In a comment below, Bill pointed to this article at Fox Sports by Ken Rosenthal, entitled “Baker has to conserve Reds’ young arms.” It’s a good piece, and certainly worth a read. Some excerpts:

Dusty Baker will be paid approximately $3.5 million per season during his three-year contract with the Reds, major league sources say.

Some might suggest the contract should include pitch counts for the Reds’ top pitching prospect, right-hander Homer Bailey.

Upon hearing the Reds were about to hire Baker, one rival scout joked, “Playing in that ballpark, they might need a 14-man staff.”

That ballpark is hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark. The scout was referring to Baker’s questionable bullpen management during his tenures with the Giants and Cubs.

Baker has drawn criticism for overworking starters, hence the possible concern over Bailey. The Reds, though, evidently were satisfied with his explanations for the physical breakdowns of Cubs righties Kerry Wood and Mark Prior — and yes, they did ask, according to sources….

Still, progressive clubs rarely entrust the care of young pitching solely to their managers, and the Reds might want to institute “Homer rules” just to be sure….

Griffey, too, is entering the final year of his contract, and youngsters such as first baseman Joey Votto and outfielder Jay Bruce are ready to emerge. Baker always has preferred veteran clubs, but surely he grasps what he is getting into.

If there is a single biggest concern I have over the hiring of Dusty Baker as Reds manager, this is it. With Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto on the horizon, the Reds need to do everything in their power to decrease the chances of injury. Baker’s history on that point is not good at all.

I’m encouraged that the Reds are aware of Baker’s history, and I can only hope that they’ll have him on a short leash where Bailey and Cueto (and Maloney, et al) are concerned. Also, I hope they’ve made it clear to him that the youngsters must play.

I’m still very disappointed in the hiring. Baker’s history indicates that he is exactly the opposite of the type of manager the Reds should have been seeking to hire. Unfortunately, we’re stuck with him now, so we just have to hope for the best.

9 Responses

  1. preach

    anyone else picturing a “Homer Baily bobble-arm” promotion this year?

    Also, everyone pro or con Baker has said that managing a bullpen is not his best attribute. What the heck is he going to be able to do with this group?

  2. DevilsAdvocate

    That’s what I’m talking about. Krivsky must take a firm stand on how the kids are cared for.

    Maybe this will turn to an advantage yet. If enough attention is paid to the issue as a result of Baker’s hiring, this could have a side benefit. Perhaps this will end up being the genesis of a real organizational policy on the development of young players, complete with recorded rules on usage and pitchcounts and all that sort of thing.

    I’ve been dismayed to hear occasional reports that the Reds’ minor-league system doesn’t have a plan for its players; they just kind of let them go out and then approach the results on an as-they-come-in subjective basis. And there reportedly isn’t much communication with the players themselves, telling the prospect what they need to improve on, work on in the offseason, etc. With the changes in the upper management of the farmsystem, maybe that will soon change in concert with the major-league level.

    It starts with Krivsky. Take a stand, make a plan, and implement it. With Baker, this is more important than ever.

  3. Ben

    I just watched the video of Dusty’s press conference on and my anger level is about to reach a boiling point. “I’ve already had several players calling me saying they want to come and play for me here, so we’ll see if we can get the right mix in here and bring winning baseball back to cincy.” “I can help attract players to come here and play that know how to win, etc.” Is everybody excited to see ray durham and rich aurillia in sarsota next spring? The free agent pitching pool is so shallow that we are gonna have to get things done via the trade. I am holding out hope this works out, but its hard to be optimistic. Maybe if the rockies win the world series, dusty can convince glenallen hill to leave the first base coaching box and come to cincy to hit .240 and 15 hrs in 400 abs next year.

  4. Bill

    DA, I’ve been bothered by this too. I’ve talked to a few Reds minor league pitchers and none have said that the team has really communicated with them what they need to do to improve in order to move up.

    I had one tell me that Pete Magre (who was fired in Billings this year) tried to change his motion before he ever watched him throw.

  5. doug

    Ben, I am with you. I am listening to 700 WLW right now and whoever this blabbering idiot on the air talking with Lance McAllister right now is keeps saying ‘do you think anyone was calling Narron and saying they wanted to play for him?’
    Of course not, but the people calling Baker are probably in their mid 30s without starting jobs and know he is the moron who will give them a job.

  6. doug

    This is from Trent

    Q: Will there be “Homer rules” or anything to avoid a Mark Prior/Kerry Wood debacle?
    A: Krivsky said no. He trusts Dusty. Dusty believed it was a little overblown.

    I am going to kill myself.

  7. Kerm

    One thing kind of lost in the Rosenthal article is that Dunn will be gone after the option is exercised. I was under the impression that Dunn enjoyed being in Cincinnati. Do you guys think this Dunner is done after this season?

  8. Snake

    I’m going to do my best to remain positive. What else can you do at this point? We have to trust the Reds management and hope they made the right decision.

    By-the-way, I used similar logic to keep myself from flipping out when we invaded Iraq…and yes, I’m becoming more and more worried as I type this.