Per ESPN (and as seen first by me at Red Reporter), Dusty Baker has been hired to manage the Reds. A three year deal. I can’t imagine that he’ll see the end of that deal, but then again, I can’t imagine that they’d hire him in the first place.

This news is so depressing that I don’t even want to try to process it right now. He’s terrible. Just terrible. Irredeemably, unquestionably terrible. Terrible at running games, terrible at managing a clubhouse of anything other than veterans he’s managed before, and probably the worst manager in history at developing (or even not breaking) young players. There’s really not even room to debate it – Baker’s terrible.

Oh, and as a sign of how seriously the Reds take winning, and how seriously Baker takes this job, Baker gets to keep making a fool of himself on ESPN throughout the playoffs. He’ll show up for the press conference in Cincinnati on Monday, then show back up for work in November.

2008-2010… flush.

Homer Bailey….flush.

Johnny Cueto…flush.

Edwin Encarnacion…flush.

Joey Votto…flush.

Jay Bruce…flush.

(Thinking positively: It’s great news for Scott Hatteberg, Mike Stanton, Juan Castro, and Norris Hopper.)

Join the conversation! 57 Comments

  1. I had just noticed the report on and posted it below… Baker to the Reds seems like disaster written all over it… Just once I’d like to be excited about the Reds in a good way.

  2. I’m sure anyone who was clamoring for a “Big Name Manager” (TM) is rethinking that right now.

    I’m very curious to hear Castellini’s explanation, and the reactions of fans and the paid media.

  3. Call me when we get a new owner. The Reds have foresaken common sense, therefore I have foresaken the Reds.

  4. I’m leaning your way, Pinski. I just feel bad for the players I’ve followed for so long.

  5. B. I. D.

    Baseball is dead.

  6. I just threw up in my mouth. And all over the desk.

  7. […] More justified (though stronger) criticism at Redleg Nation. Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized […]

  8. Thank God for a Blog where people actually have brains. Most of the folks on Fay’s blog are in love with the idea.
    And not just Mr. Redlegs who loves everything the Reds do. This hiring has made me an ex-Reds fan. Seven losing seasons in a row are more then enough.
    I can see the Reds losing 100 games in 2008. Baker is a terrible choice for this team! The fans of Cincinnati deserved much better. Shame on Castellini! He is going to have a very empty stadium by the middle of 2008. It is a very sad day in Cincinnati.

  9. Oh noes.

    Of all the choices…man oh man.


    It’s truly an apocalyptic vision I have right now, so I’ll redact what I was about to write and sit on my hands for a little bit to let the news sink in.

  10. Baker’s a three-time NL Manager of the Year whose teams have won three division titles and an NL pennant. Is it possible you’re overreacting?

  11. No, it’s not possible we are overreacting.

    He hates playing young players and likes his pitchers throwing tons of pitches. Why is that the approach for this team?

  12. Baker won in the past courtesy of Bonds’ coattails….

    …just shoot me now

  13. This pretty much seals Homer Bailey’s career being an almost exact match of Kerry Wood’s…………sigh

  14. This is a complete disaster for a team who is on the verge of being competitive, but is dependent on young talent for that. I’m absolutely stunned.

    Bring back Pete Mackanin!

  15. You know, I’m not kidding when I say that I would have preferred LaRussa or Jerry Narron or almost anyone else to Dusty Baker. I really believe he is the worst possible choice.

  16. Shock is all I can express!

  17. On a positive note, maybe Hopper will start using steroids and hit 50 HRs next year.

  18. Well, now we can get rid of Dunn, and anyone else who “clogs the bases up with walks”. Votto, Bruce, Encarnacion might as well pack it up. Harang, Arroyo, Bailey, you guys better run! Maybe Dusty will excel here, it’s hotter than Chicago, and San Fran. I heard he excels in the heat. πŸ™„

  19. I hope Hopper starts taking steroids because he is exactly the type of player that Dusty likes to give 500+ ABs.

  20. I agree with Chad. Of all the possibilities mentioned (likely and unlikely) this was the absolute worst possible candidate…and that’s who they signed.

    I have to believe that this was the biggest “name” they could get for the cheapest price.

  21. I am trying to think of the positives of Baker coming. If I was an Orthopedic Surgeon I am very happy. Bobby Livingston and Homer Bailey, Wood and Prior redux. Maybe we will get lucky and Dusty learned how to use pitchers. Hoping and Praying.

  22. Wow, fly off the handle much RN community?

    Fay’s column pretty much sums it up for me this morning. Although I realize that I lack the baseball knowledge that is exhibited here, so I don’t know exactly how this is going to play out.

