About 15 minutes ago, the AP broke the news that Dusty Baker is out as manager of the Reds. John Fay has since confirmed.

I, personally, support this move. I think it was time for Dusty to go. That said, he is, by all accounts, a pretty excellent guy, and we here at the Nation wish him the best.

I have a feeling it’s going to be an interesting offseason. Bob Castellini does not mess around.

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.

Join the conversation! 277 Comments

  1. Where’s the party at? I’ll bring the cookies!

    I too support this move. While it is impressive making the postseason three times under Dusty, it really seems like two (if not three) of those teams underachieved severely in the playoffs. You’re right Jason, I think it’ll be a wild offseason for sure.

  2. Be careful what you wish for! I am going to happily rip every single mistake the new manager makes.

    • @gschiller13: Good grief. This seems rather petty, particularly since the replacement has not yet been found/announced. For the most part, criticism of Dusty around here’s been rather fair and level-headed. I’d think you should afford the new skipper similar respect.

      Have you provided your list of pre-requisites for the new manager and/or your list of acceptable candidates?

  3. Woo!

  4. I hope we, as Reds fans, show some class and let the man leave with dignity. He took the team to 3 post season appearances and that is saying something. I wish Dusty nothing but the best. Thanks for all of your efforts.

  5. I’m pretty surprised. Who’s taking over? Brian Price? Someone from the outside?

    • @JMac1984: I’ll take Bryan Price for 500, Alex.

    • I’m pretty surprised. Who’s taking over? Brian Price? Someone from the outside?

      Corky Miller.

    • @JMac1984: Probably Brian Price, guy’s done a great job. I think it’d be interesting to bring Barry Larkin in. I am a pretty big fan of bringing players back to help run the team. Joe Morgan helping in the front office, Barry Larkin managing, and who knows.. maybe in 2015 (when Selig retires and uses his last act to unban him) Pete Rose as hitting coach? Guys who are Reds through-and-through and know what needs to be done to be successful.

  6. The Dustytax is now a thing of the past! Now WJ can bring in HIS choice for manager. It’s about to get interesting around here!

  7. This is the first win in over a week. Step in the right direction. Hope they are able to keep B Price.

    Thank you Dusty, for your efforts. While I won’t miss you, I salute your 90 win seasons.

  8. Thanks to Dusty for being a huge part of making Reds baseball relevant again. That said, I’ve been vocal that it was past time to move on, and I’m glad the move was made sooner rather than later. I wish Dusty nothing but the best in his future endeavors.

  9. Good gracious! This just happened and there are 20 comments already.

  10. I think that since 2008, Baker was the right manager for the Reds. With that said, I wholeheartedly agree with Steve’s post following the Wild Card loss.

    The big question is who… There are a lot of big names out there right now. Girardi, Gardenhire, possibly Scioscia, and Manuel. I’m very interested in who is brought in to take this 90 win team over the top.

    • @David: Girardi Gardenhire and Scioscia are not available and they wouldn’t take this job.

      • @gschiller13: A few names that are actually available are Eric Wedge (underrated I believe) and Manny Acta. Jim Leyland’s contract is up, so whether he’s available will depend on how the Tigers do. I know Leyland is old school like Dusty so you may get aggravated with things like bunts, BUT he holds everyone accountable and is fiery when he needs to be.

        A lot of managerial candidates out there would take the Reds seriously because of the talent level. I think of this as a 1989-type moment. Eric Davis wrote in his autobiography that the first thing Lou Piniella said at the first Spring Training team meeting was that there was way too much talent in that room to not have won a World Series. Four 2nd place finishes and the downer that was 1989 with Pete had held them back. Lou knew what he had an an incoming manager will no doubt see the same and more.

        • @ColgateCrew:

          I don’t thin that anyone has issues with playing “small ball” when necessary, but when the man continuously bunts men over with a runner on second, NO ONE OUT, IN THE FIRST INNING, it is nothing but a wasted out! He did this continuously. If you’re facing Kershaw, I could MAYBE understand it, but with Dusty, that was well beyond “small ball” it was idiotic!

    • @David: Charlie Manuel is Dusty Baker without the toothpicks.

  11. Want to remind everyone about the commenting guidelines here. No personal attacks on each other or members of the Reds organization, and in this case, Dusty Baker. Keep it classy, Nation.

  12. One clarification, the article says it is not clear if he was fired or stepped down. I cannot imagine him stepping down, but he has had health problems.

    All the same, I share the sentiments above. I think it was time, but I wish him well and thank him for all the positive impact he did have on the team.

    • @GRF: AP was quick to point out in the story that I read — Dusty is under contract so it was not likely that he resigned.

  13. Although seemingly a good person and good manager, it is apparent that Baker’s style wasn’t going take the team over the hump. The Reds have had 3 playoff appearances in 4 years. Have won 90+ games in back to back seasons. What do they have to show for it? Heck, the Rangers got to play the same number of games as the Reds this year, and the Rangers didn’t make the “playoffs.” A payroll above $105 million. The Reds now have a two year window with this core group of players. I am celebrating the recognition by ownership that a change was needed to win a World Series.

  14. A few comments were taken down this morning already. The way the software works, when we strike a comment, all the comments that replied to the struck comment also have to be removed and sometimes that means getting rid of comments that otherwise would have been okay.

    Bottom line: while this is big news that likely stirs strong emotions one way or another, try not to be provocative this morning.

    • @Steve Mancuso: Thanks for keeping it classy. In the past there has been a lot of hatred spewed at Dusty that went beyond acceptable criticism and was uncalled for. By all accounts Dusty is a decent and honorable man who genuinely cares about his players and tried his best. Having said that, I do think it was time for a change.

  15. It was time. I hope they hire well. I’m sure they have someone in mind. How about the Oakland manager?

  16. I see the hire being Price Larkin or Riggleman. Riggleman is a quitter I don’t want him. Ivy said my peace about price so I would take Larkin.

    • @gschiller13: Larkin is probably my favorite Reds ever, but for some reason I don’t think he’d be a good manager at this time. I can recall him talking on Baseball Tonight this season about outdated baseball ideologies (importance of RBIs, I think he even said that BP was the teams MVP at some point this year).

      While his allegiance to Cincinnati is about as good as it gets, I don’t think he has the mindset of a good manager yet. I want someone who will think outside of the box. Gimme the guy who won’t be afraid to bat Votto second, who won’t be afraid to use relievers (coughChapmancough) for multiple innings and in any situation. And hopefully the guy who can refresh this team’s memory on how to run the bases better than high schoolers (that shouldn’t be too hard, right?).

      That being said, I think Larkin would be an improvement over Baker, and no matter who they hire I’ll be cheering just as loud as always.

  17. There will be a lot of challenges for the next manager. Namely, who will they bring in to crack a very tight and talented clubhouse? He would have to be a strong personality without disturbing the chemistry.

    • @TC: how talented? No center fielder and bad at ss, 3b, and lf and first baseman had a down year

      • @gschiller13: Stop. This team is talented. It’s silly to argue that. It has holes, but it IS a talented team.

