despite the tone of Heyman’s piece, “if you want to fire someone, fire me” isn’t nearly the same as “if you fire him, I quit.” The latter is heroic and principled, the former not so much. This may also be why Dusty’s version of things and Castellini’s are at odds: Dusty wants to believe his line about Jacoby is what got him fired, but the reality is he got fired for the reasons cited by Bob C. I certainly don’t see any reflection or willingness to own up to any of his own mistakes in Dusty’s remarks.

    Separately, I have no doubt Dusty was receiving racially-motivated hatred, and that is absolutely despicable.

    • @Eric the Red: I totally agree, Dusty seems immune to accountability to the end. I don’t know that I remember a single time in his tenure where he actually owned up to doing something, anything wrong.

      He always seems very willing to blame players, GMs, the media, and even fans for the problems and “negativity” around his teams.

      No one is perfect. If you can’t admit to a mistake in a year like this, even if there’s plenty of blame to go around, you have a problem.

  17. I don’t know, but I kinda think Dusty could have a job somewhere next season if he wanted. There are plenty of teams who are where the Reds were 7 years ago, and who’d like to be where the Reds are now. Seattle, say? Houston?

    Of course, that could be mitigated somewhat by his age, and even further if he muddies the water with a lot of angry sniping over the next few days.

    • @RC: Houston won’t hire him. The Astros are “all in” with using advanced metrics in player eval and in-game strategy. Dusty wouldn’t be a good hire for them. I still feel Dusty has strengths and he’d be a good hire for someone. I just don’t see it being the Astros with their philosophy.

      • @LWBlogger: I think the last thing the Astros want to do at this point is piddle around with a managerial change. I would guess Bo Porter is a guy who is leading the horse to water … man, that guy had to be crying in his sleep with that outfit.

        Seattle is a lot like the Reds were — they still haven’t decided what type of team they want. But they have a lot of youth on the field.

  18. Winners:
    Chapman (gets to maximize his talent)
    Mesoraco
    Votto
    Paul
    Marshall
    Hamilton

    Losers:
    Chapman (if he still wants to close)
    Hanigan
    Heisey
    Ondrusek
    Phillips

    • @Sultan of Swaff: I think the entire bench concept will change, so that puts the reserve specialist in the loser’s row. All the same, a reserve player for cheap is fairly important.

      I would sincerely hope that the Reds commit to finding a real outfielder and stop the bizarre platoon buffoonery — does anybody remember how many LF’ers we’ve had since Dunn left?

    • @Sultan of Swaff: Don’t care what Chapman wants to do – that IS and HAS been the problem – players – not management running the ship. That ‘country club’ attitude has to go – NOW. And here’s hoping the Reds choose their next manager with a set of brass ones.

  19. Some upcoming dates that just became a little bit more important for the Reds.

    Oct. 23, 2013–day the World Series begins.
    The day after the WS ends–eligible players become free agents.
    5 days after the WS ends–last adte for former club to tender a Qualifying Offer to their FA player, and last date to reinstate players from the 60-day DL.
    6 days after WS ends–FA can sign with all clubs.
    12 days after WS ends–last date for FA players to accept Qualifying Offer from former club.
    Nov. 20, 2013–New 40-man rosters filed with MLB.
    Dec. 2, 2013–Tender deadline. Non-tenders become FA.
    Dec. 9-12, 2013–The Winter Meetings. Lake Buena Vista, FL (Disney World).

    We got an early jump on the hot stove league with today’s announcement.

    • @WVRedlegs: If you want to talk about free agency with the Reds, how do you think it will shake out?

      I think they only get to keep 2 of the following players:
      Choo
      Arroyo
      Bailey
      Latos (for an an extension)

      Will the Reds really push to sign Choo and Bailey to damage chances of Cincinnati keeping Arroyo, or do you think they’ll wave the flag on Choo, sign all three pitchers to deals of varying lengths, then try to trade a differnt pitcher for an outfielder and another arm?

      In a perfect world the Reds could get someone like Bautista, Tulo, or Beltran, but I don’t know what the trade/FA market is for right handed outfielders, which is the only real hole in the Reds lineup (as long as you can swallow an outfielder, the SS, the 3B, and maybe 2B and C hitting below league average).

      I guess one pro of being out early is enough time to find a new manager and staff and work on contracts now?

