The View from Afghanistan

The ball is in Uncle Walt’s hands

[This post was written by John Ring, who is the Nation's correspondent from Afghanistan, where he is serving the entire nation.]

It got to the point where the Reds had no choice. Dusty Baker had to go.

It was bad enough the Reds limped to the finish line, losing their last five games to settle comfortably in third place. It was bad enough they filled out the last position slot available. But the Reds 6-2 defeat to the Pirates was truly all Reds fans could take.

The turning point for me was when Dusty sat awkwardly and looked on helpless when Brandon Phillips went into a tirade against a sportswriter. That was it for me. What respect I had for Dusty Baker was gone after that debacle.

An admission: I like Dusty Baker and have said before, he would be a great guy to go out with, have a few beers and talk baseball. I won’t preach to the Nation about how frustrating Baker had become, the lineups, the endless series of bunts, the lethargic “no sense of urgency” that drove us all crazy.

But now the big question is: who’s next?

Several names have already been mentioned, including Reds pitching coach Bryan Price, Triple AAA Manager Jim Riggleman, Cubs third base coach David Bell, Reds coach Chris Speier, and Barry Larkin.

Some of them are intriguing. Others scare the hell out of me. Walt Jocketty has a huge decision to make and you can bet the Reds won’t take long to name their new manager.

We all know Price’s track record as a pitching coach. But not many pitching coaches make great managers. I can think of Bud Black, currently, and that’s about it. And if the Reds hire Price, do we weaken two positions?

I want no part of Riggleman. He came off as a crybaby in his exit from Washington and as a quitter. We can do better than that. The Nation deserves better than that.

I used to think Speier would be a good manager. As a player, he was a fiery type of player who hustled and made the most of his abilities. But would he become Dusty Lite?

The Reds job would be Bell’s first at the big league level. And yeah, I know it was the same for Sparky Anderson when he was hired after the 1969 season. Like Bell and Jocketty, Sparky had a track record with Bob Howsam in the minor leagues. How would the veteran Reds players react to Bell’s hiring? Is this the guy to take us to the next level?

So now comes the two, in my mind, intriguing choices: Barry Larkin and Tony LaRussa.

Hiring Larkin is very similar to what the White Sox did with Robin Ventura. Or what the Cardinals did with Mike Matheny, although Larkin’s a Hall of Fame player. Larkin has a lot of positives; he’s a native Cincinnatian, would command instant respect from the players, young players would listen to him (you would think) and from a PR standpoint, it would be great for the Reds. He’s a former MVP who played on a championship team in an important position.

And now to the “X” factor: LaRussa.

Like most Reds fans, I don’t like LaRussa very much. He’s easy to dislike. He’s a lawyer and a vegetarian. And he always appears, you know, arrogant as hell. The one time he got pulled over for a DUI, he was drinking wine. Wine?

But despite these negatives, (1) La Russa is a proven winner and (2) he has a history with Jocketty and Bob Castellini. Yes, he has stated he doesn’t want to manage again, but who knows? What would the reaction of the Rhineland be if LaRussa was hired?

No matter who the choice is, I’d bet the Reds do it well before RedsFest in December. They will do their best to drum up interest in this annual event, especially after losing the final six games of the 2013 season.

So of the mentioned candidates listed above, my choice would be Larkin, unless a guy like Mike Scioscia emerges into the picture, I can’t even pick a guy from this crop as a runner-up. And please don’t mention bringing back Sweet Lou, due to his burnout managing the Cubs before he retired. True, it was the Cubs who burned him out. But if you think Dusty was laid back in 2013, Lou was even worse before he quit.

For now, our mantra has to be, “In Walt we trust.”

92 thoughts on “The ball is in Uncle Walt’s hands

  1. I still say if you go for a former player with no managing experience, you have to look at Scott Rolen. The thing about Barry that worries me is I have heard him make quite a few comments on tv over the years about not doing certain things out of respect for what the player has done. I think as a manager, you have to respect what a player has done, but you make decisions on what he can do now.

  2. I would actually support LaRussa’s hiring. From the standpoint of a fan, it would sting a little. But thinking logically, he makes sense for the Reds.

