Bob Castellini watches during the second inning of their MLB Wild Card Playoff game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. / The Enquirer/Jeff Swinger

Those who saw Bob Castellini’s face during and after Tuesday night’s game were not surprised by this morning’s decision.


Join the conversation! 52 Comments

  1. How he looks? That’s how I felt for about the last two weeks. …

    • @vegastypo: Try six years. Had a sick feeling when he was announced as manager… Barry Bonds… Sammy Sosa… Wood/Prior…can’t win with that. A good manager would have won something. Oh well, not our problem anymore!

      • @RedLeg75: Of course, he DID win–3rd winningest Reds’ manager all-time, was manager during the turnaround from irrelevant to contenders, etc. It may be for the best that he’s gone–Francona had great seasons with the Sox, but evidently lost control of the players–but it’s unkind and inaccurate to refuse to recognize what he accomplished here. Just ask the players. We don’t know the inside story (was Chapman’s role Dusty’s decision alone?), and disagree with many of his lineup and strategic decisions, but we have no idea whether a different manager would have led the team to a better record this year. They are good, but not transcendently so.

  2. Big Bob, Mr. Baker’s biggest and most important advocate as manager for the Cincinnati Reds, was the only reason that Mr. Baker retained his job as long as he did. The body language during the game was indicative of Big Bob’s epiphony and ultimate realization for his misplaced support. I just have to wonder how he feels now after the messy and irreverent exit by Mr. Baker and the diametrically opposed descriptions regarding how and why Mr. Baker was summarily dismissed.

    • @BloodyHo: As in, how a person of money admits that they were wrong? I hope that it is as someone who has no money admits they were wrong. Probably not the same.

      The end result is still the same.

      New beginnings.

    • @BloodyHo: This is just wrong. Dusty did plenty to warrant his tenure here. I’d go so far as to say he was given exactly the amount of time he earned. He won 97 games last year – that warrants a new contract. The fact that he didn’t win a playoff series meant it was a short deal with an obvious “You’d better win next year” clause. Dusty brought us out of the cellar. That’s not easy to do. I totally agree he took us as far as his old school mentality could, but I won’t begrudge the job he did. He fell short in the end, but look at all of us mad at the end of a 90 win season. Could you imagine that in 2007?

  3. A picture tells a thousand words, or in this case, two words– “You’re fired.”

  4. I need to remind myself that it was just yesterday when the Little Red Jet went wire to wire to beat the Athletics.

    Time does pass quickly and every season that slips through the cracks is one less season the CEO doesn’t get to entertain the biggies at his place where the trophy resides.

    BC is no fool. He knows how quickly the window can slam shut. This was the year to win … not next year. Now it’s next year. Cubs fans can relate. Reds fans don’t want to relate.

    • @Johnu1: We have another couple years. We underperformed this year. We were crippled by injuries much more than the media wants to admit – next years rotation will essentially be the same except swapping Cueto for Arroyo. Sound good? We will probably lose Choo, but we’ll use that money to bolster one or two starting positions and in turn drastically improve the bench. I’m not worried.

      • @eric nyc: I agree on the injuries — maybe more than some would like to believe, particularly in the bullpen. At first, it didn’t seem to matter, but as August wore on, it was pretty clear that the pen was being tested. In the end, it was largely ineffective.

        The Cueto injury was offset in part by Cingrani’s surprise numbers but … still, a guy with the ability to get 25 quality starts … it’s hard to ignore that.

        • @Johnu1: if Cingrani is healthy, no need to pay a lot of money to Arroyo. Use Arroyo’s money to re sign Choo and move him to left. Release Ludwick or use him as a bench player.

          I would try to trade Phillips, but, age and contract make that a slim possibility.

          Marshall and Broxton are not the answer, try to find some young hard throwers for the bullpen

          A manager that realizes it is ok to bat Bruce 4th might help.

          • @BigRedMike: I’ve always liked Bronson but he’s gone.