      • @gschiller13: 2nd year guys at 3rd and SS. They did fine for year 2. Cozart finished strong with numbers I will take and I projected Todd at 20 HRs and 80 rbis. He was not far from that and his glove was better than I expected.

        those 2 get better in year 3. Unfortunately, Mesoraco is still in year 1 due to a former manager who does not like young players

      • @gschiller13: Maybe you have a different view of what the word “talent” means. We have no CF? Maybe. But Billy Hamilton is one the the most talented players in all of baseball. Whether or not you think he translates well into a starter in 2014 is irrelevant (I tend to think he should start in AAA and get promoted if he’s doing well) because the fact is he has tons of talent.

  18. Good! I got so sick of seeing him strikeout with men on base.

    • @RedZeppelin:

      Good!I got so sick of seeing him strikeout with men on base.

      His “be aggressive and swing at everything/walks clog the bases” approach may have had something to do with the wild flailing at crappy pitches.

      • @Kurt Frost: Correct. Dusty’d philisophy, quotes, and actions actually convinced me that he would rather a player attempt to get a hit and strikeout than walk with a runner on 2nd. That, of course, is folly.

  19. I’m suddenly much more excited for the 2014 season. I wonder what else is in store for the Redlegs this winter.

  20. 100% the right move. Without a doubt. Yes Yes Yes and more Yes.

    We’re not celebrating Dusty getting fired. We’re celebrating the Reds future. There is a difference. This absolutely needed to happen.

    • @brandon11: One more YES! Dusty delivered us from the darkness and helped make us relevant again but the time has come for the torch to be passed.

  21. You know Morgan and Price are on the short list. I’d take either of those. I’ve also seen Larkin’s name being bounced around above in the comments. He has a great job already, but YES, of course, he’s be awesome.

    Price would be my pick. Mostly because he already has the respect of the players, he’s would have input into the next pitching coach, and another team won’t be stealing him.

    • @TC: @WVRedlegs: @TC: Bryan Price would not make a good manager, probably. Pitchers, with some exceptions, rarely do make good managers. I do not know who they bring in as manager, but Charlie Manuel is one of the best hitting instructors in baseball and could really help this team. I would not mind if Speier got an interview or Mark Berry. If you want someone from the Reds system that would be available and has the experience of making teams better, how about Rick Sweet.

  22. BTW – they’re not done yet. I have a feeling there will be a lot of changes up and down the system from a hitting coach perspective.

  23. I think we just need a more cerebral and adaptable version of Dusty to be honest. I don’t think a bull dog is what this team needs, they need a professional who treats them with respect but makes it clear that the needs of the team come first. A Davey Johnson or Felipe Alou type, not a Lou Pinella.

  24. Nice guy. Finished last in the playoffs. Again.

    Couldn’t be happier for our Reds. Soooooooooo curious who the next manager is going to be!

  25. With all due respect to Dusty, this is the move a championship organization makes. The Bengals keep bringing Marvin Lewis back, content to finish 9-7 and lose in the first round of the playoffs. That is the sign of a complacent organization. But the Reds are different and we expect more than an early exit. When an organization comes up short, change at the top is required. Thanks Dusty for your efforts, but it’s time to take this talented team to the next level and bring home a World Series.

  26. I am just very confused why so many think Price would be so great. He has no experience. Please font mention Matheny anyone could manage that lineup

    • @gschiller13: I think the Reds need to do whatever it takes to keep Price. If that means making him mngr, so be it. If he doesn’t want mngr, pay the man to stay as pitching coach.

    • @gschiller@gschiller13: I don’t even know where to start with this. Do you think it’s possible that the Cardinals lineup is so good because of the manager and coaching staff and organizational philosophy? Good grief. It’s not like their lineup is full of Bryce Harper-type hitting prodigies straight from the top of the draft. Guys like Adams and Carpenter and others were low picks who were coached and taught to hit. Baker and Jacoby are happy to let guys just keep doin what they’re doin.

      • @down with dusty: Matt Adams had a 0.900+ OPS in the minors, Carpenter’s OPS was 0.850 (with an OBP >0.400)…both guys were going to hit in the majors given enough time, let’s stop pretending Matheny and his staff “coached” them up and taught them to hit. Adams just crushed the ball in the minors, but Carpenter, in particular, was a lock to perform well given his on base skills.

        That said, the Cards smartly (or a cynic would say, were forced to) put their prospects in position to succeed. The Reds & Dusty Baker have basically put Mesoraco, their best hitting prospect since Jay Bruce, in a terrible position.

        • @CP: Excellent post, I like numbers. I think there may be some middle ground, though. They weren’t top round sort of picks, as DownWithDusty stated, but they did excel very quickly in the Cardinals minor league system. I’d be open to the possibility of a minor league coach and/or organizational philiosphy just making them develop quickly and/or more effectively than they would have on their own. They were good hitters and are good hiiters, so they were going to hit, as you said.

          I think a nice parallel to Mesoraco is Evan Gattis in Atlanta. He wasn’t going to take McCann’s spot, so they tried him out in left field. He wasn’t good, but the idea was still there. “Here’s a great hitting catcher who is behind McCann. We need to get him on the field more often to let him get some ABs.” I know McCann is way better hitter than Hannigan, but I think letting Meso play left a few times wouldn’t have hurt a whole lot.

          • @prjeter: I think if you are going to hire a first time manager this is the situation to do it, not when your team is performing like the Marlins. Give him a chance at early success. Matheny might not be the reason the Cards excel, but he is probably learning his craft better for the Cards than he would for a minor league team or a poor MLB club with no hope.

  27. While Baker might be the best guy in the world, while Baker might have been at one time a great manager, he just didn’t have it anymore. It’s not a bad thing; it happens to all of us.

    Now, his demeanor might have been because of his health. His health may have meant for him not to get too enthusiastic, etc., in certain situations, quite understandable. However, when posed with that, a person needs to recognize that he can’t fully perform his job then if he needs to be more active and step down.

    I know I myself have called Dusty the ultimate “utility fielder” of managers. Another analogy, probably better, would be the “Doug Collins” of MLB. For those not aware, he was Michael Jordan’s first NBA coach. He could never get the Bulls “over the hump”. It took Phil Jackson to do that. Coincidence? That’s what I thought, until Phil did it again with the Lakers and Kobe and Shaq.

    Just remember, odds are drastic we aren’t going to get a “Phil Jackson” to step in here. However, I do think we can get a better person in here, someone who can light some fire around here. Most prominent names out there who I like are Gardenhire and Giraldi. But, I would by no means limit it to those. Like I said before, I would be willing to bet the D-backs weren’t thinking of Gibson when they fired their previous manager, nor the Pirates thinking of Hurdler, nor the Orioles thinking of Showalter. Now, have those managers won a WS? No, but I do like how their team plays day in and day out. If the Reds played like that, even with the same exact record and same finish, I would have supported Baker coming back.

    • @steveschoen: Gardenhire’s in-game approach is a lot like Dusty’s. Rather hope they don’t get him.