    I still think that part of the hatred between the Reds and Cardinals stemmed from Baker’s dislike of LaRussa. I actually dislike the Pirates more than I do the Cards at this point, simply due to their arrogance. The Cards, except for the WLB moments (which came often), strike me as a more professional organization, and I attribute part of that to LaRussa.

    I know that I’m in the minority, and I’ll take my licks; however, I believe that it would be a wise decision in the end.

    • @rhayex: I hate to be the one to give you your licks, but I have never disagree with a comment more than this one.

      First, LaRussa. No! No! No! No! No! That just about takes care of that one.

      Second, the only team you should hate more than the Cardinals are the Cubs. Truly. It’s your duty as a Reds fan. The Pirates are okay with me. I’m currently watching the Cardinals/Pirates game and I can’t help but root against the Cardinals.

      Third, the nickname WLB is tired a year ago.

      Fourth, back to LaRussa…. no.

      • @TC: Personally my first choice would be Pete Rose but since he’s not being considered (tic) then I’m hoping its either Barry Larkin or Bryan Price with my nod going to Bryan Price. Would not be disappointed with Larkin, but Brian Price has the pulse of the team and the Reds would not miss a beat with an experienced Reds coach – and I think he has brass ones.

  3. Why so dismissive of Price? According to Arroyo, he sounds like exactly the guy the Nation would conjure up if they could.

    [[[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.”]]]

    Makes decisions on EVIDENCE? Holds people ACCOUNTABLE? Those are the magic words.

    At the very least, it shows that Arroyo agrees with the thrust of this site’s critiques about Baker and that strongly implies that Price does too. There’s no promise that any of the other candidates would see it that way.

    • Richard, I believe your assessment that ‘The ball’s in Uncle Walt’s court’ and ‘In Walt we trust’, summarize the situation accurately
      and succintly.

      We all know Price’s track record as a pitching coach. But not many pitching coaches make great managers. I can think of Bud Black, currently, and that’s about it. And if the Reds hire Price, do we weaken two positions?

      As @groujo: points out, Price seems to demonstrate the true managerial skills needed for success regarding communication, organizational support, open and rational thought process, and player accountability. Those are VERY good starting points in selecting a MANAGER. I think the lack of successful pitching coaches who have succeeded as managers is at least partially due to the ‘old school’ way of thinking resulting in pitching coaches not getting due consideration, and there have been more successes than just Bud Black. I also don’t see the pitching coach position as being weakened necessarily. If Price is the manager and selects (or significantly participates in the selection of) his pitching coach, he will act as the defactco mentor for the new pitching coach. Personally, I think the Reds have the perfect candidate sitting in Louisville for the next pitching coach. Ted Power has simply done an amazing job of perparing pitchers and refining pitchers at the AAA level. Just look at the results he has acheived with the talent he has been handed. I think Ted Power and Bryan Price would continue to work together superbly without missing a beat. The position that would need to be filled effectively would be at AAA, not the major league level.

      Any opinion we as fans have eight now is simply our opinion. As you point out, ‘The ball’s in Uncle Walt’s court’ and ‘In Walt we trust’.

    • @groujo: I need to report this about Bronson. His comment today about his future:

      “I have no preference on where I want to pitch but I’ll certainly consider the team, their chances of winning, and all of that. I feel I can pitch effectively at 37, 38, and 39 years old. I’ve never missed a start. Never been injured. I’m not a max-effort guy out there, so there’s no big-time wear and tear on me. I loved Cincinnati but I don’t think they’re in position to give me what I want.”

  4. I’d like to throw my two cents in for advocating La Russa as the next Reds manager. I’m not sure he can be coaxed out of a comfortable retirement, but it’s worth a shot. He knows how to win. He’d demand player accountability– and he wouldn’t be a puppet to the GM. “In Walt we trust?” Ah, no. Jocketty shares complicity in the Reds’ fade this year. And he’s made some dubious decisions (i.e., offering an overweight, out of shape Broxton a boatload of cash and he even wanted to re-sign Coco Cordero, for Pete’s sakes). Y’all can put your trust in Walt if you want. As for me, I’ll put my trust in God.

    • @santa barbara reds fan: Your point regarding the over-pay for relief pitching, especially ‘closers’ is valid and concerning. We don’t know how much of the previous signings were completely Uncle Walt’s decision. we do know that going forward, Uncle Walt has the reins and he is responsible for every decision. He is now completely on the hot seat regarding all contracts, signings and trades.