      • @RichmondRed: If we’re playing pick two, I go with Arroyo and Latos. I fear Choo is a pipe dream and Bailey could get a nice return. I’m telling you, there are plenty of pitchers from 1-5 on the market. The Reds could do very nicely with a guy like Roberto Hernandez. He’s a solid #4 and if Price gets a hold of him, could be a #3.

        • @TC: I just don’t see what you’re seeing in Hernandez. He doesn’t miss enough bats. His fastball is on par with Leake’s. His change-up is decent but there isn’t enough of a velocity drop for it to be very good. His breaking offering rolls up to the plate. One the plus side, he has decent command and keeps the ball down pretty well. Still, I’d pass.

      • @RichmondRed: Keep in mind that quality MLB seasoned pitchers are a whole lot harder to find than a LF.

        While Choo is an exceptional talent, I think I’d wager on letting him go IF the choice was retaining Latos and Bailey.

        Further, until I see what a real hitting coach can bring in, I don’t know for sure if I’m willing to give up on Chris Heisey. He brings a lot of energy to the ballpark.

        And maybe it’s Frazier who goes to LF … but he’s a Gold Glove 3B (I doubt many will agree with that.) Just wish he could hit. (Reprise comment about hitting coach.)

        • @Johnu1: Agree with much of your comment, it seems to me the cost of keeping Choo/Arroyo vs extending the trio of Bailey, Latos, Leake. Latos, Leake, and Cueto are all up for free agency after 2015, Bailey after 2014. If reds keep Choo, it will be at cost for Bailey/Latos/Leake. One of them likely be traded from $$ constraints. Hopefully Cingrani/Corcino/Stephenson are ready to step in.

          Frazier I still think has a chance to step up as 2014 will be his 3rd full year in bigs. Though he will likel have short peak window with being 28 to start 2014 season. :(

        • @Johnu1: I actually do agree with you about Frazier–at least that he is an excellent 3rd baseman (don’t put a lot of stock in gold gloves). He’d probably hit about the same in LF, unless a new hitting coach helps change his approach.

  20. As someone who has been involved in letting employees go, I know too well that the one being fired usually concocts a reason for their firing unrelated to the real one. It is highly improbable that BC and WJ – experienced businessmen – would fire Dusty over Jacoby. Heyman clearly is just trying to make himself look like the guy who got the “real reason” Dusty was fired.

  21. Man, the Heyman article is staggering. Dusty is very good at using the media and now he’s really showing a lack of class heading out the door. So, Dusty’s out because the players are no good and Cincy is racist. Pretty much sums it up.

    • @Kyle Farmer: Yeah, that’s the way I see it. Sort of unfortunate. I work with a retired Army LTC who grew up in San Fran and is a huge Giants fan. He told me his opinion about Dusty and said that Dusty used race in SF, also, to attempt to deflect blame from his poor decision making. I don’t doubt he received racially charged comments, because there are still many folks in this country stuck in the stone ages, but to even bring that up in a commentary about baseball is folly, in my book. It seems like a ploy to distract attention away from his inability to make decisions that would put his team in a good position to win baseball games. My two-cents!

    • @Kyle Farmer: I’m not sure how Dusty is behaving unclassy, seems to me he was extremely classy standing up for a subordinate. Dusty didn’t have anything to gain in that situation, he was just doing what he thought was right. That’s pretty admirable in my opinion.

      I also don’t really think Dusty owes the organization anything once he is fired, he should be able to tell his side of the story.

      That said, Heyman is a hack. A week made a big difference in this specific case. Heyman: “Oops!”

      • @CP: It may be going to far to say “classless,” but his comments don’t make me think any better of him, that’s for sure.

        Really, it’s the comments about not having the team to win, and the players being the problem, and then bringing in the race element.

        Does it suck that he gets nasty emails? Sure. But I think it’s safe to say that every big league manager does. And all the black/hispanic ones probably get racist ones. Why trot it out at this point?

        Why not just say, I didn’t get it done here, I appreciate the opportunity, and I’m ready to try again?

        • @al: I agree completely with your last sentence. I would not have advised Dusty to say what he said, but fired people say dumb stuff. But I also think managers have an incentive to get their side of the story out given the amount of leverage/power teams have to get their side out. The Red Sox & Francona situation is the best (and most extreme) example.