      • @Jason Linden: You may be right. I may be stuck on the fact that Gardenhire did have success with the Twins, I believe a similar market team as ours, like one of the last 3 GM’s we hired (I believe it was Krivsky) from the Twins to develop our club like the Twins were then, who brought in a lot of the players we have here now. It could be possible Gardenhire might be a dinosaur by now, also.

    • @steveschoen: Gardenhire just got extended and Girardi won’t leave NY.

  28. What I can’t understand is the people who make comments like ‘it’s the players fault’ (which it is) and that the manager has nothing to do with the team winning, so are they trying to say that there is no need for a manager?

  29. Personally, I think it would be best if there were no remnants left over from the Dusty regime. As I said yesterday the new manager should be allowed to chose his own staff.

  30. I would like to thank Dusty for all his work these last few years, that being said can-not hire with-in just because we “like” them or they were a “great” player. We need a guy who knows how to win. I trust WJ has his guy already picked. I like Price but I think this team needs a new attitude and I don’t know if he can do that. I’m excited for the REDS and hopefully the new direction and winning path we are about to go down! GO REDS! and once again, goodbye, good luck, and GOOD DAY! Mr. Baker!

  31. For those asking why Bryan Price, it’s because of the job he’s done with the Reds pitching staff the past few years. This article on Price by Mark Sheldon offers a decent window into how Price has operated with the pitching staff.

    That said, being a pitching coach isn’t the same thing as being a manager. It will be up to WJ and BC to figure out if the qualities from one job translate to the other.

    • @Steve Mancuso: Steve I respect your opinions and enjoy your writings. I just cannot agree with you about Price. I would be mad if he gets the job.

      • @gschiller13: You’ve said that a couple dozen times the past few days. But never with an explanation. It would help understand your viewpoint if you could give some reasoning why you don’t think he’d make a good manager. Price has certainly, by all accounts and measures, succeeded at his job with the Reds pitchers.

        • @gschiller13: You’ve said that a couple dozen times the past few days. But never with an explanation. It would help understand your viewpoint if you could give some reasoning why you don’t think he’d make a good manager. Price has certainly, by all accounts and measures, succeeded at his job with the Reds pitchers.

          I agree that Price will be a good manager, But one of if not the biggest problems with this team has been attitude and approach, I just don’t know if a guy you have seen the last 4 or 5 yrs on a daily basis is the guy to bring that. That being said WJ has to look long and hard at him.

        • @Steve Mancuso: I dont like the idea of hiring a pitching coach as manager. Few have succeeded. I want a manager with experience. I dont want someone who is currently a coach. If makign a chance, lets make a change and go outside the organization. And just something about him I just do not like, a gut feeling. Its just my opinion, but I will be grumpy if he gets the job and will criticize every mistake he will make.

          • @gschiller13:
            Go read the Mark Sheldon link about Price. He is EXACTLY THE RIGHT GUY.

            Young Player development

            Communication

            Accountability

            Already has THE BEST relationship with half the team

    • @Steve Mancuso: I still have questions on Price, also. I don’t know; it may be something the strength and training staff or the medical staff does, but from what I see, I do believe Price has done a good job with the pitchers, but from what I see, also, it seems to me a good number of our significant injuries are coming from pitchers. Masset’s been out. This year with Cueto, Marshall, and Broxton. The 2011 debacle. I believe all seemingly in Price’s second year with the player. Like I said, it could be the strength and training staff or the medical staff and just a coincidence that Price has been the pitching coach at the time. Not that I don’t want Price out, not that at all; I believe he has done a good job with the pitchers. Something just doesn’t sit right me about Price getting more control. I am still getting use to his development of the pitching staff.

      • @steveschoen: Show me a pitching staff that has no injuries. Did you already forget about last year, when 5 starters never missed a start?

        • @VaRedsFan: First, a starter did miss a start last season. Second, like I specified, which of that group was in their second year with Price? Answer? None of them. Third, have you ever heard of a fluke? You know, those things that fate just sort of wills them into being, then immediately takes them back? You talk like an entire staff of starters not missing a start happens every season for every team, or even every season for Price, which it of course hasn’t happened. Lastly, yes, everyone gets injured. I specified that it’s just seemed to me that a majority of our significant injuries have been to pitchers.

  32. The Fed Ex guy came in and ask me if I’d heard the news. I thought he was pulling my leg. I would be willing to bet he quit because they wouldn’t give him a contract past next year.

  33. Reason prevails.

    I logged in to relay what I just heard, on replay, during the LA/Atl game. The announcers were talking about Mattingly almost getting canned in June. Someone said that Baker said he likes to slow the game down during the playoffs… Then they talked about how Mattingly has said that the game is fast, and you have to always be thinking, on your toes. That there was a sense of urgency in June, and that they (the announcers) think that certainly applies to post-season play.

    Sense of urgency all year round.

    I vote for Bryan Price, unless someone has a better idea.

  34. I wonder how close (if at all) Jocketty was to getting the “axe” ? Ask any reds fan and they will bring up his shortcomings in a heart beat

    • @zab1983: All GM’s make mistakes. Where would this team be though without the big (surprise) deals he’s pulled off the last few years. Starting with Rolen and Chapman, and more recently Latos and Choo.

      • @Greg Dafler: Rolen helped us for 1/2 season in 2010. After that he was constantly hurt, and performance was awful. was that the deal when we traded Encarnacion? You think toronto is happy about that deal?

        • @VaRedsFan: Toronto was so happy with Encarnacion that they let him go on waivers to Oakland after the 2010 season. But yes, after Oakland later released Edwin, the Blue Jays have been happy with the free agent contract they signed him to.

          Yes Rolen’s bat contributed to the Reds losing September/October, but I don’t know if the Reds make the playoffs that year without Rolen’s defense and first half offense.

          • @Greg Dafler: I’ll be honest with you, with his uptick the second time around in Toronto I was surprised that Encarnacion was not on the Biogenesis list.

    • @zab1983: I just read an article that said Dusty had to fight with Jocketty to get Billy Hamilton brought up to the Reds. Also the article said Dusty was disappointed in the lack of any trade deadline moves. Sounds like to me the problem with the Reds not improving is the front office.

  35. WWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. I think myou have to take a hard look at morgan. as much as he sits with Castellini during games… you know they have had lots of discussions. I also think price bears a look though I do not want the hiring to be based on whether we lose him to another team.
    five years ago I say no way concerning morgan… but he brings infinite baseball knowledge along with a fiery personality.
    on the other hand, he shows seemingly no interest in the new statistical way of looking at the game.

    • @wizeman: I love Joe Morgan. But as you say, if you are someone who couldn’t stand Dusty for his lack of acceptance of some of the so called ‘new’ stats behind baseball, Joe Morgan would come from the same school of thought.

  37. I sincerely wish Dusty the best. I want to thank him for changing the culture around here. No matter your thoughts on him, he brought playoff baseball back to Cincinnati and for that, I will always thank him.