  5. Price – I don’t want to diminish his focus on pitching
    LaRussa – I’m betting he’s done. (Plus I can’t stand the guy but that’s cuz I’m a Reds fan)

    Consider Pete Mackanin. He was great during his short stint here. I wanted him hired permanently in the first place.

    Of all the names I’ve seen mentioned in posts over the last several days, Scott Rolen – thanks Bubba – is the only one thta piques my interest.

    Bring back Pete Mackanin!

    • @BRM-WVA: I don’t like Mackanin. His short term success at the end of a disappointing season was matched by Miley and Narron.

      He showed errors in judgment that bothered me. The last thing I want is another manager with a lack of common sense and judgment. The example I recall best was his managing of Junior in late 2007. 2007 was one of Junior’s best years with the Reds. It was the only time he actually played in the AS game as a Red, and he played well. He had 23 HRs with an OPS well over .900 at the AS break. He’d been healthy all season, right into September.

      But as of September, Junior’s legs were visibly weary, he was in obvious pain. His hitting was reduced to an occasional single, and he was just terrible in RF. He was hurting the team and badly needed a day or two (or three) off. But Mackinin was playing him every day, even against lefties, whom he wasn’t hitting at all. Mackinin’s reason: “We’re playing against contenders, so we have to put our best team on the field every day, for the integrity of the post season race.”

      In mid-September the Reds had a 3 game series in Chicago, with two lefties pitching. Te 3rd was a day game and Lily was pitching for the Cubs. I assumed Junior would finally get a day of rest. Had a bad premonition when I saw him in the starting lineup. He was over matched by Lily, terrible ABs. Late in the game the Reds led but Majewski comes in. The Cubs start hitting line drive singles to RF. Junior is hobbling after the balls and bobbles one for an error. On the next one he’s determined to make a strong throw, tries to set himself and slips. He crumples in pain and described it later as feeling like bunjy jumping with the cord tied around his testicles. He somehow lobbed the ball back to the IF.

      Junior’s last shot at a full and productive season with the Reds gone. The next year he was 38 with knee problems and not the same. More of a Junior story than a Mackanin one, but NO THANKS! to him. Dusty at least knew when to rest his starters, for the most part.

  6. Pete Mackanin would be a terrible choice. So would Price, Speier and Riggleman. Mackanin is a no name. price has no experience. Speier is an old fart. Riggleman is a quitter.

  7. I don’t think LaRussa will come back. Barry Larkin is too old school. Bryan price would be good.

    • @dmr11:

      Yep, definitely true. “Experience” is overrated for managers, I think.

      I tend to think managing a team to certain “results,” such as WS titles or LCS appearances is not a repeatable skill. I think players do the heavy lifting and a good manager will simply “get out of the way” and make sure his policies/practices don’t inhibit the team from reaching their full potention.

      Because that’s how I think, “experience” or past results are not a prerequisite for me. The ability to manage personalities, the ability to construct a logical lineup, and the ability to know when to play/sit players in differing situations are the 3 things most important to me, as a fan. “Experience” wouldn’t even crack the top 10.

  8. There was a report in today’s New York Times that the Reds are interested in Girardi. So are the Cubs, and the Yankees apparently want to retain him.

  9. LaRussa has repeatedly stated that he’s done managing, and Jocketty said the same thing the other day.

    Why would Tony LaRussa want to tarnish the legacy he left in St. Louis by coming to Cincinnati? It makes no sense. Why would he come out of retirement to manage the two most hated players the Reds have: Cueto and Phillips? LaRussa retired a World Champion manager. Why would he tarnish his going out on top?

    Teams take on the personalities of their managers. Do we want the WLBs East? Haven’t there been enough former Cardinals pass through Cincinnati lately? I threw up in my mouth a little when they acquired Jim Edmonds in 2010.

    Can you imagine LaRussa coming out of the dugout to complain that someone’s pitching mound is just 2 degrees shy of perfect, or that some opposing team is stealing signs, or there’s a weird glare coming off the batter’s eye but only when the Reds bat, or any of a number of stupid, lame excuses?

    Why would LaRussa keep Bryan Price around when all he has to do is call Dave Duncan? Hire LaRussa, lose Price (and probably Cueto and Phillips).

