2010 Reds / Dusty Was Misconstrued / Dusty's Lineup Shenanigans

Dusty-O-Meter Update – Nine Games In

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted a Dusty-O-Meter update, but I have been keeping track. This exercise has revealed a couple things:

First, a manager really has very few things he can do to affect the course of a game. As I said when I introduced the feature, the goal was to evaluate places where Dusty made choices. Those don’t come up all that often, especially as the season moves along and guys get hurt or fatigued. Wednesday was a good example – I can’t complain about using Mike Lincoln for two innings when the whole bullpen is shot.

Second, the Dusty-O-Meter is definitely going to miss most of Dusty Baker’s value as a manager. In almost every instance, I’ve tried to give Dusty the benefit of the doubt. I’ve credited him for moves that seem pointless in the short-term but could have positive morale or development purposes in the long-term. I’ve ignored lineups – the one thing people complain about the most – entirely. But even with my finger slightly on Dusty’s side of the scale, his numbers are in the negative. I don’t think he’s a good manager, overall – not for this team – but he does have strengths, and they’re strengths that are exercised in the clubhouse, out of our view. I don’t think I can stress that enough.

Anyway, the numbers through 9 games:
– Reds Record: 5-4
– Dusty-O-Meter Season Total: -3.25
– 2 positive game scores, 1 neutral, 6 negative
– 1 positive score in a loss
– Best game score: +1.0 Last Thursday afternoon vs. StL
– Worst game score: -1.5 (twice) Last Wed. vs. StL; Sunday (in a win) vs. the Cubs

(Note: I loaded the scores into a spreadsheet, and discovered 3-4 math errors from the original posts. I can’t believe you guys missed those.)

All the numbers . . .

– no title specified
@page { }
table { border-collapse:collapse; border-spacing:0; empty-cells:show }
td, th { vertical-align:top; font-size:10pt;}
h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6 { clear:both }
ol, ul { margin:0; padding:0;}
li { list-style: none; margin:0; padding:0;}

li span. { clear: both; line-height:0; width:0; height:0; margin:0; padding:0; }
span.footnodeNumber { padding-right:1em; }
span.annotation_style_by_filter { font-size:95%; font-family:Arial; background-color:#fff000; margin:0; border:0; padding:0; }
* { margin:0;}
.ta1 { writing-mode:lr-tb; }
.Default { font-family:Arial; }
.ce1 { font-family:Calibri; text-align:left ! important; font-weight:bold; }
.ce10 { font-family:Calibri; text-align:right ! important; font-weight:bold; }
.ce11 { font-family:Calibri; text-align:center ! important; font-style:italic; font-weight:bold; }
.ce12 { font-family:Calibri; text-align:right ! important; font-style:italic; font-weight:bold; }
.ce2 { font-family:Calibri; text-align:center ! important; font-weight:bold; }
.ce3 { font-family:Calibri; text-align:center ! important; font-weight:bold; }
.ce4 { font-family:Calibri; font-weight:bold; }
.ce5 { font-family:Calibri; font-size:10pt; font-style:normal; text-shadow:none; text-decoration:none ! important; font-weight:normal; }
.ce6 { font-family:Calibri; }
.ce7 { font-family:Calibri; font-size:10pt; font-style:normal; text-shadow:none; text-decoration:none ! important; font-weight:bold; }
.ce8 { font-family:Calibri; text-align:right ! important; font-weight:bold; }
.ce9 { font-family:Calibri; text-align:right ! important; }
.co1 { width:0.4043in; }
.co2 { width:0.502in; }
.co3 { width:0.4583in; }
.co4 { width:0.5681in; }
.co5 { width:4.9374in; }
.co6 { width:0.5346in; }
.co7 { width:0.8736in; }
.co8 { width:3.7909in; }
.co9 { width:0.8925in; }
.ro1 { height:0.1783in; }
.ro2 { height:0.3311in; }
.ro3 { height:0.1862in; }
.ro4 { height:0.1965in; }
.ro5 { height:0.1862in; }
.T1 { vertical-align:super; font-size:58%;}

{ }

Game

vs.

