In today’s Cincinnati Enquirer, you’ll find the following quotes two pages apart:

Page D12:

“I take full responsibility. I think that’s one of the qualities of a very good team is when everybody’s looking at themselves first. Losing teams typically are quick to point out who isn’t doing it. For me, it’s not so much second guessing as it is an opportunity to learn. Every decision, was I prepared? Did I miss anything along the way that would have helped me make a better decision?”

Page D10:

“You can reinforce them, but they’re making decisions on their own. Everyone wants to blame the staff or whatever it is, but sometimes you have to put the blame on the pupil.”

The first is from Cardinals’ manager, Mike Matheny. The second is from Dusty Baker.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 33 Comments

  1. Wow. Of course, Matheny is right. Every day, I’m increasingly resigned to the prospect that I will look back at this era of Reds teams and think that these teams could well have won a World Series (or two) if not for the man who filled out the lineup cards every game.

  2. That’s a powerful juxtaposition. Hopefully your work is noticed by someone in the Reds organization that has the power to make a change.

  3. Dusty Baker should be fired today.

    • @Larry1980:
      The Reds need to lose lots of games for this to happen.It might take consecutive losing seasons.

      From Hal Mccoy yesterday:

      QUOTE OF THE DAY: Manager Dusty Baker on his team’s hitting woes: “You can’t hit for them. Sometimes you wish you could, but they are in the batter’s box by themselves.”

    • @Larry1980: Absolutely. This is not leadership in the shallowest of terms. Bet the players love this stuff.

  4. Players manager right?

  5. I have thought for a long time that Dusty Baker is one of the worst managers in baseball – but I try to refrain from blaming everything on him. And in all honesty, many on this board (and other places) give him hell when anything goes wrong, as though anyone is perfect in their decision making.

    Having said that, this quote pisses me off to no end. It’s not limited to baseball – in industry and throughout life – once it’s established that someone is taking no responsibility for anything, it’s time to make a change.

    I’ve thought it many times and backed off. I’ll now say it out loud. The time has come for a change.

    All that said, it’s almost certainly not going to happen. Let’s Go Reds – get the last two games of this series!!

  6. Dusty is a joke. How does someone like Todd or Zack see this and not feel double crossed? “Hey coach, I’m swinging at everything in sight, like you said, and now you are tossing me under the bus in the Enquirer? What gives?”

    Seeing things like this anger me more than getting blown out because this shows the likelihood of a change (while Dusty is here) is exactly equal to 0 percent.

    • @prjeter: Re-reading my post, I hope that happens. Maybe once the younger hitters realize Dusty doesn’t care about their development they will start paying attention to what the gentlemen in the 1 and 3 (and sometimes 5) holes in the lineup do on a daily basis.

  7. Translation, from Baker: I’ve given up. This is not my fault.”

    OMG. Does no one else in this organization even care?

  8. Wow. Nice find. I’m fed up with Dusty but at this point I’m more upset with whoever is determined to keep him. Dusty is Dusty. Someone needs to step up and make a change.

  9. Dusty makes it easier and easier to hate everything that he does. I used think he was pretty decent, but I’ve come to see that he is a pretty big joke.

  10. Great find, Steve.

    Erardi has an excellent piece on this topic in today’s Enquirer (though I don’t think either of those quotes are from Erardi’s piece). When I get time later, I’ll link to it.

  11. Please correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t Dusty resigned for two years 2013-14 at $3 to $4 mil per year? Given that Bob Castellini apparently loves him, and his team loves him, and that the Reds would have to eat a large amount of money to fire him, isn’t screaming for Dusty’s head a waste of time? The odds are overwhelming that he will be here until October 2014, period.

    I think those of us who were expecting a great season this year bought into the notion that the team was “Dusty proofed” with the acquisition of Choo, and upgrading Valdez and Cairo with Izturis and Hannahan. Had Ryan Ludwick not gone down, perhaps they were? But Ludwick did go down and the cards had to be reshuffled and Dusty is the dealer. As he likely will be for the foreseeable future. We’re 60-50 with 52 games to go. Let’s say we go 30-22? That is probably enough to get us in the playoffs, maybe even 28-24 gets us in. And folks, if we get into the playoffs, after all the injuries we have suffered this season, Dusty is even safer. The narrative becomes Dusty won despite the injuries to key players. Heck, he’ll probably get extended.

  12. This period of the season magnifies the April May June games that were just given away by the bad decisions of the manager and his lack of urgency. Wish you had them back?

  13. Is anyone really surprised? I mean, it’s been obvious to me for a couple months that Dusty likes to point the finger at everyone else.

    • @rhayex: IMO, it is the sign of a louser and has a very negative influence on the team. It would be difficult for the players to not take the same attitude.

  14. It is one thing to think it. It is totally different to express it – especially in public. Call the guys out in a clubhouse meeting if you want but this approach is bush league stuff.

    • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Yeah, where have we seen the manager going out in public to say what should be said behind closed doors before?

      Oh, wait…

      I’ll say it again: Baker should have been fired for not toeing the company line with Chapman. At the very least, don’t go to the press. Jeez, he’s a terrible manager.

      • @rhayex: Agreed. People say “players’ manager”. Sorry, I just don’t see it. I mean, seriously, why is he called a players’ manager? Because he tells players 2-3 days in advance that they are going to play in a certain game? I doubt that happens everytime. Because he pays for their dinner when they go out on the road? Oh, yes, that’s what I look for in a players’ manager. None of that makes one bit of difference if the team doesn’t win. Because he plays everyone? That was a joke for years. The last 3 years, Votto, BP, Bruce, and Stubbs would have played every game if it wasn’t for injuries, where everyone else played in the other 4 positions.

