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View Full Version : Baker -- not Wayne's choice?



Matt700wlw
03-23-2008, 02:12 PM
http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/2008/03/23/2008-03-23_dusty_baker_returns_with_upstart_reds.html?page =0

...What Baker discovered was the same thing fellow older and successful managers Lou Piniella and Jim Leyland discovered before him. Today's new-wave, stats-consumed general managers aren't interested in hiring established high-profile managers with proven track records, preferring instead to develop their own at mostly entry level salaries. (See: John Russell in Pittsburgh, Trey Hillman in Kansas City, Bob Geren in Oakland, Manny Acta in Washington, Bud Black in San Diego). It takes special circumstances for the Piniellas, Leylands and Bakers to get hired, mainly the owner's involvement. In Baker's case, Reds owner Bob Castellini superceded his GM, Wayne Krivsky (who was of a mind to retain Pete Mackanin, who'd gone 41-39 after taking over the Reds from Jerry Narron last July) and made it clear he wanted a "name" manager.

dougdirt
03-23-2008, 02:18 PM
Well that makes me feel a whole lot better about Wayne Krivsky and makes me wish Castellini didn't think he was Steinbrenneer.

*BaseClogger*
03-23-2008, 02:18 PM
Haha did they just insinuate that Krivsky is a "new-wave, stats-consumed" general manager?

Tom Servo
03-23-2008, 02:19 PM
MacKanin was a smarter version of Narron, I could see why Krivsky would have wanted to keep him.

fearofpopvol1
03-23-2008, 02:39 PM
I'm not disputing that this isn't true, but how do we know this for sure? The NY Daily News (while not quite the NY Post in terms of reliability) is not the NY Times and it's not like that is a direct quite.

Anyway, if it is true, then it's kind of unfortunate because it sounds like Krivsky isn't in full control of the team.

redsrule2500
03-23-2008, 02:49 PM
not surprised on this one. It's almost too bad, I really liked how Pete handled the team.

Falls City Beer
03-23-2008, 03:14 PM
Pete was a little by-the-book for me.

KronoRed
03-23-2008, 06:15 PM
Not a shock, Baker had owner guy written all over him from day one.

Joseph
03-23-2008, 06:16 PM
Anyway, if it is true, then it's kind of unfortunate because it sounds like Krivsky isn't in full control of the team.

I'd say MOST GMs are in full control. Maybe Beane, maybe Schuerholz when he was in ATL....this sort of thing is probably more common than we'd guess to imagine.

REDREAD
03-23-2008, 10:57 PM
Well, I don't see how anyone can really long for Pete McKain over Dusty.

If anything, this quote further shows that Bob wants to win ASAP, while Wayne is content to be on a 3-5-10 year plan..

Personally, I'm glad the guy that wants to win now owns the team, even if the hire of Dusty turns out to be bad, at least the owner has his heart in the right place. Gives me more hope that someday this franchise might get turned around.

dougdirt
03-23-2008, 11:00 PM
Well, I don't see how anyone can really long for Pete McKain over Dusty.

If anything, this quote further shows that Bob wants to win ASAP, while Wayne is content to be on a 3-5-10 year plan..

Personally, I'm glad the guy that wants to win now owns the team, even if the hire of Dusty turns out to be bad, at least the owner has his heart in the right place. Gives me more hope that someday this franchise might get turned around.

Or maybe it shows that one person knows who is a bad fit for a specific group of players and one guy who wanted to hire that exact guy because of his name.

pedro
03-23-2008, 11:18 PM
If anything, this quote further shows that Bob wants to win ASAP, while Wayne is content to be on a 3-5-10 year plan..



I think it suggests that a GM who was likely already on the hot seat wasn't about to tell the owner that the best course of action was to spend millions of dollars a year on a big name manager, whether he really wanted him not.

Unassisted
03-24-2008, 12:02 AM
I think it suggests that a GM who was likely already on the hot seat wasn't about to tell the owner that the best course of action was to spend millions of dollars a year on a big name manager, whether he really wanted him not.Good point. Especially if Dusty's salary comes out of the same pot of money that the money for players comes from. Wayne may have preferred to stick with Mackanin so he could spend more of the Dusty money on players.

traderumor
03-24-2008, 09:56 AM
Wayne must be an awfully good liar considering he talked about how the FO, including himself, was pursuing Dusty since the middle of last season according to what is already in print. Never mind Krivsky is not a "new wave, stats consumed general manager," just go ahead and take what this writer said at face value? This little parentheses is little more than a writer having a premise and writing a blurb that makes it sound like he has inside information to prove his theory.


Reds introduce Baker as manager
Club holds press conference to introduce Cincinnati's skipper
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com



CINCINNATI -- If there were some who wondered whether or not Dusty Baker was the right fit to manage Reds, there was at least one common bond shared by both sides.
An absolute desperation to win, and to win quickly.