Result

Date

Move

+/-

Game Score

Season Score

Note

1

STL

L

Apr 05

Using Miguel Cairo as your first PH off the bench

-0.25

Using Mike Lincoln as your first reliever out of the pen

-0.25

Sending Lincoln out for a second inning

-1.00

Letting Hererra stay in the game to face RH Ludwick and Molina

0.25

PH Stubbs for Nix, to set up Stubbs/Motte (instead of Nix/Reyes)

0.25

PH Francisco in a close game to get the experience and evaluate him

0.25

Getting Ondrusek a non-pressure debut inning, down 6-3

0.25

-0.50

-0.5

2

STL

L

Apr 07

Starting Gomes against a RHP.

0.25

Not walking Ludwick after Rasmus’ 2b

-0.25

Letting Cueto throw 109 pitches in his first start.

-0.50

Bringing in Ondrusek to face the heart of the order with the game on the line.

-1.00

Getting Masset an inning to clear his head after Monday’s beating.

0.25

Using Cordero in the 9th, down 6-3 and with a “must win” game in 16 hours.

-0.25

-1.50

-1.5

-2.00

3

STL

W

Apr 08

Holding Arroyo back for the day game (4.88 day ERA last year vs. 3.46 at night)*

-1.00

Sticking with Arroyo after the Holiday HR and Rasmus walk.

0.25

*Holding Arroyo back for the day game +1.5 (benefit of the doubt that Dusty knew something)

1.50

Letting Gomes face Motte (rather than bringing in Nix or Francisco)

0.25

1.00

1

-1.00

4

CHI

W

Apr 09

Leaving Homer in for to pitch the 5th, having already thrown 96 pitches on a cold night in April.

-0.50

Putting in Janish to PR and play SS in the 9th.

0.25

-0.25

-0.25

-1.25

5

CHI

L

Apr 10

Giving Rolen a day off.

0.25

I was going to slightly ding Dusty -0.25 for using Rhodes when he had to know they were going to PH for Fontenot there. But learning that Cordero was unavailable, that wasn’t a terrible move. That’s a Jocketty/Lincoln problem, as was noted elsewhere.

0.25

0.25

-1.00

6

CHI

W

Apr 11

Not giving Lee an IW in the 6th. Only 1 out, tying run on 2d, and Ramirez up.

-0.25

Bunting Stubbs when Leake singled in the 6th. There was NO chance Stubbs GIDPs.

-0.25

Having nobody warmed up when Leake got into trouble, making him face Ramirez when he was clearly gassed.

-0.50

Pinch-hitting Miguel Cairo with the game on the line (and Hanigan available).

-0.50

-1.50

-1.5

-2.50

I don’t care that some of these moves “worked.” These were some plainly wrong moves. I’m not an IW guy, but I don’t let Lee beat me. For whatever reason, Dusty thought it would be cool for Leake to finish 7 IP, and he risked the whole outing to try to get it. I’m okay with putting Bruce out there, at least in the name of player development. I agree with Thom & Brantley that a couple RBI against a LHP would’ve done him a world of good.

7

FLA

W

Apr 12

Not sending Bryan Price to the mound after the balk in the 3d.

-0.25

Hit and run in the 6th

0.25

Bullpen use in the 7th (Lincoln’s 2nd IP, vs Miami’s 2-3-4, up a run).

-0.50

No demerit for Nix being CS at home. I just can’t believe Dusty called that.

Setting up Gomes vs a RHP, as opposed to Nix vs a LHP

0.25

-0.25

-0.25

-2.75

8

FLA

W

Apr 13

Letting Bronson hit for himself b/c he was going to bunt.

0.25

Too long a leash for Ondrusek. Again.

-0.25

0.00

0

-2.75

9

FLA

L

Apr 14

115 pitches for Homer in a meaningless April game. I don’t care how tired the pen is.