    I’ll agree that LaRussa seems arrogant as all get-out. I’m not sure what wine has to do with anything, though. Whine is more like it with LaRussa. No thanks.

    • @John: Great points. But actually LaRussa would have no problems with hating his own players, he often did.

      And you didn’t mention how he’s a psycho. Remember when in an AS game he refused to let Pujols pinch hit with the bases loaded and two outs in the 9th, the NL one run down, and KRod struggling for the AL. Instead he went with Aaron Rowand, a defensive CFer. Millions were shocked, Pujols – his own star – was furious.

      That was an AS game decided WS home advantage and the Cardinals were having an off season. Contending NL teams were not happy.

      After the game LaRussa said he was saving Albert for extra innings and that he had “the man (Rowand) he wanted at the plate in that situation”.

      Showing Pujols who’s boss. Play the Hitchcock Psycho music.

    • @John: I think it is worth dropping a dime on Rolen to see where he is at and how he would react if actually asked to interview for the Reds job.

      I thought Dave Duncan would be a guy worth talking to also but in checking I see that not only has his wife passed from the disease which prompted him to step away from baseball but that his son Chris, the former MLB player is also battling the disease. Duncan says he doesn’t want again because of the grind. I presume that would include managing. So, let’s just wish the Duncan family well and move on.

      http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/dave-duncan-mulls-return-to-baseball-not-as-pitching-coach-091213

  10. 2 names:

    Bryan Price and Joe Girardi. Either would be great, especially if we could get Girardi and keep Price. That is the perfect scenario for the Reds, as well as adding a new hitting coach.

    • @Josh: If Girardi is really ready to leave the Yanks, I think the Reds offer him a better option than the Cubs unless he actually wants to be part of a rebuilding process. This assumes of course that the Reds can match, or nearly so, the Cubs on money and that getting the closest to “home” as possible doesn’t top Girardi’s wish list.

  11. As for the argument that pitching coaches don’t make successful managers – John Farrell

    Other than some high profile correlations, there is no substantial rationale to support the idea that pitching coaches make poor managers. The qualities for a successful manager are a shared vision, communication skills, make all accountable, organization, embracing the idea of being questioned, understanding the game, and surrounding yourself with quality coaches that share those qualities as well.

    Price is the man.

    • @Y-City Jim: By all accounts Price is a good man; but, I think the Reds are in a position where the new broom needs to sweep clean as far as the MLB manager and coaching staff. The Reds should offer soft landings to the long time org guys like Barry and Hatcher and move on. As I said on a different thread, if they really want to step out of the box, create an position of organizational pitching coordinator responsible for all persons and things pitching from top to bottom and offer that to Price.

  12. I don’t think it will be any of those. First, let me say, I do believe no Dusty is a positive. And, that has nothing to do with the race card that Dusty pulled, because I would like to see Larking or Morgan coming in. Just someone besides Dusty. That right there is a positive.

    I’m not impressed with Riggleman, Bell, nor Price for the position. And, Larkin and Morgan? I don’t know, I don’t think they have any kind of coaching nor managerial experience. And, I believe someone like Methany did have coaching experience, just not manager experience.

    I can’t help thinking Rick Sweet will at least be in the picture. My fav would probably be Ryne Sandberg, unless the Phillies already have him locked up. I do believe it will be someone like Rolen. To me, someone like Rolen would be respected by the players and, thus, would be listened to for adjustments and plays. Rolen seemed to have a high baseball IQ. Rolen brings in a championship pedigree. While Rolen seemed to be a reserved type, I can’t help thinking he could lay into a ump.

    In short, I don’t who specific would be applying, but I would look for a Hurdle type, or someone like Gibson or Showalter, these 3 guys. I know they specifically aren’t available. But, I would look for guys like them. They all seem to be guys who get the most out of their players and, rather than relying on the players to do their own work, I believe these guys look to push the players for more, do more or ride the pine.

    I do think BP should probably take off, also. It’s probably time for him, also. No one will ever be able to replace him. But, he is on his downside. And, after a season like this, you could still market him with some trade value.

    • @steveschoen: Rick Sweet did a great job in Louisville, but I don’t know anything about his management style. I do think you are right. He is on the short list.

