Mark Sheldon’s story at the Reds site is the place to start. Regarding the rest of the coaches:
There was no announcement regarding changes on the coaching staff. “That will be determined after we hire a manager,” Jocketty said. “Several of them are still under contract. Once we hire a manager, then we’ll review the coaches with a new manager. Obviously we’ll recommend some but you have to allow a new manager to hire some of his own coaches.”
John Fay’s story at the Enquirer, with more quotes from Jocketty, says the “collapse” was the reason Baker was fired.
Jon Heyman at CBS talked with Dusty Baker and this fairly lengthy account. Heyman says when Jocketty told Baker on Wednesday [*since corrected, see update 2] that he was planning on firing hitting coach Brook Jacoby, that Baker said “If you’re going to fire anyone, fire me.” According to Hayman, that’s all Jocketty needed to hear and ended the conversation. Jocketty called Baker in yesterday and fired him.
John Fay tweets that Bob Castellini denies that the Jacoby firing response was the trigger. Castellini also refers to this theory as “someone’s imagination.” Slightly longer article by Fay on Castellini fully denying Baker’s account.
Note: That’s a pretty big difference in accounts between Baker and everyone else. There are rumors that Dusty Baker is attempting to organize a conference call with the media.
Fay also tweets Castellini saying: “He’s a good man, a renaissance man. But this was not working.”
C. Trent Rosecrans reports some player responses.
Sam LeCure: “I love Dusty, I have an opinion like all the people on Twitter, I don’t agree with everything he does. Everyone has an opinion on how they’d manage a game or fill out the lineup card. But I do know Dusty was doing the best job he did. I think it was a time for a change with some of the personalities.”
Bronson Arroyo: “I’m surprised it was him. I had a conversation with him two days ago and if it was coming, he didn’t know it. He was talking about his plans for next season and he was worried about his coaches.”
Jay Bruce: “The Cincinnati Reds became relevant again with Dusty at the helm, and that’s something people should never forget. From a personal standpoint, I’m thankful to have had Dusty there with me from the time I was 21 years old. He taught me so many valuable things about the game of baseball, things that have helped me become the player I am today, and I’m very appreciative of that. Aside from the on field aspect, he took an interest in myself and the other players on a personal level that far exceeded that requirements of a manager.”
Arroyo endorsing Bryan Price to be manager: “I think he’d be unbelievable,” Arroyo said. “He’s as organized as anyone in the game, he holds people as accountable as well as anyone I’ve seen. He doesn’t buy into stereotypical things in the game, things that other people buy into that I don’t feel are relevant. Price looks at evidence. He’s a freaking smart guy, he makes his decision on reasonable evidence. Sometimes in baseball we go by hunches, what someone else said or they way things have gone in the past. He doesn’t do that.”
LeCure, expressing the need for fundamental changes in the tone: “I don’t want there to be a comfortability, I want someone to come ruffle some feathers.”
Player reaction story from Sheldon, with many of the same quotes, plus this from Todd Frazier:
“I really enjoyed having him,” said Frazier, who just completed his second full season in the Majors. “He’s a player’s coach that’s been there before. He could relate to anyone, that’s why I liked him. He could break it down for you. A five-year-old could understand how to hit after talking to him. That’s what made him so good. Dusty taught me a lot of things about hitting and life. I really thank him for that.”
Ken Rosenthal at Fox writes that Baker was fired because the team “stopped playing for him.”
Fay tweets that Jocketty says LaRussa is through managing and Morgan isn’t interested.
Rosecrans talked to LaRussa who confirmed he’s not interested in managing again.
Buster Olney’s talks about the Baker firing at the start of his podcast. “There’s been a lot of unhappiness in the organization with what’s been going on, especially in the postseason.” “Too many questions in the Reds front office with how the clubhouse has evolved. About leaving Cueto in the game too long.” “Didn’t like the clubhouse culture that had evolved where they felt there was a lack of a sense of urgency.”
Jason Stark, as interviewed on Olney’s podcast: “There was a clear vibe in Pittsburgh that the front office was extremely unhappy with the way the season had ended.” “The way they played in the game in Pittsburgh was a bad showing considering what was at stake.”
Fay tweets that Jocketty acknowledges front office failures.
One interesting name as a possibility for the next manager that I heard on the radio was Davey Johnson.
Updates: Paul Daugherty’s take: “Castellini had been firmly in Baker’s corner, until this year. A few events changed that: When Brandon Phillips interrupted Baker’s daily pre-game press briefing to berate an Enquirer reporter, Baker didn’t stop it. That suggested Baker didn’t have the necessary control of his players. Then, as the Reds drifted, then nose-dived late in the year, Baker insisted there was no need for urgency. Castellini is not a patient man. He’s also a fan. He understands he has a core group of very talented players, in the prime of their careers. After three first-round playoff losses in four years, he had seen enough, both as a fan and businessman.”
John Fay with some insight on Bryan Price: “Logic on why I THINK Price gets the job: Keeps him from leaving. Pitching is strength of team. Has that managerial air.”
Tom Verducci at Sports Illustrated writes about Dusty Baker’s future, his past record in the postseason, and how generational change among General Managers may work against Baker getting another job: “Baker may be out of chances around the game, too, especially as more and more people who do the hiring in baseball are at least a generation younger than him and understand and embrace the game from an analytics standpoint that never interested Baker. Davey Johnson, 70, who retired, Charlie Manuel, 69, who was fired by the Phillies, and Baker, 64, are from another era. The irony is that Baker remained current with his young players — few managers ever connected with his players like Baker — but not with the modern analytics of the game.”
FWIW, I see Dusty getting another job, maybe not this year, but eventually.
Update 2: Baker comments, as per CTR: “You kind of like go places and you raise the bar and then if you don’t take it all the way, if you have the team or not, you’re a failure,” Baker said. “It got to the point where everything was on me — if we don’t hit or don’t pitch — it seems like it was me. It wasn’t very much fun at the end.”
Baker also says in the article that the Jacoby conversation took place last week, not on Wednesday. That makes sense. It occurred, but wasn’t the proximate trigger for the firing. It took place with Jocketty and may not have even gotten back to Castellini. To BC, the entire issue was the collapse of the team at the end, not the coaching changes. Heyman has now corrected his story so that it doesn’t say this occurred on Wednesday, but a “few days ago.”
That substantially changes the story. If Heyman got that wrong, then he really blew it. It changes everything about how the firing came about. Heyman’s conclusion that Baker was “fired for standing up for what he thought was right” is entirely false. All the people in the twitterverse who are complimenting Heyman’s reporting better rethink it.
Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.