            Phillips could still be traded to certain teams I think, such as the Mets, with the Reds not getting much back but having to pay any of his contract. He would be a huge upgrade defensively over Murphy, who can hit line drives but can’t play 2nd base.

            The Mets feel they can compete with their starting rotation (though Matt Harvey’s absence in 2014 will be a blow). I believe they are back on firm financial footing and have an opportunity to grab attention from the mediocre Yankees.

            As part of marketing the new Mets, BP’s All Star status, his colorful style of play, etc. would have some value. There was a rumor a few year ago that the Mets-Reds were talking about a BP trade, and Mets fans have been drooling to have him.

            Shedding BP’s contract would be huge, making it possible to sign Choo and/or a power RHed bat.

          • @pinson343: I meant “with the Reds not getting much back but NOT having to pay any of his contract.”

          • @pinson343: I believe that we’d miss BP if he were gone. He did tail off in the second half (nagging injury from HBP?), but was instrumental in keeping the club in the hunt earlier in the season, and , for a team which must rely on defense, he’d be virtually impossible to replace.

        • @Johnu1: It was the injuries which in large part doomed the Reds season. It was the way they went about losing that doomed Dusty Baker’s tenure. And to be clear I agree 100% that the change in the manager’s office was necessary.

          I’ve not seen the injuries reviewed anywhere today so I’ll take a shot at them:

          >>#1 starter out at least 2/3 of the year
          >>Left handed 8th inning reliever out 7/8th of the year
          >>Right handed 8th inning reliever out over 1/2 the year
          >>Replacement for #1 starter out most of the last 6 weeks of the season

          >>LF and clean up hitter lost in first game, out 3/4 of the season and not game ready when he returned.
          >>4th OF (prime LF replacement candidate) out 2 months with hamstring injury. Game readiness open to question when he finally returned
          >>1B Back from knee injuries and less than 100% all year. Unable to perform offensively in manner expected of him when the offense was designed (and required for offense to work). An unmitigated disaster on defense.
          >>2B Never the same player after being hit on the wrist the last week in May. Probably continued to play only because there was no replacement for him in the organization.
          >>C senior member of tandem injured most of season; DL about a month; ineffective offensively die to hand issue when available to play

          Did I miss any of significance?

          • @OhioJim: It isn’t macho to blame injuries, but foolish not to consider them. The Reds and teams of their financial ilk are particularly vulnerable to injuries since, no matter how good the starters are, the bench is where the modest payroll shows up. Rich teams have guys on the bench who would be starters on many other teams.

  5. That’s about how I looked in the 4th inning only worse.

  6. That will be the picture 90 times next year if the reds hire Riggelman the quitter

    • @gschiller13: I don’t want them to hire Riggelman, either. But if they do, the team will do a lot better than 72-90, I assure you.

    • @Eric the Red: @gschiller13: I don’t recall the Reds even presenting a list of candidates yet. Who decided Riggleman (not Riggelman) would be named anything? Go ahead and kick the dog.

  7. Why is everyone so much in love with Jim Riggelman? He has a career .445 winning percentage. He has gone to the playoffs one time and did not win a game. Sounds like another manager that cannot manage under the big spotlight. I think that it will be Bryan Price. If not, I think that Jocketty will go outside of the organization. I believe that it will be someone fiery but a great game tactician. I hate LaRussa but you have admit that he was a maestro at game management. How many games did we watch him totally out think and out manage Dusty? I think that it will be a LaRussa Lite. Riggelman does not fit the description. I would absolutely love for the Reds to hire Lou Piniella. He would bring everything the Reds need? Accountability, fire, passion, and he hates losing more than anything in the world. Bryan Price worked for Piniella in Seattle so there is a relationship. Look at this quote from February 28, 2006 made by one Mr. Bob Castellini. ” “I doubt if I’ll go to one game this spring,” said Piniella, who was nevertheless told by new Cincinnati Reds owner Bob Castellini that he’d be welcomed any time in the Reds’ camp to evaluate their team.