      • @TC: Good baseball man, that Rick Sweet, just don’t know his personality – did he rip any bases out of their foundation at Louisville? If so, that would count a little, simply don’t want another tooth pick wielding wallflower who sits and laughs when one of his star players goes off on the local press … need someone who would clearly state ‘you just bought yourself some pine’.

  13. I continue to support the idea that Delino DeShields could be a good choice. He’s a small-ball guy with a ton of big-league savvy.

    • @Johnu1: Delino DeShields is a died-in-the-wool, hard-line anti-sabermetrics manager and makes no bones about it. If you want more drive ‘em in rather than get ‘em on base, he’s your man. That goes ditto for his hitting coach from 2012. They had some rather pointed and disparaging conversations on twitter regarding sabermetrics as opposed to old school.

      • @Shchi Cossack: I didn’t either until I happened to be on Twitter during their conversation. I was floored by the absolutely derisive comments by both individuals. I had alway had a very positive impression of Delino DeShields, but his close-minded perspective on an alternate way of looking at baseball has turned me off. It did give me pause to reflect on the system-wide hitting philosophy being taught in the Reds minor league teams.

        • @Shchi Cossack: Well, it would explain a few things … realizing that at Dayton, most guys who are there are NDFA kids and a few guys who are short-timing it. I do know DeShields gets some credit for Hamilton, but not much has come out of Dayton to help the big club.

          All the same, I still think we spit out “old school” as though it were black-white TV … or a dial telephone.

          I don’t think DeShields would say walks clog the bases.

        • @Shchi Cossack: I don’t think it matters that much whether he think OBP is more important than AVG at A-Ball. He is, however, a very good teacher.

  14. Speaking of WJ, he should feel pretty red in the face with what Marlon Byrd is doing.
    Byrd continues to rake, driving in their first 2 runs today and he just ripped a single to help the Pirates take a 3-2 lead. I read that other GMs have been critical of the non-Marlon Byrd move, saying that WJ fell asleep at the wheel.

    The pressure is on him now, with a manager he helps pick and with no Dusty to blame.

    • @pinson343: You got that right. There was simply no valid excuse for not blocking the Byrd waiver, even if the Reds weren’t seriously interested in aquiring his services for the playoff run and that’s all on WJ.

      • @Shchi Cossack: What I gleaned from reading today was that Dusty wanted the Byrd deal blocked, Walt didn’t and Dusty somehow added that to his list of disgruntlement. IF that is the case, it would seem that Dusty’s use of Ludwick was an “I told you so” strategy. Maybe not.

        I think a lot of people are saying this was a mistake — after the fact. Pittsburgh was looking for a fill-in for Marte at the time.

        • @Johnu1: Exactly. I think that happens a lot.

          But I doubt it was this time. I recall at the time the trade was made the Nation was up in arms asking the same question.

        • @Johnu1: The waiver process is not public information. Fans hear a small portion of the actual waivers, waiver claims and waiver pul backs. We can only comment after the fact, but I recall numerous comments immediately after the fact regarding the Byrd waiver.

      • @cincyreds14: I’ve made some suggestions, but now you’re putting me on the spot ! For manager I like Girardi but that’s probably a fantasy. Next to him I like Price – people are saying keep him as pitching coach but he might not even stay as pitching coach.

        I’m curious about the level of interest of Barry Larkin, the Reds best leader over the last many years. If he really wants to do it … And I’ve been trying to get a read on how Ken Griffey Sr. has done as manager, he’s a good mentor.

        Speaking of Griffey Sr., he was the hitting coach at Dayton for a year. I’d definitely consider him for that with the Reds. Mainly I want a hitting coach who will teach the young guys – Mes, Frazer, Cozart – some hitting discipline.

  15. I’ve known from his stats that Neil Walker only hits against the Reds, but I’ve never watched him hit against other teams. It’s true, he stinks against other teams. Hitless in the series against the Cardinals. He looks lost. The Reds should re-think how they pitch to him.

  16. “Shark tank” guy and “Can’t wait for Christmas against the Reds” Melancon throws a meatball to Beltran as his first batter, and Beltran ties it up. Then he throws ball 4 (not even close) to Holiday as the next batter, but the ump calls it a strike.

  17. I think Miguel Cairo will get a promotion from this. That might be either at the major or minor league level. I see him either managing in the minors or the new bench coach in the majors.