    That said, I fully support this move. He had taken us as far as he could as Steve wrote. It’s time to start a new chapter.

  38. I don’t care if Dusty got the boot or if he left on his on terms (which I could see) either way it guarantees that I’ll renew my ticket package for 2014. As the saying goes in football the backup QB is the fan favorite when the starter isn’t getting the job down. Doesn’t mean the next guy up will be better, but a change is/was warranted. Go REDS Go.

  39. AP already has riggleman and price thrown out there as leading candidates. Time for the stat boys to start looking up how Riggleman used to manage the cubs and nats lol

    • AP already has riggleman and price thrown out there as leading candidates. Time for the stat boys to start looking up how Riggleman used to manage the cubs and nats lol

      Riggel quit on his team in Washinton. NO!

    • @zab1983: Please. No Riggleman. He’s had his shots already.

  40. If not Price, I could get on board with Manny Acta.

  41. Now, I will say this isn’t the only thing needed to be done. Bringing in new players wasn’t going to the only answer. Baker needed to be replaced, also. Now, while a new manager “and hitting instructor” could help the offense, I still wouldn’t put aside that there could be some players out there who can help us. But, I’d be willing to see what the new manager “and hitting instructor” can do.

  42. When is Joe madden’s contract up with TB?

  43. most likely totally improbable but how would u people feel about larussa being the skipper round here?

  44. I’ve got two words for you: Corky Miller!!!

  45. this news also might get the “chapman starting” ball rolling again ey?

  46. I stole this from an nbcsports.com article. Good stuff.

    And, no matter who it is, I hope the first question the guy is asked in an interview was what he thinks of Joey Votto‘s walks, followed by a question about what he thinks about Brandon Phillips‘ RBIs followed by a question about bunts, followed by a question about when he would have pulled Johnny Cueto in Tuesday night’s wild card game.

  47. I hope they replace him with someone that is not afraid to discipline poor effort by benching or fining the player. The attitude must change in Cincinnati. Don’t go all “Ray Knight” on them but this group could sure use a little “Lou Pinella”. Someone who has been there and done that and expects 100% effort. I heard someone mention former Red and HOFer Barry Larkin a few days ago. I think he would be GREAT for the players and fans. His youth and experience would be a great fit for this club. Barry’s played for both Lou and Pete, he’s a hometown guy and would help fill the seats. Similar to a move the Yankees made when they hired Joe Girardi. Barry, Barry, Barry!

    • @Benchwarmer: great players don’t make great coaches. I think the reds should go with somebody as least “red” as possible, break the hex

    • @Benchwarmer: Price was pitching coach for Lou Pinella in Seattle.

    • I hope they replace him with someone that is not afraid to discipline poor effort by benching or fining the player.The attitude must change in Cincinnati.Don’t go all “Ray Knight” on them but this group could sure use a little “Lou Pinella”.Someone who has been there and done that and expects 100% effort.I heard someone mention former Red and HOFer Barry Larkin a few days ago.I think he would be GREAT for the players and fans.His youth and experience would be a great fit for this club.Barry’s played for both Lou and Pete, he’s a hometown guy and would help fill the seats.Similar to a move the Yankees made when they hired Joe Girardi.Barry, Barry, Barry!

      I’ve heard Larkin say way too many stupid things as an analyst to want him as a manager.

      • @Kurt Frost: I think it’s an MLB Network thing. Can anyone say Harold Reynolds? I think he’s the best analyst on the network.

        • @Kurt Frost: I think it’s an MLB Network thing.Can anyone say Harold Reynolds?I think he’s the best analyst on the network.

          Harold Reynolds comes off like an idiot. If it’s shtick it’s embarrassing.

  48. Manager – Barry Larkin
    Hitting coach – Sean Casey
    Pitching coach – Bryan Price
    Bench coach – Greg Vaughn
    Bullpen coach – Jeff Brantley

    Why not?

    • @kramer1: at this point the sports in cincy need as little “cincy” people as possible….we need to break the cincy hex

      • @zab1983:

        I disagree. I think we need to do the opposite. Like George Costanza said….”If what he did was always wrong, then the opposite must be right.”

      • @zab1983: Dusty was a Dodger and I wouldn’t really call Dusty him a “great” player either.

    • @kramer1: A number of other former Reds would be on that list.

      Mario Soto
      Ron Oester
      Tony Perez

      … some of these guys are not interested in this sort of work anymore. Soto would be great as a pitching coach.

      Oester just played hard.

      Eric Davis goes on any list.

  49. A huge tip of the Reds cap to Dusty Baker. Under his watch the Reds have gone from fair to relevant, and this stretch of playoff appearances is much appreciated. The recent Reds success is not all his responsibility, nor is the inability to go deep in the playoffs entirely his fault. But this is a better Reds team and a stronger Reds franchise in part because of Dusty Baker. He seems to be a good man, I certainly appreciate his contributions to my favorite team, and I wish him every success and happiness moving forward. Thank you Dusty Baker.

  50. In all honesty, I’m glad we have Walt Jocketty to make this decision. I have full trust in him to find the right manager and Mr. Castellini to make it happen.

  51. Baker is a good fella, nice guy, and played with Hank Aaron. Fortunately, he will no longer provide CubStink and stunt this team’s growth.

  52. Bryan Price. Barry Larkin. Ryan Hannigan. Corky Miller (ok, not really, but I like the outside the box thinking River City Redleg). Crash Davis. Bill James. Bob Costas. The ghost of George Anderson. Phil Jackson. Tony Dungy. Anybody who thinks that sacrifice bunts by anyone other than the pitcher are illegal until extra innings. Think way outside the box. Time to shake things up and I like this start. Not because Dusty Baker was terrible – he wasn’t – but because he wasn’t right for the Reds any more. This team has talent – and needs upgrades. And the manager’s office was capable – but needed an upgrade for this team and this time. Keep Bryan Price somehow, but otherwise – I can’t wait to see who will take charge of this squad. Go Reds!

  53. I’ll echo the sentiments of many here and of Steve’s column the other day. Thank you, Dusty Baker, for your contributions to bringing winning baseball back to Cincinnati.

  54. Lots of photos showing uncle Bob talking with Cal Ripken jr. before tuesday nights game, I know there is speculation he may take the Cubs job, but why not the Reds job?

  55. the casey idea as a hitting coach is a great idea. just don’t think he would leave Pittsburgh to do it. I am uncomfortable the way the riggleman tenure in Washington ended. I am sure that there is a back story…but until we know it… that does not work for me.

    I don’t think price can be blamed for pitching injuries… massets shoulder was just bad. two years in a row… the starters go everyday with the exception of cueto.

    I don’t think larkin is the guy at all. know they were high on david bell before he left for Chicago.

    I think jocketty jas done a great job… I think not blocking byrd was a mistake but nobody bats a thousand. the biggest question facing us is the makeup of the pitching staff. with the departure of arroyo a given… I do not think bailey has any interest in staying in Cincinnati. do you attempt to make him the centerpiece of a package to attract a right handed bat. and do you package chapman… or finally make him a starter. I think when baker butted heads over chapman in spring training… his relationship with walt was ruined.