-0.50

-0.50

-0.5

-3.25

7 thoughts on “Dusty-O-Meter Update – Nine Games In

  1. I love the idea about the Dusty-O-Meter…

    One big problem I have with it is the scoring (obviously this is not scientific research, but it could be a little more objective and a little less subjective)

    Check out the positive scores you have given…with the exception of one (the Bronson Arroyo decision), they are all for only +.25. Now, check out the negative. Many of them are for more than .25 (most are for .5 or greater).

    Like I said, awesome concept, just clean it up a little. Maybe make pitching decisions worth a set amount, batting decisions worth a set amount, etc.

  2. @jbrat22: I hear you, but I don’t think it can be much more objective. Different moves impact the game in different ways.

    As for the negative impacts being bigger than the positive ones: That wasn’t intentional, but it does line up with conventional wisdom that says a manager can’t win games, but he canlose them — certainly no with in-game decisions, which is all we’re looking at.

    Consider some quotes from Sparky Anderson:

    “I don’t believe a manager ever won a pennant. Casey Stengel won all those pennants with the Yankees. How many did he win with the Boston Braves and Mets? I’ve never seen a team win a pennant without players. I think the only thing the manager has to do is keep things within certain boundaries.”

    “If a team is in a positive frame of mind, it will have a good attitude. If it has a good attitude, it will make a commitment to playing the game right. If it plays the game right, it will win—unless, of course, it doesn’t have enough talent to win, and no manager can make goose-liver pate out of goose feathers, so why worry?”

  3. One question, why not count the lineup moves? I know there is stastical evidence that the difference between the “best” and “worst” lineups is not that great, but it is one of those areas where a manager really does make choices and affect things, and putting the SS in the #2 spot every night regardless of performance does make and a difference.

  4. This is fun and leads to thoughtful discussion. i hope you keep it up, Chris, for one thing I want to see if Dusty has hot and cold streaks.

    But ultimately, what will Dusty’s score mean ? If it’s negative, then he’s a bad manager and if it’s positive, then he’s a good one ? You realize the scoring is subjective. Suppose that somehow it was more “scientific.” Even then, Dusty’s raw score wouldn’t tell us much, as we’d need to see the scores of other managers for a meaningful measure of Dusty’s “in game” performance.

  5. Another good question.

    At some point, I would start dinging him something for moronic lineup decisions. (See Patterson, Corey)

    But I don’t think we’re there, yet. I’ve ripped Cabrera, but he’s got a better OPS than Jay Bruce, and isn’t far behind Dickerson and Stubbs. He’s putting the ball in play (0 walks! 4 Ks), and doing a reasonable approximation of what they want from him.

    As I said last night, I understand the desire to keep the lineup intact – so Janish bats in Cabrera’s spot.

  6. Chris, I love the metric and think your idea is innovative and way freaking cool😀 , but wow, he’s been the cause of 3.25 losses out of 4?

    I’m assuming the points are not based upon game outcomes (wins or losses), but are an aggregate score assessed retroactively based upon how his decisions work out during the course of a game. Correct? If that is the case I could see Dusty having a possitive score in a loss and a negative score in a win (which I would be okay with).

    It also seems to me the points need to translate to something. Wins and losses seem logical, but if that is the case, there is no way we can blame Dusty for 81.25% of their losses no matter how much we dislike him as manager.

  7. @TC: The points are NOT awarded retroactively OR based on outcomes. I try to evaluate them live, or if I’m not watching the game, without reading ahead in the play-by-play and game thread.

    Points aren’t tied to anything – it’s just a relative system. Dusty can – and has had + points in a win, and negative points in a loss. Frankly, he’s going to have a positive score tonight (Thursday) in a blowout loss. Interesting thing about blowouts – managers tend to keep their mitts off the knobs and levers.

    Not sure where you got the 81% number – are you assuming that 1 point +/- = 1 win? That’s not the case. Dusty could theoretically get +5 in a loss, or -5 in a win.

Comments are closed.