          Regarding the racist stuff, I cannot agree. I think suggesting Dusty should keep quiet about how idiots treat him is wrong. Dusty is what, one of 2 African American managers (possibly zero after this year?) Personally, I think Dusty should publicly display the idiots’ email addresses/actual addresses.

      • @CP: He didn’t “stand up for a subordinate.” This is standing up for a subordinate: “if you fire him, I quit.” This is grandstanding: “if you want to fire someone, fire me.”

        • @Eric the Red: Right, I can see how telling your boss to fire you instead of one of your employees is grandstanding…

          If there is a grandstanding component, it’s telling the media what he did, but I think MLB organizations have such a disproportionate ability to get “their side” out to the media that I understand why a manager would want to tell his story. For example, what the Red Sox did to Francona.

        • @CP: “If you fire him, I quit” is a way to try and save your subordinate (if you’re so valuable/irreplaceable/untouchable that your threat to leave gives your employer no choice but to keep your subordinate), or a principled stand where you say in essence “I refuse to be a part of this if you fire him”.

          Dusty–and you–know perfectly well that if Jocketty wanted to fire Jacoby, and fires Dusty first, then Jacoby will still end up getting fired. So “if you want to fire someone, fire me”, is grandstanding; telling a reporter about it to try and leave the impression that you tried to protect your subordinate with this statement is really really grandstanding.

  22. lots has happened in the last six hours since the first announcement. I think one thing is true… whether dusty gets another managerial job depends on how he acts in the next couple of days.

    lots of names tossed around. at 8am… l;ike everyone else… my first thoughts are price…morgan and larking. just not riggleman.
    with the wisdom an additrional 6 hours brings…. I figure that maddon and Melvin are the best managers in the game… they get the most from less. thety are both under contract for another year and we won’t get a whiff. perhaps martinez has learned thru osmosis. I am sure walt and bob will both call larussa. that would tighten some sphincters.
    if you are really thinking outside the box… and matheny and mattingly are still playing while we are not…. what about scott rolen?

  23. I’ve been advocating for Bryan Price to take over this team (though I certainly think there are other excellent candidates out there, some of whom I’m not the least bit aware of). But the comments from Arroyo and LeCure make me think even more strongly that he would be excellent. I wouldn’t mind that Bob Melvin / Bryan Price tandem either – it makes me wonder if Price might not go lobby Melvin to leave Oakland and come join the Reds. Either way this is exciting news, and I love what I’m hearing from the players about their priorities and their perceptions of Baker and Price. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

    Two unrelated notes. The only other coach I would keep would be Mark Barry. You don’t appreciate how much a good third base coach matters until you get to see the alternative (in this case, Chris Speier). Finally, a great big hell no to anyone who had anything to negative to say about Dusty Baker that relates to race. Whoever you are, wherever you are, pipe down and go crawl back under your rock. I don’t approve of Baker slinging mud on his way out of town, and I don’t approve of anyone attacking him based on his race or any other personal details as he leaves. Thank you Dusty Baker, and good luck.

    • @Chris DeBlois: While I’m sure that Melvin and Price would like to work together, Melvin has a great thing going in Oakland. More chance of him getting Price to come to Oakland as pitching coach if he doesn’t get the job.

  24. Wow, just read the Heyman article. So much for journalistic objectivity. I don’t doubt Baker’s received hate mail, even racial hate-mail and that’s awful and obviously indefensible. However, Jon Heyman glosses over some pretty glaring facts. Not the least of which being Baker’s ineptitude in the post-season. I am a firm believer he managed us right out of the playoffs last year and his lack of urgency was again on display this year. These are things that have nothing to do with sabermetrics or fan outrage. These are tactical blunders that have cost the Reds the chance to move on in the playoffs. I liked Dusty as a person. He seemed thoughtful and interesting. Except of course when it came to baseball where he was stuck in a different century in terms of strategy. I give Dusty his due for the Reds recent resurgence, but his arrival happened to coincide with a surge of talent to the major league team the likes of which hadn’t been seen in many years. I’d be curious to see what, say, Pete Mackanin would have done with the kind of players Dusty had to work with. (Let’s not forget that Wayne Krivsky deserves a lot of credit as well: He drafted Homer Bailey, Jay Bruce, Zach Cozart, Todd Frazier, Devin Mesoraco, traded for Brandon Phillips and Bronson Arroyo and signed Johnny Cueto) Dusty had better pieces than any manager since Jack McKeon and he definitely had better pitching. It’s also worth noting that in the years we didn’t make the playoffs under, we had losing records.