"Hopefully we can have that championship ticker-tape parade. That's what I really need. I need it badly," said Baker on Monday as he was introduced as Cincinnati's new skipper. "You just don't know how badly I need it. I'm spoiled by winning. Once you win, you get more spoiled each time you win. You want more and more. It's kind of like a disease I don't want to cure. I just want to satisfy it."

The Reds have endured 12 seasons since their last postseason appearance in 1995 and seven straight losing seasons.

"We're both starving, so I hope we can both eat at the same time," Baker said. "Even when I asked my son [Darren], 'What do you think of the Cincinnati Reds?' he says, 'Dad, they always start off good and end up in last place.' I said 'No, Dad is here to change that.'"

Reds owner/CEO Bob Castellini and general manager Wayne Krivsky are banking on it, and gave Baker a three-year contract through the 2010 season. The 58-year-old has 14 seasons of managerial experience with the Giants (1993-2002) and Cubs (2003-06) and is a three-time National League Manager of the Year. He went to the World Series with San Francisco in 2002.

That kind of resume brought instant credibility in the minds of Castellini and Krivsky.

"This guy is a winner," Krivsky said. "The more I'm around him, he's a very sincere, genuine person that relates well to players. He's someone that communicates, somebody that creates an attitude that winning is the only thing we're after here, but we're going to go about it the right way and professional way.

"The more you talk to people that have been around him more than I have, he just commands that respect. Players want to play for Dusty Baker."

Baker owns a 1,162-1,041 career record as a skipper and will become the first African-American manager in Reds history. With Marvin Lewis as the head coach of the NFL's Bengals, a city often criticized for its race relations issues will have African-Americans leading both of its professional sports franchises.

"I think it says a lot for Cincinnati and it says a lot for the organization," Baker said. "The organization certainly would not have made such a move if it had feared that the city or the area would not have accepted this change at this time.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"This guy is a winner."
-- Reds GM Wayne Krivsky, on the hiring of Dusty Baker

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Hopefully, there will come a time when you no longer look at me as an African-American manager or leader. You look at me as a man and a leader that's going to lead your team regardless of who I am and what face that I have."

The Reds received permission from Commissioner Bud Selig to make the announcement during the playoffs.

Neither Castellini nor Krivsky would divulge the other candidates for the position other than interim manager Pete Mackanin. Under Mackanin, the Reds went 41-39 after the team was 31-51 with Jerry Narron by July 1.

Krivsky said Mackanin had a spot in the organization, if he wanted it.

"Pete is going to come out the better for this for the experience," Krivsky said. "He's only elevated his status in the game in the eyes of other baseball people. There will be place if he thinks it's the best place for him. I'm confident he'll be getting some other opportunities, whether it's as a coach or manager with another team. He's a field guy and belongs on the field."

Speculation throughout the second half rested on whether the Reds would go with Mackanin or someone with a bigger name. And while Baker's name is among the biggest among current managers, Castellini insisted name recognition wasn't an overriding factor.

"He's a proven winner, a proven leader, experienced in winning," Castellini said. "He's won 90 games five times. We've won 90 games as a franchise since [1980] three times. When he has all those attributes, he's naturally going to be a high-profile manager. But did we go out to find some rock star? No."

Neither Krivsky nor Castellini would reveal how many candidates were up for the job.

"We didn't do a formal search. We exhaustively searched who was available," Castellini said. " was one fellow we went after."

Baker was dismissed by the Cubs after back-to-back losing seasons, including a 66-96 campaign in 2006. He spent the 2007 season working as a television analyst for ESPN, where he will remain throughout the postseason.

[B]Word leaked by Thursday that the Reds and Baker were talking seriously, but the process started much earlier.

"I talked to Wayne sometime midsummer. I talked to him on the phone," Baker said. "They had approached me and it was sort of feeling each other out, not knowing what was going to transpire. I had a job and they already had an interim manager here. I talked to Bob shortly thereafter."

There was little activity between the two sides for a couple of months. Everything accelerated once the season ended.

"They approached me very aggressively," Baker said. "It didn't take a very long time to make up their minds or my mind, which how is how l like to do things. You either want me or you don't. They showed me that they did. We got things rolling and it transpired very quickly."

"The overriding words that you hear are 'commands respect,' 'born leader', 'a winner,' 'universally respected by players and management alike,'" Krivsky said. "This guy embodies everything you're looking for in a leader, and a winner. When you talk to players and hear those things, it really gives it some oomph when the players make the comments that they do."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Unassisted
03-24-2008, 10:00 AM
I talked to Bob shortly thereafter.

Not Wayne, but Bob. We didn't catch this before.

traderumor
03-24-2008, 10:15 AM
Not Wayne, but Bob. We didn't catch this before.:rolleyes: I guess when you want to believe something...

Unassisted
03-24-2008, 10:25 AM
:rolleyes: I guess when you want to believe something...In the grand scheme of things, it truly doesn't matter who made the hire. I just find it highly plausible that Castellini preferred a hire that would make a splash to one favored by Wayne that would look to outsiders as if it was straight out of Carl Lindner's passive playbook. Once the owner makes the decision, everyone who wanted someone else needs to appear to be rowing the same direction or the media sharks will smell blood in the water.