    Read more: It is a match made in heaven!

    • @icee82: Good comment overall but I’m not sure if recycling Lou would be a good idea. He quit mid-season in his stint with the Cubs, admitting he was burned out.

      • @pinson343: Sweet Lou looked like a doddering shell of his former self when he left the Cubs. Unless he as reinvented himself in the interim, it is a joke to even mention him in this discussion.

    • @icee82: The idea that these retired managers would come in off the golf course to spend 150 nights in a hotel room … Piniella retired, LaRussa retired. Torre retired. These are OLD MEN. They retired because they didn’t want to manage anymore. Frankly, part of baseball’s problem is grandfathers, out of shape, sick of the rap music, having to relate to guys who are in their 20s with bank accounts in the millions.

      That’s not what is going to work. Hell, Don Zimmer is a smart guy, if you can wake him up.

      • @Johnu1: Right on. Among that group, I’d go with Don Zimmer.

        • @pinson343:
          Great points on the reply and you are probably right on. Here was part of my rationale on Lou. He is probably one championship away from a possible HOF induction. Who would not want to take a team that has real potential of winning it all while also solidifying his HOF credentials? LaRussa is already a lock for the HOF for his two world championships. A second one for Lou in two different decades would be icing on the cake. I love baseball but I was living the life they are, I would not want to manage either!!!

  8. Maybe it could just be a reaction to that insipid Bud Light?

    Gonzalez put Kimbrel in in the eighth tonight – is that even legal?

  9. There were indications in the press coverage that Castellini and his entourage left the game a bit early, with him looking visibly disturbed. I love having an owner who’s a fan.

  10. If there was ever a manager that wore out his welcome, it was Dusty Baker. I try to be objective about all things baseball and at the end of last year, I defended Baker. Yes, he is a poor tactician and his moves leave me scratching me head but, I opined, the players love playing for him and more than not, they play hard. I was willing to overlook an obvious weakness to focus on a strength.

    It became apparent his year that Dusty had lost the team. The “players manager” became a pushover. A lack of concentration and accountability prevailed. Horrible baserunning, bad at bats and cookbook bullpen management were the themes for the year. He simply had to go.

    Next year is not a slam dunk. There are a lot of question marks. What would I do?
    First, I’d hire Bryan Price, I think. I am assuming given the freedom to do say, he may run the bullpen a little differently. Second, I’d make Aroldis a starter. He’s too good (and not to mention the investment) to pitch 70 innings per year and go ten days without pitching. They are not maximizing his value. Third, I’d call Mesaraco and tell him to get ready to catch 140 games in 2014. He really started playing well – and then Hanigan comes off the DL and never sees the field. It’s time to see if he is the All-Star catcher we were expecting. Finally, I am shopping a starter and trying to find a SS/LF/CF/3B that can swing the bat and bring some energy. If Aroldis becomes a starter, maybe Bailey (who I love) or Cigani can be used to get a front line guy. Last, Phillips can’t be a middle of the order bat in 2014. Yes, he drove in 100 runs. If Frazier would have batted fourth, he’d had 100 RBI. With Choo and Votto on base over 40% of the time, a lot of his RBI were free RBI’s.

    I still can’t believe this team finished third.

    • @Greenie55: I would add on to your Mesoraco with Frazier and Cozart. All 3 will be in 3rd full year, they should have experience(less so Meso) to be more consistent and productive, particularly Frazier and Meso. it would be nice to see those 2 combine for 40-50 homers and provide RH thump.

    • @Greenie55: Still have to do something right to drive runners in. No such thing as a free RBI.

      • @greenmtred: I was using figurative language. Yes, you have to do something to drive in runs. Point is any number of players hitting in the four hole would have been in the 100 RBI range with Votto and Choo preceding. I like Phillips – in the six or seven hole.