    Many will point to the terrible night Brandon, Joey and Bruce had against Pittsburgh and that’s all fair and true, but I’ve always been of the mind that a manager can only manage what is in his control and when it came to this Dusty failed consistently. He could control when he took Cueto out (and Latos and Leake last year for that matter). He could control whether or not to bring in Logan Ondrusek over, well anyone else quite frankly. Aside from the malaise that seemed to settle over this team following the LA series, his abilities to properly manage a game were his biggest shortcoming and this is why (along with the public relations benefits) I think his firing was not only justified, but necessary.

    • Another thing I forgot to mention that others have is they way he not so subtly blames his players in the article. While he may in fact be right, it comes across as petty, shallow and completely unprofessional. He’s the manager. If he’s not in charge of and held accountable for team performance, what is he in charge of? He’s done this before and I found it off-putting then, especially when compared to other managers, such as Matheny of the Cardinals, who seem to have no issue accepting blame for bad play, whether it’s his fault or not.

    • Wow, just read the Heyman article. So much for journalistic objectivity…However, Jon Heyman glosses over some pretty glaring facts.

      If you are looking for objectivity don’t ready Heyman. Heyman is nothing but a mouthpiece for his sources (especially Scott Boras).

  25. Reading baker’s quotes, it’s clear that he thinks he didn’t have the team to win. I agree with Baker that the Reds should have at least blocked the Byrd deal, but the front office clearly thinks these team had plenty of talent to win if managed correctly. I agree with that as well.

    • @al: If Dusty felt that WJ should have picked up Marlon Byrd, he was proven right on that point. WJ seemed to be counting on a miracle from Ryan Ludwick. Ludwick was injured the first game of the season, there was plenty of time to adjust to that reality and WJ didn’t.

      My bottom line though is not altered by this. If it’s a choice between letting WJ or Dusty go, the obvious choice is Dusty.

  26. So I see now Heyman has edited his CBS article after the Reds deny portions of the original version. Sounds about right.

  27. That Heyman article is a really poorly edited piece of writing–I hope it gets cleaned up to the point where it’s readable. But anyway, the most unsettling/enlightening moment in it is the quotation from Baker: “I think we overachieved.” I don’t think very many folks in Redleg nation agree with that.

  28. Walt J. will have extra incentive in 2014 to go further in the playoffs. No standing pat at the trading deadline next year unless the Reds are 10 games in first place and healthy. I’m NOT surprised Dusty burned bridges on his way out, he could never accept blame. He would say our guys need to hit/pitch/field better or our guys need to play better/smarter/harder or we’ll get them tomorrow/next series/next year. Never once did he own up to it and admit he was out-coached or he should have pulled the pitcher out of the game sooner or he shouldn’t have changed the lineup so many times. Good luck to the next team that gives Mr. Baker a job.

  29. To be fair Jocketty does deserve his fair share of the blame. Putting Ceasar Izturis on any major league team is a display of gross negligence. Also the way he seemed to more or less chicken out on converting Chapman to a starter. And the inactivity that was shown at the deadline and in the weeks after. However, I don’t think the problem is with the GM. I think it was with the manager.

    What I do fear is that the Reds hire someone who shares the same backwards, uninformed ideas about baseball strategy with Dusty. i.e. lineup construction, plate approach and bullpen usage. We don’t just need a culture change, we need a tactical change.

  30. I guess it’s my turn for an opinion on how the Reds should go forward.

    I am all for Price as the coach after reading Arroyo’s comments. I’m not going to even think Giradi will come here, nor do I think we will attempt to snatch a top caliber manager from another club.

    I would like to hope that with the Dusty firing, the theories he brought to the ballpark will go away as well. For example, and in my opinion the biggest one is eliminating the pitcher and catcher linkage. If that doesn’t allow us to resign Arroyo, fine. There is no reason Mesoraco sits against LH pitching. None. I don’t dislike Hanigan, but if for some reason he becomes the Sunday afternoon catcher, no complaints here. Mesoraco can become a big bat and would slide in nice between Votto and Bruce in the 3-hole (more on that to come).