  18. Walt absolutely failed miserable by not BLOCKING Byrd from going to Pittsburgh and its very obvious. NO excuse for that. 130 K would have been the salary the Reds would have paid. Reds could still be playing if we acquired Byrd, he might have sparked us. Walt has made some great moves, but passing on Wacha, overpaying Broxton/Ludwick and the Byrd situation are def on him.

    Hiring Joe Girardi and keeping Bryan Price would be perfect for the Reds. We need Mesoraco to reach his potential, it could solve a HUGE hole for the Reds lineup and getting an ex C in Girardi would be huge in helping the development of Devin Mesoraco.

    • @Josh: Walt better be planning to add a few rough and tumble, no nonsense baseball players to the Reds this off-season in an effort to break up all the chumminess and country club atmosphere that has been resonating in the Reds club house ever since D Baker came on the scene. It would go a long way to blowing the Pirates and Cards clear out of the water in 2014 … and I’ll give him one pass – but he better make some sizable waves this off season.

      As a result, can’t stand watching the Cards-Pirates series because I can’t stand either team’s players or fans. On top of it, Dusty seems to have been partially fired for last year’s poor post-season performance and should have NEVER been rehired. By the way, the Pirates just won their 1st home playoff since the turn of the century and are inching toward making it to the NLCS.

      SICK….

    • @Josh: Giradi would be great – but remember it takes $$$$$$ to hire a manager of that stature. And with $3 – $4M walking out the door, the Reds won’t have it to expend on a manager.

    • @Josh: Because the Reds were the only ones to not take a shot at Byrd, because the Giants weren’t wanting to bring Ludwick in, because the Reds knew Ludwick would play 50 games this year, because the Reds knew Broxton would blow out his elbow, because the Reds were the only team to pass on Wacha.

      Give me a break dude.

  19. Interesting to read all the suggestions for the “next” manager … if you’re looking in-house why not Ken Griffey …(wait for it) Senior … he’s been toiling in the low minors “paying his dues.” He offers the Larkin pizzaz plus experience. Now if this means that Bryan Price is upset enough to leave or take a managerial offer elsewhere … Dave Duncan is still out there and if you’re looking for the LaRussa mindset without the attendant baggage, he’s your guy.

    I can’t jump on the pile with Jocketty underneath for moves he didn’t or wouldn’t make at the deadline, i.e. acquiring Marlon Byrd. At first blush, Byrd appears oh so similar to Ryan Ludwick. Why get someone else when the in-house solution is available? If Ludwick had come back and lit it up like he did last season, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Sadly he didn’t …

    What I do get from all the comments over the past two days is that Fandom wants some sort of action … NOW! Please, be patient … it’s a long off-season (doggone it) with many a twist and turn.
    It’s gonna be an E-ticket ride! (I know I’m dating myself … but I’ve been rootin’ the Reds home since the days of Gus Bell & Big Klu.

    • @CBL Commissioner: It would have been very surprising if Ludwick came back with much pop. I was hoping at best for line drive hitting from him, which he finally started to do.

      He wasn’t even allowed to resume his weight lifting regimen until the off-season, so his shoulder strength wasn’t there. When he would get a fastball down the pipe and get hold of it, instead of an upper deck HR to left he would hit a long fly ball to right center.

      The bigger point was that the Reds could have made a claim for Byrd, at most risking a tiny sum and taking him, but still playing Ludwick as much as they wanted.
      WJ didn’t want to mess with the 40 man roster, although he had good options there.

  20. Is Griffey an “old school” theologian? I really dont want one of those. I’d like to win rather than pay homage.

    • @hoodlum: I wouldn’t think he’s theological, he’s a smart guy who as a player would look for any way to win. He would bunt more than most people here would like but less than Dusty.

      He has a good reputation as a mentor, I think he’d be good for Hamilton.

      Could Doug Gray, Reds minor league system expert, help us with an evaluation of Griffey Sr. as a manager ?

  21. I do not know who should be manager, its not my job. I trust Jocketty to do his job and pick the right guy. I worry about a pitcher being a manager and there are far too many failures to count. However, there is a guy who managed the Reds and was a pitcher: Hutch. Two successful managers who were pitchers are Bud Black and John Farrell. Maybe it is a trend. One other name to think about: Corky Miller.