  56. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  57. What’s interesting about the article that Steve linked to in context with this discussion is that Price resigned his last coaching gig with the D-backs “to remain loyal to his manager after Melvin was dismissed”.

    Does this make it more likely that he’d leave the Reds organization to be Seattle’s manager? Perhaps he was already considering going to Seattle and the Reds approached him about staying to replace Baker. Price may have said that he didn’t want to get a managerial job that way. Obviously, I have no way of knowing any of this or how his loyalty to Baker compares to his loyalty to Melvin, but I think this is a possible scenario to play out.

  58. Lots of tough decisions to make this off-season. WJ seems to do his best work in the off-season.
    Tough decision #1 is completed.
    Tough decision #2 is will Bryan Price be considered for manager or risk losing him.
    Tough decision #3 is who will be selected as the new manager.
    Tough decision #4 is the 3rd annual Chapman to the rotation saga.
    Tough decision #5 Re-sign Choo or not.
    Tough decision #6 if Bailey won’t sign an extension this winter, do they trade him with one year left.
    Tough decision #7 trade Ludwick or not.
    Tough decision #8 keep BP and his antics or not.
    Some might not seem like tough decisions, but with them all lumped together in one off-season, Castellini and WJ will have alot on their plates this winter.

    • @WVRedlegs: #3: Chapman is under team control thru 2016, I believe. Three more years. See if we have the next Randy Johnson.

      There is hope now.

    • @WVRedlegs: Great stuff.

      Here’s my theory: (subject to change)

      Pitchers:

      1.) They will package Bailey and get some value for him rather than keep him for the year and get nothing in return.
      2.) The free agent market is full of good pitchers this year, so the Reds will sign a Roberto Hernandez type free agent.
      3.) They will attempt to re-sign Arroyo in January if he’s still available. This has just gotten a lot more complicated. On the one hand, since there are a lot of good pitchers on the market, Arroyo may still be available in January since he will give the Reds a compensation pick and the the FA Pitching market is flush. He may not be able to get his asking price by January. On the other hand, Arroyo may not want to come back to Cincinnati now that Baker is gone. There is a possibility Price may leave as well, especially if he isn’t made the manager.
      4.) Move Chapman back to the rotation. But this time, instead of moving him back to closer, trade him late in spring training if he’s not going to be in the rotation.

      Regular Players:
      1.) I think the Reds should do everything they can move Brandon Phillips. I could be wrong, but I see him becoming Chad Johnson and there are some options at 2B both on the market and in the system. BP officially lost me with the rant in Baker’s office. I have been pretty mad at someone before, but it has never occurred to me to say the things he said to C Trent.
      2.) Try to re-sign Choo. But don’t break the bank doing it. If you can’t, you can’t. That leaves some money on the table between Choo and Arroyo.
      3.) WJ will make at least ONE really big surprise move. One someone here will call, but most will not see coming that will blow us away once again.

      • @TC: @TC:

        I distinctly remember WJ talking about the Latos and Choo trades. He said for each trade his staff researched and ranked 5-6 players on their strengths and what they could bring to the Reds. Both times the Reds got the top ranked player they researched. I can’t help but think that they will do the same this off-season for a big RH power bat. Two years ago the issue was getting a top of the rotation starter and they succeeded. Last year it was to get a leadoff guy with good OBP. Again they succeeded. They will succeed this winter too, but they have more to do this winter. I too look for a big surprise or a big blockbuster from WJ.

        • @WVRedlegs: A trade is likely but gotta wonder … Reds invested a lot in Latos in order to build a quality rotation. So it seems that really all the team has to offer is a front-line pitcher. Why trade to get one and trade one 2 years later to get a position player?

          The problem is Yonder Alonso can’t play LF.

          The answer is simple: Go all out to sign Choo and shove him into left field.

  59. What a great suprise to wake up to today. Already it feels like next year, like we’ve already turned the page on a disappointing season. It changes the whole perspective, doesn’t it?

    You guys really need to take off the blinders and think of managerial candidates who aren’t in-house. There are a lot of good candidates—Brad Ausmus, AJ Hinch, Bud Black, or some mystery guy who’s never managed before. Point is, the Reds need to conduct a thorough search and not just grab the in-house guy because it’s comfortable. Doing so will require a forward thinking approach from the front office and ownership. Question is, do you think they have the intellectual curiosity to fully vet the candidates in a way that will fully optimize the players?

    • @Sultan of Swaff: Blinders are off. See my comment at 9:09. Amazing how one unexpected announcement three days after six losses in a row can inject so much enthusiasm. How long until pitchers and catchers report?

      • @Chris DeBlois: I agree completely. I thought it was going to be a long, peaceful winter where I didn’t even think about the Reds. Now I’m fired up again.

  60. 1. Someone who will challenge the players. As in Piniella, 1990. Anyone in any situation at any time, whatever is best for the good of the team.

    2. Someone who understands the right time to bunt, has the balls to manage a pitching staff, won’t favor a vet over a better option.

  61. In retrospect, this has been a fantastic season.

  62. Who are the old school candidates? Can we scratch them off the list.

    • @jas_428: Riggleman is one. He bunted and intentionally walked alot in his time as a ML manager. Source: Baseball Between the Numbers. I’m reading it at work, so I don’t have it on hand. That stood out to me. Since 1972, he is in the top 10 of managers that cost his team runs according to Win Expectancy measuring bunts, and IBB.

    • @jas_428: Name the new school managers that win world series. It’s all old school guys.

      • @VaRedsFan: I don’t think it’s useful to evaluate managers on new or old school. YOu win with the available talent and the quality of the competition — as well as getting through a series of playoff rounds.

        LaRussa was playing stats for years.

        If you have guys who can’t hit or run, it’s hard to hit AND run.

  63. I won’t say that losing in the playoffs was worth it, but this is definitely the second best outcome to the season.

  64. Why do people assume that Sean Casey would be a great hitting coach?

    • @CaptainTonyKW: I can assume that Jacoby is NOT … so by process of elimination, Casey has to be better. If that’s as good as it gets, it’s a step forward.

  65. Wonder if Baker is starting to feel a sense of urgency.

  66. I would like to state pre-emptively, that I will also complain about next year’s manager, whoever he may be.

    • @Greg Dafler: Me too. But I will never, ever, EVER say something like “maybe Baker wasn’t so bad after all.” Never. Ever. They can lose 162 next season and I won’t say it.

  67. O HAPPY DAY

  68. Bobby Valentine…

    Just kidding.

  69. Bon voyage, Dusty, and I wish you all the best. At this moment, I no longer feel the need to dwell on the negative. The future is wide open.