    I also would like to see the Reds make a serious run at Choo. If not him, then make a splash with someone that can bring that winning attitude similar to Martin with the Pirates. What’s the feeling for Curtis Granderson? He could launch 40+ in GABP, right?

    I also would love to see Price lead the way just because how well he transformed Manny Parra this year. Picture a year or two with him working with Chapman and Cingrani.

    So back to the bold statement earlier of Mesoraco in the 3-hole. In no way am I stating that’s how it should be for opening day, but if this Joey Votto from this year is the Joey Votto of the future, make him the two hole hitter and make Jay Bruce the cleanup guy. Think of how many more ABs and how many more runs will be created from that movement. Slide a big bat between them and have BP lead off (if Choo can’t be retained)? I think that would work? I’m not paid to make the decision though. I’d pay to see it get tested out.

    To summarize, firing Dusty is only the start to this change. If we still follow the bunt crazy, hit the worst guy in the 2-hole, etc. mindset, then why did we fire him?

  31. You know, I seem to remember Dusty talking about free agents he would be attracting to play in Cincy.

    I think the attraction was Walt on any that we pulled in.

    Maybe Dusty could go to a Seattle or Houston with low payroll and pull in major free agent talent. He didn’t do it here, but maybe he could elsewhere

  32. The comments about the way Dusty can use the media to his benefit when needed are interesting. I can’t help but think back to spring training when it was the day before when the Reds would announce their plans for Chapman, and lo and behold Chapman makes a comment to a reporter that he actually prefers to close over being a starter. That seemed at the time to be the deciding factor in the decision. Can’t help but think now that Baker set that whole thing in motion to get that outcome. If it really happened that way, you know that just had to burn WJ’s cookies.

  33. Jay Bruce says Dusty had a lot to do with the recent Reds success. Hmm. Hey Jay, I love you man, but did Dusty hit over RBIs this year? No you did. Did Dusty get on base almost half the time? No Votto did. Did Dusty play defensive with style and grace? No Phillips did. Did Dusty throw any no-hitters? No Bailey did. Did Dusty become the ace of the pitching staff and runner up to the Cy Young aware last year? No Cueto did.

    You guys all emerged at the beginning of Baker’s tenure. You are the reason for the recent success. And I feel Dusty held you all back a little. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I am.

    • @TC: If Jay Bruce says Dusty deserves a little credit for his personal success, exactly what information do you have that would hold more weight than his?

      • @Sultan of Swaff: Bruce remains a classy guy. If I were Dusty and heard that one of my players had said that, it would mean a lot to me. Bruce doesn’t seem the sort who will say anything he doesn’t mean.

    • @TC: you’re not wrong. Dusty was their friend though, and no one is going to say anything bad about the guy who just got fired. I was actually a little surprised that LeCure went as far as saying that there were things Dusty did that he didn’t agree with.

      Given the circumstance, that’s pretty harsh actually.

      • @al: LeCure may have been the mouthpiece for many of the Reds players who simply by their nature were unwilling to slam the door on a manager that just got justifiably axed.

        My personal kudos goes out to LeCure for his fine display of leadership characteristics – the Reds need more players like him not less. And in my book, he or Broxton is next year’s closer as Chapman is installed as a Red’s SP (whether he likes it or not is totally irrelevant).

    • @TC: Jay Bruce was talking about 2010 and I can understand why he felt that Dusty helped the Reds then, and maybe Dusty did.

      That was a mostly young group who didn’t know early in the season how good they were. They were playing like crap and Dusty held a meeting where he lit into them for playing sloppy and lazy baseball.

      Ramon Hernandez made a hilarious (to me) statement afterwards: “Losing bothers Dusty so much, it makes him feel really bad. We have to start winning now.”

      And they did.

  34. It’s interesting the way players want to give credit to Baker for their success, but at the same time they’ll insist he had nothing to do with the poor play down the stretch. I appreciate guys standing up for each other, but pick a lane folks. Either Baker is able to affect things or he isn’t. He can’t be responsible for all the hits but somehow have nothing to do with all the striekouts, inability to move runners over, inability to hit a fly ball when you need one, etc.