    • @redmountain: Pitchers making bad managers is a myth. Lots of bad managers were also infielders. I can actually think of only 2 managers who were totally terrible — Larry Bowa and Bobby Valentine.

      Corky will probably get a managing job pretty soon in the minors. It depends on whether he’d rather hang out in Louisville or Billings. I’d guess the pay is about the same.

  22. The only way I support a LaRussa hiring is if Rolen was hired as a bench coach. Now THAT would be worth the price of admission.

    I hear the criticism of DeShields, but I do like the idea of hiring someone who knows what to do on the basepaths. How many games were decided by TOOTBLANS last year? Say what you want to about Delino, but I don’t think his mentality would allow his team to make those mistakes on the regular. I don’t care if you are new school, old school, or pre-school, I want those kind of mistakes eliminated. I want someone who will pull a guy for not legging it out. I want someone who demands the mental errors are unacceptable. I’m not saying they have to be Ozzie Guillen, even a low-key disciplined personality would work, but I want someone who commands respect. Heck, they don’t even have to be a great baseball mind to help this team improve, IMO.

      • @gschiller13: I disagree. DeShields is the manager for the Dayton Dragons and he’s done a fantastic job. If you want a manager who is a stickler for the fundamentals he is a good candidate. I agree with the Cosak though that if he is dead hard against modern statistics then he will not be what we (the nation) are looking.

      • @gschiller13: The only guy you HAVE approved is Dusty Baker. Everyone else is a terrible choice, according to you. What exactly are your criteria? Not ONE single person who has been mentioned here meets your approval. I am beginning to agree — you’re close to being a troll.

  23. No doubt that we should all hate on vegetarians. Of course, Prince Fielder is a vegetarian, and he’d look pretty good in the batting order. Since Sparky was invoked, I’m going to point out that, while he may have been a great manager, he had great players, as he himself was the first to acknowledge (“…I just fill out the lineup card…”).

  24. I would be all for seeing Scott Rolen managing, Corky Miller standing next to him as the bench coach. Bryan Price as pitching coach, Eric Davis as hitting coach. World Series, book it.

    • @TraviXDM: Or, what about Bryan Price managing, Scott Rolen bench coach, Corky Miller pitching coach, Eric Davis hitting coach. Though I wouldn’t quite book the WS with either plan.

      • @TC: The WS booking part was more of a laugh :)

        Either way, that group could definitely take the team somewhere. Put together a coaching staff with the likes of Scott Rolen, Corky Miller, Bryan Price, Miguel Cairo, and Eric Davis and I can see a group that would motivate, command respect from, and hold accountable, the team.

        Just my opinion though :D

  25. Larkin has to be at the very end of anyone’s list. Has absolutely no managerial or coaching experience and all the so called charisma mentioned not enough…Best choice..Bryan Price.

  26. If Tony LaRussa wants to manage again, bring him on. He’s a winner and is not interested in being friends with the team. If not, make Bryan Price the manager. He knows what went wrong this year and will put Chapman in the starting rotation. Ted Power should be the pitching coach and Eric Davis the hitting coach.

  27. I can tell you that although David Bell would bring more fire and attempt to bring more accountability to players and himself, he’s definitely an old-school thinker. There are certainly some positives he’d bring, but my experience with him makes me think he wouldn’t be the right guy for the job.

  28. I’d like to throw a name at people. Darren Bush is currently the A’s bullpen coach. Before that, he won consecutive league titles with the A’s AAA affiliate in Sacramento and a class A title in Stockton. If you’re looking for an anti-Dusty, you probably should be looking in an innovative system like Oakland or Tampa, not in the system that hired Dusty. Bush was even born in Columbus, OH, but apparently grew up in Florida. He may still have family in Reds country

  29. As far as the LaRussa lovefest going on in baseball, I remember how everyone in baseball was talking about the genius of LaRussa/Duncan in large part because of taking no-name players, young kids, and getting them to ‘over-acheive’. Working with young players was their touted strength, and they were credited with keeping the franchise at the top of the game with their brilliant philosophies. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t the Cards doing the same thing post LaRussa? Seems to me he may be more of a product of the success of the front office/scouting department than being a genius baseball guy. Cards haven’t missed a beat in their post season births since Tony the Tiger has moved on. Who made Who?

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