        How about getting someone who’s actually going to get the players to play better than they did the year before, the month before, the week previously, the previous game? It’s fairly obvious how Baker has won so many games, because the clubs he’s managed went out to get the players for him. Just consider it. The Giants aren’t going to fire a good friend and two of the franchise’s heroes. So, they go out and get whoever they need. Why would the Cubs hang themselves on a contract like Soriano’s? They decided to go get players for Baker. And, now, us, Latos, Choo, Marshall, Ludwick, Broxton, retool our bench from last season.

        Again, Baker is the ultimate utility fielder of managers. Every team wants if not needs one. So, they will actively go out and seek one. But, ultimately, as to the success of the team, they mean little if anything to the team. Seriously, if we have anyone else managing this team, I am confident we would be doing just as good as we are now.

        How are we doing so good now? First, consider, no other division has 2 teams who are more than 10 games under 0.500 ball. Also, consider, we are 22 games up on teams with a record lower than 500. 500 and up, we are 12 games down, aka showing we can’t compete with them. If we had just gone 500 against those teams, we’d have the best record in the league. The Cards record against 500+ teams, I believe it was 5 games down. The Pirates, 4 games up.

  15. This Reds team desperately needs someone who will take charge and address the many recurring mental mistakes that are being made. I’m afraid it’s too late though as the team’s overall hitting approach is the biggest problem and I believe the players for the most part are only doing what the mgr. and hitting instructor have been drilling in their heads for the past 3 years.

    When things are going bad as they are now the best thing a manager can do is to assume the burden of responsibility. Failure to do so tells a lot about the character of the leader. Dusty Baker has spoken about what kind of mgr. he really is.

    And it’s time for a new one. Heck, it was time for a new one after last year’s playoff debacle.

  16. Maybe Baker’s nickname should be “Bus” as in throw under the bus as long as he attempts to protect his own butt.

  17. I still hold onto what San Francisco have been able to accomplish, once they broomed Baker, as my silver lining re: The Reds & Dusty. Cubs are going to Cub no matter who is at the helm (although 2003 WAS their best shot, and well, look who was steering). But once the Giants cut ties with Johnnie B. Jr., two World Series wins and counting. Whenever the Reds part ways, I’ll be observing time in the A.D. (A.fter D.usty) until the Reds win it all.

    • @wildwestLV: For the record, it took the Giants eight seasons to win a World Series after Baker left for Chicago. But I get what you’re saying. Let’s hope the Reds don’t wait that long.

      Of course, the Giants could have won the Series in 2002, if not for the first of Dusty’s patented postseason collapses.

      What I find galling are the temper tantrums and the lack of accountability. The Aroldis Chapman situation is perfect microcosm of what Dusty Baker has become. If you are going to publicly undermine your general manager and your pitching coach, shouldn’t you be willing to use the best pitcher in your bullpen in more than one inning increments and more than once or twice a week.

      I think I despise Dusty Baker more than any Reds manager in my lifetime other than Bob Boone.

  18. I live in Lexingon but still manage to go to about 15 games a year. This year, however I have been to 1 game and most likely will not be to another.

    The reason for this dates back to last October when the decision was made right after the Reds lost 3 straight to the Giants and Dusty was out managed in the series. The Reds brass made a decision to bring this man back despite what I feel like was a majority of the fan base who knew he was not good enough to get the Reds further or better.

    I am just one person and don’t account to much revenue or a grain of sand to the Reds. But I am one person they did not get their usual amount of financial support from this year. That is because of the man in that dugout. I felt like they were wasting another year of good pitching. So far, the results have proven my thoughts correct.

    He is the most overrated manager maybe in the history of baseball. He is stubborn to a fault. He is dead wrong about chapman. His lack of creativity, decision making, and lack of any accountability has made me feel stronger and stronger against him. There are several reds managers from the past who had no pitching and losing records I would take over baker in a new York minute.

    I can’t stand him and he never wants to be second guessed or criticized. It makes me sick.

    I love the reds, always have and always will, but I am more frustrated with that organization right now maybe as much as ever because they are in a window of opportunity because of the pitching they have. So far, the waste is incredible. The waste of time with Baker and the waste of chapman, Which of course is something dusty wanted. The reason chapman is a middle of the pack closer is because he isn’t developing as a closer. It’s 90% fastball. He hasn’t gotten better being in that role. It’s insane what the reds have done.

    I can’t stand dusty baker and I have some news for any reds fans who might be still believe. The reds are not going to a WS, much less winning one with dusty in that dugout. Dusty may not be the only problem, but he is a major problem.

    Thanks for this post. The two quotes really illustrate a good manager and a bad manager. This season has frustrated us all but the silver lining will be that his a$$ will be outta here.

    • The Reds brass made a decision to bring this man back despite what I feel like was a majority of the fan base who knew he was not good enough to get the Reds further or better.

      What I will say is this, that I think last season is the best this Reds team can get, at least with Bakerman at the helm. So, let’s see. Open the bank account more and go get even better players, going with the manager who has one of the worst post season records in the history of baseball? Or, try going with a different manager? Hmmm. . .

      • @steveschoen: I pick option number two. If this season has taught us anything it’s that it is impossible to “Dusty-proof” a roster.

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.


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