  35. All any of these talking heads like Heyman, etc. need to know is one really telling stat. . .

    Dusty Baker was 46 games over .500 in his managerial career with the Reds, and he is 58 games over .500 against the Cubs, Astros(no games this year) and Milwaukee in the last 5 years! 37-44 vs. St. Louis.

    End of argument. . . for anyone who thinks this was a mistake

  36. I’m so happy today!!! I got a text from a friend at 7:17 AM (I live on the west coast) letting me know Dusty was fired. I was still in bed. I literally jumped out of bed with joy.

    I use to post on this blog a good bit. But this season have only posted maybe once or twice. Going into the season I knew there was little chance of the Reds doing much as long as Dusty was running the show. I still watched most Reds non-day games but was never excited. Spending the 1st half of the season with that awful lineup construction and even worse in-game management pushed me away from the Reds even more.

    simply it has hard being a Reds fan. I’ve drifted further and further away every year because of Dusty.

    I AM HAPPY!!!!!!!

    clog these bases a@#$%#$^%#$^%#$

    • @mike: glad to see you back, i used to like your posts a lot.

      and i 100% feel you. dusty baker made each game a little less fun to watch. not because i blame him for everything that happened on this team, but constantly doing the same dumb things, and then calling out the fans for not getting it. it was too much.

      • @al: I’m ready to get EXCITED about next year!!! Votto, Hamilton, Bruce, Frazier, Cozart, Mesoraco, Latos, Bailey, Cueto, Leake, Chapman and Cingrani are a nice core

        I think the Reds should sign Choo and let Arroyo walk. Then try and find some bullpen help.

        who are the Reds free agents (can’t believe I’m excited enough to start thinking about next year)?
        Izturis, Choo, Arroyo and Masset?

    • @mike: i felt the same way. I read it a lot, for there are a lot of interesting folks who post and espeially the guys who run it, but i just could’t get into them with Baker as manager.

    • @mike: After three seasons, I am finally looking forward to opening day at GABP again! The fun and excitement are back at the ballyard. Where does the line form and is it too early to start camping out at the stadium? Three long years, but I’m back at GABP for 2014. Thanks Big Bob and Uncle Walt.

      • @BloodyHo: This is really how I want to look at it. I’m exhausted thinking about and discussing Dusty’s faults. I am looking at it like you stated. Excited about the Reds next year!!

        I think the Reds only have one big problem. IF they were to sign Choo can they really have that many lefties?

        Hamilton
        Choo
        Votto
        Frazier
        Bruce
        Phillips
        Mesoraco
        Cozart

        Thing is…Reds gain 2-3 wins just by getting Choo’s very poor CF defense out of CF and in LF

        • @mike: If Uncle Walt loves his job (and I believe he does), he’s going to have a blast this offseason. If the Reds can swing a $90MM for 6 years with Choo, I hope the Reds grab that ring and fire up the locomotive, but I really think Choo will get $100MM+ for 5 years so take the draft pick and wave goodbye. I don’t think Hamilton is ready for the show and even if he has a spendid spring training, he needs to refine his stroke in AAA for more power and better plate discipline.

          There are absolutely no quality RH power hitters available through FA and overpaying for a FA is not how the Reds need to build their roster. If the Reds are going to get the bat they need, they must trade for it and the only thing the Reds have available in quality and quantity for the kind of hitter they need is pitching. The good news is that the Reds might get creative and sign one or two back-end starters as FA to allow them to trade a Leake or Bailey without gutting their rotation depth. Then the Reds have the Chapman factor to handle again. At this point in Chapman’s career, I don’t care if he starts, relieves or is traded. The Reds just need to get real value from him.

          Man, I’m already stoked for the hot stove league and spring training and the playoffs have only just begun.

    • @mike: Hi Mike, you’ve been missed ! We’ve talked several times about it. In particular, when we want information that’s hard to look up, someone will say: Hey what happened to Mike ?

    • @seat101: On the one hand, Gene Mauch was a lot smarter than Dusty. On the other, his late 1964 meltdown was worse than anything Dusty has done.