    I am cautiously optimistic. Optimistic because the fact that the organization did this THREE DAYS after the crash and burn sends a crystal clear message to the players that what just happened was NOT acceptable – there will be no standing pat after this debacle. It may be wishful thinking on my part, but maybe it’s also a message to Shin Soo Choo that this organization aspires to more than just making the playoffs next year, and maybe he’d want to remain a part of it…

    Cautiously, because I don’t have any feeling that the front office is suddenly going to totally embrace modern analytics – the next manager may not be much more in touch with new ideas than Dusty was. But who knows – maybe that article last week about the Pirates utilizing modern analysys in positioning their defense (combined with the still stinging whoopin’ they laid on us) might pay dividends for us, too.

    • @RC: The Reds do in fact embrace sabermetics. They use it as a tool, but not the only tool which I agree with.

    • @RC: I’m optimistic without the cautious part. Choo ia a sabermetric’s dream guy. Remember DB was not a Walt decision.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Choo’s signing is perhaps the one impact of the Reds’ sabergeek department. And a mighty good one. But beyond that, I don’t recall seeing much evidence such things played any part in day-to-day decision making.

        • @RC: You are probbaly referring to the nench guys, which I believe were DB’s guys: Izzy, Harris, Cairo, etc. The exception: Ludwick. Which really was a nice pick-up. The new contract wasn’t smart though. We will know the answer to these questions in time. I have one one word to describe who will be the manager: cerebral.

  70. I hope the Front Office isn’t concerned with a “name” as the next manager. I think Larkin, Ripkin and Morgan would all be terrible choices (am I was a huge fan of all three as players). They are too “old-school” to compete with the new ways of running a club (even fossil Clint Hurdle has gotten more on board with the new school than they have). I don’t know enough about Price to know if he would be any good as a manager. Clearly he is a great pitching coach, but who knows how he would manage.

    I would like to get a Maddon-type manager – someone who has been around the game for a while (not necessarily as a manager, though) but is open to the new ways of thinking. Someone who can be creative to get the best out of the roster and not just do things because “that is the way they are done.” This team is a 90+ win team based on talent, but we need someone who can squeeze those 3-5 extra wins in the regular season and then understand the urgency of postseason baseball.

    • @francisp: Well, you don’t have to look much further than Joe Maddon’s long time bench coach, Dave Martinez. He’s been interviewed for other vacancies.

    • @francisp: You raise an interesting question. How many more wins was this team capable of? I think it’s a lot more than 3 – 5. I know that the conventional wisdom says that the manager is only directly responsible for a couple of wins or losses each year, but that’s not what I’m asking. How many more games could / should this team have won? Here are some changes that might have influenced that:

      Manager’s approach relative to accountability (think flailing at the plate, bad base running mistakes, indifferent or unnecessarily risky defensive plays). Manager’s lineup construction. Early season replacement for Ludwick. More effective bullpen early in the season. And a year long “sense of urgency”. I don’t have a hard time imagining 100 wins. Agree? Disagree? Discuss.

      • @Chris DeBlois: It is hard to say with any authority how many wins another manager might have gotten out of them. Conservatively I would stick with 3-5. But imagine the difference even 3-5 wins would make – at least home-field in the wild card game, a chance to set the postseason rotation (Cueto? really?) and potentially the division title. A few extra wins for a team like this is way more important than a few extra wins for a 75 win team.

      • @Chris DeBlois: I’m with you…I’m thinking 10-12.

      • @Chris DeBlois: Not likely another 10 wins but a much better approach to 3-game series. The 90-only wins is partially Houston’s fault. All in all, the approach this team showed was that if they were going to win, pitching had to lead.

        Pitching broke down a couple of times and the result was that the team went begging.

    • @francisp:
      Bring back Pete Mackanin. He should have been hired instead of Dusty in the first place.

  71. I’m guessing that Uncle Walt already has his guy in mind and that this will happen quickly. My guess is Price for manager and Teddy Power as pitching coach.

  72. As far as a new manager, I think we are in for a big surprise. When has Walt ever been predictable? Who saw Latos & Choo coming? I sure didn’t. I trust WJ to make the right call and am excited to see who it is. I’m guessing it is someone who he has had in mind for some time. That said, I would rule out: Larkin, Morgan, Riggleman, Griffey, DeShields, and even Price. I think he might aim a little higher. Will not mean we are familiar with the name either. Exciting times!!

  73. Yeah… why aren’t we talking about Rick Sweet?

    • @TC: Sweet was a guy who came to mind but he seems to have drifted off the radar lately. I think he deserves an interview. I also like DeShields.

  74. Would it be fair to say that signing a “name” manager would reduce the amount of money available to spend on players?

  75. If it turns out that Baker was fired, I’m surprised at how quickly it happened. It makes me think that at least in part it was an emotional reaction to the postseason loss.

    This is pure speculation, but Baker has never seemed to have a close working relationship with Walt Jocketty. If that’s really the case, it probably didn’t help Baker in this decision. Owner has a visceral reaction to the way the team ended the season. The GM won’t put brakes on the move to replace the manager.

    • @Steve Mancuso:

      I think someone mentioned it on another post, but I think they said that Bob was not really pleased with the way Dusty Baker handled the Brandon Phillips / C. Trent fiasco, so I think that might have been an additional thing to add to the fire in making “the emotional reaction”. Might have been something to the effect of “this is his last straw – if they look lifeless again tonight he’s out”. Just pure speculation, but I thought it was VERY unprofessional myself the way Dusty just sat there and smiled and laughed about it – spoke volumes to me about who he is.

    • @Steve Mancuso: I’m not that surprised they did it so quickly. It’s not a bad move strategically to do it early. Not only does it make a clear statement of accountability to Reds Country from the Front Office, but it creates the vacancy when the greatest number of candidates are available. Unless the Tigers don’t renew Leyland’s contract, it is likely the Reds will have the most talent of any team with a vacancy this offseason, and therefore the most attractive position. Opening that position now helps ensure that Walt and Bob will have a better choice and a window of opportunity when other teams can’t make a choice bc they are still playing.

    • @Steve Mancuso:

      If it turns out that Baker was fired, I’m surprised at how quickly it happened. It makes me think that at least in part it was an emotional reaction to the postseason loss.

      Olney is reporting that this is exactly what happened.

    • @Steve Mancuso: I think it’s been brewing in their minds for a while even before the BP/CT fiasco. The fiasco put Baker in danger. The comment about no sense of urgency probably put Dusty in a position in their minds that he needed to take the team DEEP into the playoffs. If not the WS, game 5 of the NLCS.

      I don’t think anyone has any idea how bad the BP fiasco changed WJ and BC’s mind about a lot of things. That is NOT how BC wants his team portrayed and it is not reflective of the way WJ wants a team to behave. That had consequences no matter what happened in the postseason.

      So, no, I don’t think it is a total reaction to the quick exit from the postseason. That was just the capper.

    • If it turns out that Baker was fired, I’m surprised at how quickly it happened. It makes me think that at least in part it was an emotional reaction to the postseason loss.

      This is pure speculation, but Baker has never seemed to have a close working relationship with Walt Jocketty. If that’s really the case, it probably didn’t help Baker in this decision. Owner has a visceral reaction to the way the team ended the season. The GM won’t put brakes on the move to replace the manager.

