Joe Sheehan of BP weighs in on Dusty. ($) I’m getting pretty uncomfortable with the stathead consensus about where Dusty Baker is taking this ballclub. It’s early, etc., and I’m hoping that Dusty is more talk than anything. But as Joe says, with
Baker not getting one of the most basic things about baseball: not making outs is the best thing you can do. Baker is fixated on the end result—the event that leads to a runner crossing the plate—and still doesn’t understand that in the big picture, keeping the line moving will put more runs on the board.
Sheehan also refers to a nonsensical column that I’m through discussing.
One other important trait about Baker is that he’s the Teflon manager. The local press fawns over him in a way that would be embarrassing if it wasn’t just slightly worse than par for the course in the profession. Baker’s anti-intellectualistic approach to baseball dovetails nicely with the pervasive press backlash against reality-based coverage and administration of baseball teams.
The depressing conclusion:
He’s the wrong man for the 2008 Cincinnati Reds. No doubt when the Reds fall short of their upside that the blame will fall elsewhere—on Wayne Krivsky, on Adam Dunn, on Edwin Encarnacion or Homer Bailey. The Teflon manager will go on.
I’m hoping this will work out, but acknowledging that I really have no evidence whatsoever to be hopeful.