  37. If it is going to be Price, they should get him signed soon. Leave the job search open until Monday and if that spectacular person hasn’t reached out to Castellini or WJ by then, name Price. If its Price, no need to keep the search open and drag it out for 3 weeks or so. That way get the staff in place ASAP. Player evaluations can be completed during the playoffs. Player evaluations can be started on any target trade acquisitions or FA targets. They can hit the ground running when the World Series ends. and

    • @WVRedlegs: The credible thing to do, in light of the big to-do a few years ago with the ARod signing during the World Series, is to leave these announcements for after the post-season. So I would not expect a public announcement until early November, though I would guess the Reds already have their man. Maybe somebody ought to check the help wanted section of the Enquirer.

        • @pinson343: I don’t know if it’s policy but I would think MLB would prefer that the focus be on what they are trying to sell. Clearly, they can’t keep agents off of Twitter. But I believe front offices are mostly in line with saving their spotlight until the W.S. is over.

  38. RLN favorite Madden left Moore in to get shelled in the 4th inning. What was a 2-0 Ray lead is now a 5-2 deficit. I like Madden but wondering why he left Moore out there. It was a slow, steady inning too. It wasn’t like a couple hits and then a blast all of a sudden.

      • @al: Regular season sure given its Moore with his talent but not in context of the playoffs and what was transpiring in the game.

  39. Moore is gassed and at 102 pitches. Even after a Napoli double, he’s still out there after an intentional BB to our old friend Johnny Gomes.

  40. Assuming we are out of the $$ race for Choo, what about DeJesus? He would be a lot cheaper, could cover CF in case Hamilton isn’t ready or left if he is, and always seems to be a pesky hitter. Certainly not Choo, but I would rather have Bailey/Latos long term than Choo.

    • @Redgoggles: How about Brett Gardner from the Yanks? He just finished a 1yr-$2.8M contract. He’s a lifetime .352 OBP guy who plays better defense than Choo. We could probably sign him for pretty cheap if we wanted a stop-gap/utility OF to give Billy some more time in AAA.

      • @prjeter: Looks like DeJesus has a $6.5M club option for 2014. He’s a career .353 OBP, so right there with Gardner. He’s consistently been between a max of 3.9 WAR (2005) and a low of 1.3 WAR (2012) in his full seasons. He’s 4 years older than Gardner, so I’d suspect he might be a 2 WAR player, whereas Gardner is more likely to be a 3 WAR player for probably $1M to $2M less.

      • @prjeter: He’s still Arb eligible in 2014, so it would have to be a trade. I can’t imagine the yankees trading him either, since they are losing so many people.

        • @al: Good point on Gardner. If the main objective would be to replace Choo with someone cheap who does well against LHP (to maybe balance our lineup a bit), you’ve got the following (MLB Leaders in OPS against LHP)

          Andrew McC (1.130 OPS)
          Carlos Gomez (1.001)
          Mike Trout (.954)
          Dexter Fowler (.860)
          Desmond Jennings (.857)
          Will Venable (.833)
          Justin Ruggiano (.833)
          Alejandro De Aza (.816)
          AJ Pollack (.811)

          Some of those guys are untouchable, of course, but Fowler and below might be possible to get. Of the people on that list who would be attainable, Will Venable has the least variance in his LHP/RHP splits, so he could probably play every day.

    • @Redgoggles: I think it’s going to be Hamilton. He impressed enough while he was up to get actual starts and make the post-season roster.

      Dusty wasn’t going to start him in the WC game, but he probably should have.

      I would still love to see them get Choo for left and try to move Ludwick, or just treat him as a sunk cost and hope he helps the bench. That’s going to cost a lot though, so they’ll probably just take the draft pick on Choo, which isn’t the worst thing, since we need to restock the farm system.

      • @al: This is probably the easiest route, for sure. How about brining in Kenny Lofton as a bench coach to help Hamilton with slap hitting and bunts? Hmmmmmm.

        • @prjeter: I certainly hope they get a good coach for him, although he looked pretty good at both of those to me already :)

          I think that’s why he changed so many minds actually. Hamilton clearly needs to develop his actual hitting more. When he’s 26 or 27, if he continues to progress, I expect him to be hitting 10+ HRs and a lot of extra base hits. Hard liners etc. Right now, he might not do that that much.

          But watching him in limited time this year, it’s so hard to get him out when he puts the ball in play at all, and if he gets on 90% of the time he’s going to be on second. That makes him valuable enough to start to me.