  11. For me, Baker should have been out the door when the Reds nearly blew an 8-0 lead against the Diamondbacks on 8/21.

    If you recall back in June (June 14th), the Reds lost to the Cubs in extra innings. Before the game, Jonathan Broxton had been marked unavailable because of some arm trouble. Unfortunately, the Reds could not seal the deal before extra innings, and as the game dragged on, Cincinnati was running out of available pitchers. The bottom of the 14th arose, and the pitchers who had not yet come into the game were named Chapman, Broxton (and the other four starters the Reds had). Rather than throw Chapman for the next two innings, Baker went to an injured Broxton.

    It would be the last inning Broxton would throw until August. Reds lose, and even worse, he ruined an arm.

    Fast forward to August 21st, the Reds have an 8-0 lead against the Diamondbacks. In typical Reds fashion, they take their foot off the gas and before you know it, the score is 8-5 to start the 8th inning. Rather than throw Chapman for two innings (or Lecure, or Simon), Baker calls on none other than Jonathan Broxton. Broxton again, had complained of arm soarness the past few days and had not pitched in five games as a result. Perfect time to bring in a rusty, hurt pitcher right?

    HR, and a four pitch walk later, that would be the last appearance for Broxton in 2013. Baker obviously didn’t get the job done in shelving Broxton in June, had to throw a hurt pitcher again in August.

    I think that sums up Baker’s in game management disaster to a T; and why many Cubs fans hold him responsible for Wood and Prior (although I have no evidence of such claims, I have no doubt I could find it if I looked).

    • @FrustratedRedsFan: Kerry Wood isn’t Dusty’s liability but Prior is, to some end. Though not totally. Dusty gets the Prior-and-Wood label stuck on him without a lot of merit.

      Broxton may have a case. That’s a tough call without hearing from medical evidence. Same with Aaron Harang a few years back, who claimed he had to change his mechanics after 5 innings in relief.

      If the Broxton thing holds water, then I would have to ask what Price’s role was in that decision — if any. If there was one, then … maybe discussing Price as the next manager deserves some inquisition.

      • @Johnu1: You bring up a thought that I have had regarding Price as manager. Dusty’s use of the bullpen, to me, left a lot to be desired. How much influence did Price have in those decisions?

    • @FrustratedRedsFan: that Cubs game. Sam LeCure was struggling in he 8th, but managed to get two outs, bringing Darwin Barney up with the tying run on second.

      Chappy is ready in the pen, but Dusty lets LeCure work to Barney. The result is a game tying single instead of a possible 4 out save.

      This is when I realized once and for all that Dusty is too loyal to players and roles, and never will make the smart move n an urgent situation. Broxton’s injury was a result of his poor decision making.

  12. not sure if this link was posted in another thread or is allowed. some interesting comments regarding MLB-XM interview with Marty Brennamen regarding reds.

    • @doctor: I don’t see anything in this report that we here on RLN haven’t discussed. Marty is filling airwaves with stuff people want to hear without saying anything that he’s not allowed to discuss.

  13. It is really amazing the emotions that fans go through. On Tuesday, it was the lowest of lows. A horrible ending to an otherwise forgettable season. It ended mercifully. I admit that I was a little down over it. However at 7:30 AM this morning when Jim Scott announced the AP release on WLW, suddenly I felt great. I had lost hope with Dusty at the helm. I think that he was a very nice and genuine gentleman but the wrong man at the wrong place with the wrong team. Now I have hope even though I have no idea who the new manager will be. I wish that RedsFest was next weekend because I am ready for the roller coaster to begin all over again!