      Maybe Walt fired Dusty before Bob had a chance to waver on the decision. I have had the feeling for a while that Jocketty was ready to get rid of Dusty by Castellini was not allowing him to.

  76. I think Riggleman is on the short list of ‘obvious’ guys for obvious reasons. I think his job would be more in tune with ‘interim’ than permanent. Honestly don’t want the guy.

    The Baker staff will probably go and though we all think Price has done a great job, there are other coaches who can benefit from that and move forward.

    Hitting philosophy is more important now and my interest is in a different approach.

    How about Delino DeShields? He’s a small-ball kinda guy who appreciates the big inning.

    My other short-list guy would be Ron Oester. After that, Chris Speier, so long as he doesn’t coach third base.

    Billy Hatcher? He’s rarely mentioned.

    And Ron Gardenhire just signed a 2-year extension with the Twins. Girardi is going to stay in New York.

    Bell will get the Cubs job.

  77. What’s the list of available managers who have won a World Series?

  78. Stealing from the Sultan of Swaff:

    Dave Martinez

    Tampa Bay, Joe Maddon’s bench coach.

    Do it.

    • @RedLeg75: He’s got my vote too. Which of course means nothing to BC or WJ. 🙂

    • @RedLeg75: Not Bob’s style. I don’t see him bringing in anyone who doesn’t have a proven track record as a big league manager. The only exception I could see would be Bryan Price, but I don’t think we go that route. At the very least Bob is going to want someone who has been a manager at the AAA level at some point. He’s goign to want to make a splash – like he did with Dusty.

  79. For laughs, go check out espn’s article on the matter, specifically the comments. They haven’t gotten any smarter since they mandated one has to have a facebook account in order to speak.

  80. I’m not going to weigh in on replacements until I start hearing an interview list. I will say I’m nervous about Price. His value is as a pitching coach and no one knows what kind of manager he’d be – plus it would take his focus away from being a pitching coach. I hope somehow we’re able to keep him on in that capacity. It’s worked for Mike Zimmer across the street for a couple years.

    Obviously I think this was the right move, but the biggest relief is that according to reports the players agree with it as well. My biggest concern was that some of the guys would be really upset at Dusty being fired (BP and Votto specifically) and that it could cause a clubhouse problem – especially in BP’s case. But I think those guys recognize what everyone else saw: That DUsty wasn’t going to win a championship here. And BP especially is staring down the back end of his career and desperately wants a ring. These last two years must have killed him. So here’s hoping for a big Walt offseason. I think we’re in for some major surprises.

    • @eric nyc: Thought the same thing, but players are always going to back whoever is manager at the moment. That is what you do.

  81. any Reds players quoted reactions yet?

    seems like first sign of an active off season.

  82. What about Jacoby? Getting fired, not as manager.

    • @StealYourBase: I assume whoever is hired is going to want their own staff. The only exception would, I assume, be Bryan Price if he’s not hired as a manager here or somewhere else. I’d think not only would Bob and Walt insist he stay on but that whoever was hired would WANT him to. Jacoby’s definitely out.

  83. A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that the Reds will announce Friday that Baker will be replaced. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because there had not yet been an official announcement.

    This does not sound like the type of action from a WJ/BC run organization. No one outside the inner circle hears anything about what happens within the inner circle, until WJ & BC want the information disseminated.

    There are now no more free passes for WJ. He is now completely responsible for every action in the baseball organization. WJ will hand pick his on-field manager and the manager will hand pick his coaches. If the minor league coaches can’t or won’t get a professional hitting philosophy instilled in the Reds organization, it’s WJ’s fault now.

    WJ has excelled in the big, bold moves (i.e. Choo & Latos), but has layed rotten eggs in the lesser moves (i.e. Izturis, Hannahan, Donaldson, Harris, Valdez, Lewis, Renteria, Cabrera, Gonzalez, Taveras, Patterson, et al). Most of the criticism was levied on how those marginal players were utilized by Dusty, but WJ put them on the roster.

    As @WVRedlegs: noted, WJ has several significant decisions to make during this offseason and those decisions will impact the teams success for the next 5-6 years. The first decision has been completed and that was necessary before any additional moves are contemplated. If the team just changes the on-field manager and coaching staff with no accompanying moves to fill the holes on this team, the next few seasons could be tough, starting with 2014. It’s time for WJ to show why he makes the big bucks.

  84. From everything I’ve heard about Price he’s highly organized and believes in performance accountability. Sounds like a good combination to me. And hiring him also gives us the best shot at keeping Bailey and Latos.

  85. Shame on us for doubting Bob C for even a second. At every turn this owner has shown a desire to win and improve this ball club.

    Dusty’s firing is no guarantee of improvement but retaining him guaranteed that the team would remain the same. So kudos to our owner for expecting more.

    It’s safe to assume that the Reds will at least have a new hitting coach to go along with Manager but cleaning house would not be a great thing in my opinion, or apparently in the opinion of many here.

    • @rightsaidred: Agreed with the Bob C comment. That was my first thought as well. It really showed some stones to get rid of Dusty, especially after defending him for this long.

      The ambition of the ownership is exciting. Most sports teams are not this well run. I consider myself lucky to have him in charge.

  86. What about Ozzie Guillen? Leaving it open just bc I haven’t seen his name mentioned yet. I thought he was a pretty good manager.

    • @ColgateCrew: You haven’t seen his name mentioned because he’s too much of a loose cannon to be hired by any sensible organization. It is no coincidence that his last two employers (White Sox, Marlins) are two of the fundamentally worst constructed teams in the majors right now. After his comments about Fidel Castro which got him fired from his last gig, I think he’s done as a manager. Maybe a coach, but nothing more.

      • @dc937: Hypothetically, let’s say this is 1978. Sparky just got fired but Bob C is in charge. There is no way Bob C would ever consider Billy Martin, right?

        You’re definitely right about the loose cannon aspect of Guillen but I figured at this stage on-field achievement would trump all. He has it even amidst the off-field quotes. Perhaps not after BP and C. Trent, which I agree with others did not reflect well on Dusty.

  87. Ok, my adrenaline levels seem to be tapering off and it’s a long offseason, but this is an exciting way to start. I too suspect that this will be the first of several major and unexpected moves. Could be great fun. I’m going to enjoy the playoffs (not as much of course as if the Reds were in it, but it’s still October baseball) and settle in for a fine winter debating each possible and actual move here on RLN. In the meantime let me be the first to predict World Series 2014: Reds vs. Royals. See you there!

  88. Is it dumb to think that Jeff Brantley might be a good pitching coach if Pryce either becomes manager or leaves? Brantley seems to be pretty knowledgable about the game.

    • @nvilleredsfan: I see no reason why he couldn’t be a good pitching coach. Just gotta make sure the players don’t get their hands on his ribs or ice cream.

    • @nvilleredsfan: Anything that’ll get him off the radio/tv…just kidding, the Cowboy has grown on me. We at least felt the same way about Dusty.