        • @al: I agree. Barring a disastrous spring training, I think Billy should be starting in CF if the Reds don’t want/can’t re-sign Choo.

          Someone with his basestealing ability, even with a .310 OBP or so, would be as valuable as someone with around a .350 OBP, I’d say, which is plenty good to start and lead-off the lineup.

          What will be interesting is if Votto has to make adjustments (because he’ll be batting 2nd, right!?) to help Billy on the basepaths.

        • @prjeter: I nee dto amend my statement. Billy should be starting CF even if we re-sign Choo! Choo can go to LF and Ludwick can ride the pine and get to know Chris Heisey very personally. Let XP walk or trade him for whatever we can get.

        • @prjeter: It’s funny, I agree that Votto should be batting second, but only because the numbers say that’s where your best hitter should hit, not because I think he’s become some sort of table setter only.

          He did still lead the team in SLG too afterall.

  41. “In Walt we trust!” Time for Walt to do his magic again with Shin-Soo Choo. $20 million/yr. for 5 years might get it done. After all, we’ll probably lose Arroyo and free up his $16.445/yr. contract. Choo is already making $7.375/yr. I understand they have other expenses with arbitration and FA signings but I feel it is imperative to lock up Choo for the foreseeable future. I pray if he does leave he goes to the American league. This guy is a great all around player that may come back to haunt us if we let him walk.

    • @Benchwarmer: If we do keep him, which I hope we do, I’m hoping the new manager won’t bat him 1 or 2 against lefties. His OBP was nice due to a high amount of bean balls, yes, but batting .215 with .238 slugging (IIRC) againt lefties is pretty poor. Him being down at #7 in front of Zack would be nice.

    • @Benchwarmer: The crazy thing is how good he would be in left. If you just got average defense from him (instead of terrible defense) he would have been the most valuable player on the team, and one of the most valuable in the league.

    • @Benchwarmer: It seems like the biggest thing people seem to think will hold the Reds back in re-signing Choo is money, but I think the Reds are more willing to dish it out than people think. I think the biggest obstacle could be the contract length. I think that could play as big a role, if not bigger considering he is already 31.

  42. I think the Reds might be able to give Arroyo a qualifying offer and have him turn it down for a multi-year deal in SF. If they do that, and the same with Choo, that would give the Reds 3 first round picks next year. that could go a long way towards getting the farm system back in order.

    • @al: So many good possibilities! Let’s hope the front office spins some magic. All of a sudden, excitement for 2014 and beyond abounds!

  43. With the change to that conversation happening last week–which Heyman doesn’t say in his correction–the whole “Dusty would still be manager if he agreed to the firing of Jacoby” story goes from “not exactly” to “complete fabrication.”

    I’m not sure what’s more amusing, though: Dusty’s contention that the team overachieved this year, or Heyman’s “[Dusty] hasn’t quite won the big one….” Yes, and we haven’t quite discovered unicorns, and water hasn’t quite replaced gasoline as a fuel for our cars. Quite how Heyman could write that with a straight face is quite beyond me.

    • @Eric the Red: Dusty, renaissance man or not, has always been one of the least reliable managers when it came to handling a pitching staff – seconded only by his stubbornness and thirdly by his sheer lack of decisiveness. His reaction to the BP scenario simply brought to light that no one was home running the asylum.

  44. If we don’t keep Choo any realistic chance in trading Ludwick and Cozart to the Brewers for Jean Segura .294/.329/.423/.752 and Will Venable .268/.312/.484/.796. We could possibly throw in Heisey as well or eat some of Ludwick’s contract. Segura could bat behind Hamilton and in front of Votto. Hard to believe the Brewers would go for this but think of the SPEED!!!!!

    • @Benchwarmer: hey, it’s fun to dream, but I think I can hear the Brewers GM laughing at this from here. And I live in CA.

      First off, Segura was one of their most valuable players this year, a rookie, an all-star, a fan favorite, and just generally good. Why would they trade that, for two average to below average guys that are older and making more money? Forget Venable, they wouldn’t touch that deal in a million years for Segura alone.

      Remember, the last tie Segura was traded was for Greinke, and now he’s an established big league all-star.

      If we’re going to trade Ludwick it’s going to be for a C+ prospect and a few million bucks. It would only be done to clear salary and space to let Choo play left.

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