  23. I just checked out the Enquirer blog…..27 in favor of Dusty, 386 not in favor.

  24. Channel 12 did a poll – 72% of the callers were against it.

  25. I just read fay’s article in the Enquirer. He tries to compare hiring an unkown to hiring a guy with a known track record. I would have thought that Dusty’s record with the CUBS not with Giants would have been the more important part of hiring him (it’s what have you done for me lately, not 5 years ago). Anyway as if any of us needed this, but here is his trackrecord:

  26. Fay compares this hiring to when Howsam hired Sparky. I’ve yet to see anyone look at Baker’s history with teams with young talent…other than the talk of his effect on the careers of Wood and Prior.

  27. Well we broke out of that Boone/Miley/Narron, do it on the cheap mode. It’s just that after they broke out, Castelini, Krivsky et al, IMO ran in the wrong direction.
    Baker has a history of improving a team for a couple of years and then leaving it in ruins.
    I just hope my gut is wrong this time.

  28. Being a Dolphin fan, my enjoyment with sports in general was already in the tank … now my Reds make this decision … is there really any reason to even bother following these teams???

  29. Everybody take a deep breath for a second. Since I heard the news last night a lot of thoughts went through my head. Pissed, confused, upset, searching for answers. You would have thought my girlfriend broke up with me or I was watching reruns of Jerry Narron’s various managerial decisions. Here are the facts: Dusty Baker was not the right fit for our ball club. The decision was made prematurely. If we dont improve the bullpen or starting rotation it won’t matter who is at the helm. How did they not wait until the situations of Torre and La Russa were resolved? Was Girardi not interested? A lot of questions need to be answered. But when its all said and done we have Dusty Baker. Let us not forget a bright future for many players such as bruce hamilton and bailey. Has the the way Baker handled former teams given us confidence that he is the right man for the job? Absolutely not but he has been manager of the year twice and has been to a world series. I know we want heads to roll for this ill advised decision but lets just see how it plays out. We play in the weakest division in baseball and a big shake up combined with some young talent just might give us something to cheer about next year.

  30. Matt,

    Baker won’t let Bruce, Hamilton, and Bailey succeed. He’d play Norris Hopper in CF over Hamilton, and would play someone like Jeremy Burnitz over Jay Bruce. I don’t even want to think about Bailey under Baker. Fresh meat.

  31. Great. They hire a guy who thinks on base percentage is “clogging up the bases,” can’t handle a pitching staff, and falls in love with over-the-hill veterans who “play the game the right way.”

    I’m not exaggerating when I say I haven’t been this angry in years. What an incredibly stupid, indefensible decision by the Reds.

  32. Dusty Baker managing guys like Bailey, Cueto, Votto, Edwin or Hamilton is exactly the reason why I hate this decision. People keep saying if we don’t improve this or that it wont matter…. but thats not true. If Baker ruins our young players, it CERTAINLY MATTERS.

  33. dave good mebbe he’ll let homer pitch a game!
    instead of 5 innings and making his era six!

    i like baker
    hes a good guy and a way better manager than narron and mackinnin
    i am sick of hearing these guys have potential!
    we got someone who has been very good

  34. Willy,
    he went 66 and 96 in his last year as a manager. If thats good then I am Brad Pitt.

  35. What young players did he ruin? You have no proof that his over use of prior is the reason he is now damaged. As for wood he was done before dusty got there. Scouts have been worried about his delivery since he was drafted. What young position players has he ruined?

  36. Look on the bright side, with all of the starters pitching to the eight inning, we won’t need a bullpin.

  37. doug
    and the reds managers have done better?
    at least baker made it to the series
    is it his fault he didnt have the stars that the cubs gave to lou.
    he didnt have alfonso!
    he lets pitchers who play well pitch
    one of the best around!
    he hasnt ruined one player.

    so judgemental all of you

  38. Given the negative fallout, I have a sneaking hunch this might be a good move. When so many people are in agreement, they are usually wrong.

    And what, pray tell, must Norris Hopper do to prove he’s an everyday player?

  39. Go BUCKEYES!

  40. wow random
    yes i will be laughing my head off at all these baker haters when we have a winning season

  41. “And what, pray tell, must Norris Hopper do to prove he’s an everyday player?”

    Posting a slugging average better than .400 would be a good start.

    Willy, it’s hard for me to take you seriously when you don’t know how to use capital letters or punctuation.

  42. “What young position players has he ruined?”

    None, because he won’t play them.

  43. Party at Scott Hatteberg’s house tonight!!!

  44. […] JD Arney <> wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt […]

  45. Matt,
    Here are the pitch counts for Mark Prior in September of 2003 (he turned 23 years old that month)


    Prior has averaged 82 innings per year for the last 4 years since then.

    Do you know how insanely stupid that is?

    As for Wood….Same span, here are his pitch counts

    Kerry Wood has averaged 62 innings a year since then.