  14. We all respect DB (lets be politically correct), but who other than BP- who would we actually hire?

  15. Unfortunately, I am too old to know how to change my name from “a”. But I cannot envision how BP does not have 80% chance for job. Maybe Walt will surprise though

    Often on this blog the “lack of leadership” phrase has been used. No leadership in the dugout by a player or players. There are times that all of us see the obvious and assume it is true. Now we all know that we have several intelligent and thoughtful players and coaches who really understand how the game is played on and off the field. They know that they cannot speak out, tweet, email, or in any way express ideas, opinions, or concerns about manager or coaches. It is not done period. Some of the Reds players and coaches wanted change because they could see that the cancer of “Oh well there is tomorrow” was affecting some of their teammates. Younger less wise players looked at the manager as a friend or grandpa instead of a leader (parent).
    Back to the players and coaches who knew that Dusty had to go and only Mr. Bob could take that action. Bob needed to see what was going on and at great personal expense (stature, actions, and results) they sent the message in the last two weeks of the season and knew that once Bob got the idea he would look into it. As Steve M said,” Bob Castellini does not mess around” and certain players and coaches knew this. They got the job done in a very smooth manner with very little noise and absolutely no hint of what was going on.

    Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it – Dwight David Eisenhower

  17. With Dusty now history in Cincinnati, who will be the next lightning rod? One would have to think Walt Jocketty is now under an enormous amount to pressure to make the right moves, and I believe he will do just that. However, I do not believe he can afford any more missteps as bad as allowing Marlon Byrd to clear waivers.

    • @kywhi: As well, I think the strategy of signing “reserve Latin infielders” needs to at least be part of the conversation. I hold no animosity toward “Latin” in this context, just that it’s a trend that seems hard to not notice.

      These guys are getting reasonable* contracts to get 3 or 4 at-bats a week, usually hit .180 and play decent defense. Henry Rodriguez could have achieved that and would have, by now, been 2 years in the Reds clubhouse.

      Instead, we went from Orca to Rentawreck to Exxon Valdez to Izzy … to backward from Miggy Cairo. Why did the Reds sign Jack Hannahan? We got Jason Donald for free in the Stubbs trade and he never got an AB with the Reds. Was he worse? You tell me. Brodie Greene was as good as Izturis.

      Walt is, IMO, way too slow bringing our prospects up into Cincy … compare it to the Cardinals, who evidently are teaching pitchers to compete at the top level. The Reds seem content to have them compete at the next-highest level. Bob Stevenson will be Bronson’s age before he pitches in GABP.

      Walt is spending time signing young horses and he’s leaving them in the stable. All the while, Dusty got blamed for favoring veterans.

      * reasonable is a big-league deal.

      • @Johnu1: :You need reserve infielders, and a lot of infielders are Latino. I reiterate that teams in the Reds’ position (contenders with expensive position players and pitchers, but modest resources) probably have to cut corners with the bench. I agree that the bench has been very disappointing (Cairo excepted, though not in his last season), but without restocking it from the depleted organization, improving it much will be very difficult.

    • @kywhi: Marlon Byrd is a cheater. If having him was the price of victory, I for one am glad we didn’t pay that price. Let’s say the Pirates win the WS this year, and then he gets popped again. That would taint the whole experience and embarrass the franchise and city. It would undermine all the hard work of the rest of the organization. Since you have to be Bud Selig or believe in the Easter Bunny to think Byrd is currently clean, I’m fine having passed on him.

      Plus, it’s nice revisionist history to think Dusty would have played him over Ludwick, but there’s absolutely no reason to believe he would have.

  18. I hope that you guys were correct all along and that Dusty was the reason that the Reds only won 90 games this year. And that they didn’t get to the WS (of course, only 2 teams do). I believe that the players have much more to do with this than any manager does, but maybe we’ll get some changes in the roster, too, and next year will be better.

  19. That look was my expression after the Reds and Bengals loss. I’m taking a much needed break from sports. It seems like I was just here last year.

  20. Anyone keen on possibly bringing Scott Rolen on as mgr? Knows the personnel, who plays hard, who coast, would have immediate respect and locker room cred. Keep Speier as bench coach, make Price “organizational pitching” director and highest paid so he’ll stay, goodbye Jacoby & Hatcher, keep Beery.Rolen and Uncle Walt have history….what do you think?

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2013 Postseason, 2013 Reds