2014 Reds

AP: Dusty Baker Out

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.

277 thoughts on “AP: Dusty Baker Out

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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)


      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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

      • @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.

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

  12. 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.

    • @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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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: 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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!!

    • @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.

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Stealing from the Sultan of Swaff:

    Dave Martinez

    Tampa Bay, Joe Maddon’s bench coach.

    Do it.

    • @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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. any Reds players quoted reactions yet?

    seems like first sign of an active off season.

    • @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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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!

  29. 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.

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

  31. 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

  32. 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!

  33. 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.

  34. 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!!!

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

    • @The Singing Bush: Agreed, great point. That was a thumb in the eye for the organization, and a complete failure in mgmt / leadership by Baker.

  37. 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.

  38. 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”

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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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