    So yeah, sure, I don’t have any PROOF that he caused those injuries, but there is quite a bit of evidence that he ran these guys arms into the ground.

    As for he lets good pitchers pitch…. yeah, he does. Just that unlike other managers, he doesn’t pull them once they reach a certain pitch count. He lets them just keep pitching and pitching and pitching.

    And yes, the Reds managers have done better than Baker did his last time through the NL Central. Bob Boone did win 66 games in 2001…. so I guess if you want to shoot the moon and go for Boone, then Baker is your guy.

  46. Now that I’ve thought about it for a day…I’m not apoplectic, but I’m really shocked that 1) there wasn’t a better candidate out there, and 2) there wasn’t a longer interview process. Did they even interview anyone else? Apparently Mackanin didn’t even get an interview. With Baker, Krivsky will have to be a stronger presence with personnel & playing-time issues.

    Baker makes poor strategic decisions in games, he eschews statistical principles that are now taken for granted throughout the sport, he meddles with young players’ approaches on the basis of short-term results, and he rides his stars hard.

    I think Baker does not make his players better. He may make them worse, he may not. He may ruin his younger players, he may not. It’s not a criminal trial, and the standard of proof is not ever going to be met that way in baseball if that’s what you’re looking for. But I fail to see where he has helped his players be successful over anything longer-term than one season.

    At the beginning of Baker’s tenure, the Cubs had three very highly-touted young pitchers. One survived. Corey Patterson and Hee Sop Choi, two of the better hitting prospects the Cubs had in this decade to that point, were each tinkered with and then often benched in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Neither has really recovered.

    I won’t even mention Neifi Perez.

    One of the most interesting things about the statistical analysis movement in baseball is that it’s all based on probability, and that sometimes the odds are defied. Will Dusty Baker bring success to Cincinnati? Will the team, stocked with some young talent, bloom under his managerial style? I don’t know. He might defy the odds. But in his record, especially with young players, I just don’t see much to be encouraged by.

  47. […] JD Arney <> wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt […]

  48. I understand the reservations about Dusty concerning pitchers but I just dont see how bruce and hamilton arent consistent forces next season. People keep reciting that hopper is going to play over hamilton and bruce. Hopper is not a veteran. He may be older but this is the first season he got actual playing time at the major league level. And just so Im clear I am 100% against the hiring of Dusty Baker. I try to make the arguments for his dealing with young players but its one that i cant win. Nobody could win that argument. He simply doesnt use them and if he does he doesnt do it wisely and it is what we have. I guess Im just hoping the players respond to him even if only its because he has won before. Im just so sick of not feeling good about the reds that I am going to be optimistic about this. Even if it is like driving blindfolded and a crash is inevitable.

  49. Hey Doug! Don’t you have a purchase to make?

  50. DA, awesome link to the article about Baker and young players. I browsed through his record the other day, and was appalled.

    One bit of wishful thinking? The Giants are, if anything, even older under Alou (who had a reputation for developing young players). Maybe it’s Brian Sabean. (Actually, I know it’s Sabean. He always signs free agents to intentionally lose high draft picks. The question is whether it’s Baker and Sabean.)

    So we look at the Cubs. What worries me is his track record there. The Giants never had prospects like Patterson or Choi. Both were supremely hyped, and both failed miserably. Maybe both were overrated, but if you watched those guys, you saw shell-shock. If you hated how EE was treated this year, you’ll hate the Baker era, IMO.

    (One last spare thought: Murton and Marmol both blossomed after Dusty left. Could be natural development; could be a different approach.

  51. I found this post on another forum to be quite comical:

    “Good for Dusty.

    Hopefully he can get his career back on track. He has some great players to work with in Griffey, Dunn, Phillips, Arroyo, Harang and the player I believe will have a breakout year next year: Norris Hopper.

    On one hand, it’s Norris Hopper. On the other hand, though, if Norris gets the 500+ Neifi Perez type at-bats that Baker is accustomed to giving, then he could have a “breakout year,” but that’s still a major stretch.

  52. Hopper is much more likely to have a “break my spirit” year. πŸ˜›

  53. Chad,
    Dont you worry. I will be buying a domain for some type of website…. I am just trying to figure out a decent domain name since is currently taken by Cubs fans.

  54. I just found something very interesting on Norris Hopper….
    He is just 1 of 3 players since 1918 to have 300 at bats, hit over .320 and not OPS .760 in a season. The others? Matty Alou in 1968 and Alex Sanchez in 2004.

  55. EE will be allright; he’s about the same age and same type of hitter(just not as much raw power) as Aramis Ramirez was when Baker was with the Cubs.

  56. […] Manager: Dusty Baker β€” Well, the Cincinnati Reds have their manager … and Cincinnati Reds fans are not happy about it. […]

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2008 Reds, Reds - General