  89. What happened to the “steinbrenner rule”, eg, no big announcements until postseason ends?

  90. Alot of people are asking for the new school saber manager. Look at the list of world series winners the last 20 years. They are mostly old school guys. What is really needed is a hybrid of the two. Do those exist? I’ll check Ebay

  91. Bring back Pete Mackanin. He should have been hired after Narron in the first place.

    • @BRM-WVA: I hope you are joking about Pete Mackanin. You are replacing a proven manager for a complete no name.

      • @gschiller13:
        What Dusty has PROVEN is that he could do in Cincy what he had done everywhere else; and this is where we are. Mackanin won with a Reds team that had struggled under Narron. Small sample size I know, but he got results and handles himself, his team and the media like a manager should. I was rooting for him to get the job when Dusty got it. Dusty gave us what he had given every other club he managed – close but no cigar. I attribute the Reds rise more to Jocketty than Dusty.

        I haven’t seen a name mentioned on here yet that would make me forget about Mackanin. NO JOKE!

  92. In terms of new players. Who do the Reds target to shore up the team?

    There probably needs to be at least one signing to the OF where Ludwick is a bit of a question mark and Hamilton probably can’t be projected as a starter just yet. Assuming Choo is too expensive then who?

    Beltran? Byrd?

    There are a few decent FA catchers on this year’s market but hopefully Hanigan can recover and future manager switches the workload to Mes.

    • @rightsaidred: Most pressing need to me is a right handed bat who can make people pay more consistently for putting Votto on base. A Holliday to Votto’s Pujols. LF? CF? 3B? Don’t care.

  93. The reds need a new hitting coach especially. I think they should keep Price as the pitching coach and bring in a whole new philosophy and style of play. Go Reds!!!

  94. Dusty was a good man but the last week of the season was a disaster and somebody has to be held culpable. I applaud the move. Unlike the Bengals, who reward someone for failing to get past the first round, the Reds did the right thing. Onward and upward. I look forward to an interesting offseason.

    • @sezwhom1: The Bengals are a totally different situation. They will not find a better coach than Marvin Lewis who is willing to work for Mike Brown.

  95. I really don’t understand all the “Dusty’s a nice/great/excellent guy” sentiment going on around here. He sat with a smirk on his face while one of his players repeatedly called someone a “fat MFer” for doing his job. That is not the action of a nice/great/excellent guy.

  96. I keep reading about how we’ll have trouble meeting or besting this year’s record next year. I don’t get that. Assuming the obvious – Choo and Arroyo out – that really doesn’t leave us in bad shape at all and we can easily improve in any number of other spots. The 2013 club grossly underperformed, the last week aside. Without so many key injuries and with some better managing it’s not hard to see this club winning 98-100 games. Next year we will essentially be swapping Cueto for Arroyo in the rotation and the 6th guy in Louisville will be better than Gallarado or Reynolds (likely Corcinco or Stephenson eventually). With Choo and Arroyo off the payroll we can go find either a stopgap in CF if Hamilton isn’t ready or a big bat at 3B or LF to hit 4th. That instantly improves our bench, like that would be hard to do anyway. Todd is great, but he shouldn’t be a starting 3B for a contending team. He’d make an EXCELLENT bench player. Great in PH situations, able to spot start whenever necessary without everyone whining about Sunday lineups, and obviously a great clubhouse presence. You figure Joey improves on his numbers and Jay Bruce at least stays consistent if not continuing his upward trend a bit. BP also should have a bounceback year, though he’ll never put up 2010 or 2012 numbers again, he still underperformed this year and we can expect better.

    I just can’t imagine this team wins less than 90 games next year barring major injuries. But how much more major can you get than losing your opening day cleanup hitter for 4 months, your ace starter for basically the entire season, and your 2 main setup relievers for the better part of the year? We had a lot of bad luck in 2013 and Dusty didn’t help the situation. I won’t let Walt off the hook, either – he did nothing to prepare us for injuries in the offseason and nothing to help alleviate their impact during the season. I have every reason to believe 2014 will be better, regardless of who is at the helm. And I think a new attitude of accountability and urgency will make it even more fun to watch.

    • @eric nyc: I think they’ll be fine. I’m expecting Votto to have a monster year, Bruce to be Bruce, and Mesoraco to continue to develop.

      I don’t know about BP or Ludwick, but it’s hard to imagine worse production from either of them. Then again, age + injuries stink.

      I disagree about Todd Frazier, he’s just fine as a starting 3B. The Reds do have a problem that they’ve accumulated too many streaky bats, but I don’t understand why we focus so much on Frazier. I think Frazier’s offense + defense is easily better than Cozart’s, even when adjusted for position, for example. I think it’s more pressing to upgrade an OF bat, or SS. But Frazier could slide out out to the OF if a big bat 3B comes available too…

      I don’t think the Reds are going to stand pat. I’m expecting Bailey or Cueto to be moved for a bat, preferably a mirror image of the James Shields trade from the Rays to the Royals. Neither is on the same level as Shields, but the Reds just don’t have many trade assets. I could see the Reds trade from a position of strength and roll with a Cueto/Latos/Cingrani/Leake + Reynolds or slide Chapman into the rotation and/or rush up Stephenson.

  97. Jeff Passan (Yahoo Sports) tweet: “Word filtered around last night that Dusty Baker was out. Players heard early, and while they like Dusty, they think it was the right move”

  98. OK. I’ll do the honors. I’ll officially get the Giancarlo Stanton for LF rumors started today.
    That’s a type of guy that WJ covets and targets, i.e. team control.
    Get a guy like Stanton, it is easier to keep Frazier’s on and off bat at 3B.

  99. what’s shocking to me is that it’s taking teams so long to get it that it helps to have a total organization philosophy/practice. It doesn’t make any sense to have a GM put together a team or a farm system, only to see the manager use the players in ways that don’t make sense with the GMs vision.

    It’s just one of the weird quirks about baseball that some mid-level guy (the manager) gets to make decisions that trump his boss’s (the GM).

    The Pirates did so well this year (in part) because their GM got guys with an approach in mind, their data guys gave them intel on how best to use those guys, and their manager actually put it into practice.

    That’s what I want out of this new hire for the Reds. Get me a guy who sees the vision, is willing to to use some data, and who puts his players in the best positions to succeed.

    • @al: Well said. I listened to a Clint Hurdle interview yesterday, and was impressed by how he, the GM, coaches and even the players are all on the same page and share a common vision.

  100. Just wow. I could see it coming, but I’m in a bit of a state of shock anyway.

    It’s the right move. I believe Dusty helped the team in 2010 but not since then. I won’t repeat the usual peaves about Dusty. It comes down to two things:
    1. He was clueless about managing a big game, even recently stated that “urgency is a bad thing”.
    2. As already well argued by Steve M., he is not the guy to take the Reds to the next level.

    Also I don’t think he’s been the same since the stroke. He even admitted to feeling foggy after it last year. I’m almost his age, and am in good health and never had a stroke, but you just don’t have the same energy level as you get along into your 60’s. You might still have the same drive but I don’t think Dusty did.

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About Jason Linden

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.

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2014 Reds

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