Occam's Razor may favor simplicity, but I've found that life tends to be messier.

Since the decision has been made, I think we can agree to hope it was the right one.

traderumor
03-24-2008, 11:21 AM
In the grand scheme of things, it truly doesn't matter who made the hire. I just find it highly plausible that Castellini preferred a hire that would make a splash to one favored by Wayne that would look to outsiders as if it was straight out of Carl Lindner's passive playbook. Once the owner makes the decision, everyone who wanted someone else needs to appear to be rowing the same direction or the media sharks will smell blood in the water.

Occam's Razor may favor simplicity, but I've found that life tends to be messier.

Since the decision has been made, I think we can agree to hope it was the right one.I would be the last person to use Occam's Razor as a guide to getting at the truth. Whether or not you find it plausible, it shouldn't be for the reasons stated in the above article. Krivsky is not a stats-oriented GM and the guy lowered his voice and whispered the "smoking gun" in the article. I find it puzzling that the thread does not seem to be more skeptical about this quote, but merely accepts it. :confused:

princeton
03-24-2008, 11:25 AM
Cast had ability to blackball anyone such as Mack. WK probably did too. And they were able to reach consensus on Baker. That doesn't mean that Baker was anyone's choice or nonchoice.

fearofpopvol1
03-24-2008, 11:33 AM
Wayne must be an awfully good liar considering he talked about how the FO, including himself, was pursuing Dusty since the middle of last season according to what is already in print. Never mind Krivsky is not a "new wave, stats consumed general manager," just go ahead and take what this writer said at face value? This little parentheses is little more than a writer having a premise and writing a blurb that makes it sound like he has inside information to prove his theory.

As I said in an earlier post, I don't think it's necessarily fair to claim with 100% certainty that it was or wasn't Wayne's decision. You have to consider the source here as it wasn't a direct quote.

traderumor
03-24-2008, 12:07 PM
As I said in an earlier post, I don't think it's necessarily fair to claim with 100% certainty that it was or wasn't Wayne's decision. You have to consider the source here as it wasn't a direct quote.If I had a job like Wayne's, I would probably humor myself every once in a while looking up things like this and getting a good laugh at things I'm supposedly thinking or the way certain decisions went down.

Cooper
03-24-2008, 12:58 PM
The bigger question seems to be: who is in charge? My guess is Baker has more power over personel decisions than Wayne K. Wayne K. wouldn't have done some of the things that have taken place without knowing full well that Dusty has the owners ear and a longer term contract.

Reds/Flyers Fan
03-24-2008, 01:42 PM
I'm not disputing that this isn't true, but how do we know this for sure? The NY Daily News (while not quite the NY Post in terms of reliability) is not the NY Times and it's not like that is a direct quite.


NY Times has its own credibility problems. It's hardly the measuring stick anymore.

fearofpopvol1
03-24-2008, 02:21 PM
NY Times has its own credibility problems. It's hardly the measuring stick anymore.

I agree, but it's more credible than the Post or the News.

REDREAD
03-24-2008, 05:11 PM
I think it suggests that a GM who was likely already on the hot seat wasn't about to tell the owner that the best course of action was to spend millions of dollars a year on a big name manager, whether he really wanted him not.


Let's pull money out of the equation for a bit.

If money was no object, would you prefer Pete to Dusty?
Because it looks like money was no object. Bob wanted Dusty and was willing to pay for it.

People can bemoan that Dusty might bat his CF leadoff regardless of OBP, but I think Dusty may be the first manager since Davey Johnson that the players actually respect. That might be more important than lineup construction.. There's been claims that optimal lineup construction isn't very important.. I don't know if it is true or not.

But just curious, if money doesn't matter, do people really prefer Pete McKain?

REDREAD
03-24-2008, 05:15 PM
Good point. Especially if Dusty's salary comes out of the same pot of money that the money for players comes from. Wayne may have preferred to stick with Mackanin so he could spend more of the Dusty money on players.

I doubt Dusty's salary affects the draft budget or the player acquision budget.

Many people make the assumption that there is a fixed amount of $$ to spend on the team and allocation is critical. I disagree. Even John Allen often said that the budget was never set in stone, the GM was never handed a fixed amount of $$ to spend as he pleased.

For example, if Cordero turned the Reds down, the money allocated to him this year may not have been spent at all. Likewise, if there was an ace starting pitcher as a FA, Cast might've upped the payroll another 12 million to get him, as opposed to spending 1 million on Fogg..

The reality is that the owners make a LOT of money. They only have to answer to themselves. That's why they can sometimes be talked into adding a Vaughn or a Cordero if the opportunity arises.

REDREAD
03-24-2008, 05:18 PM
I find it puzzling that the thread does not seem to be more skeptical about this quote, but merely accepts it. :confused:

IMO, there's people on this board that like Wayne, but don't like Dusty. So they welcome anything that "explains away" why Wayne hired Dusty. It's just human nature. I do it too. I'm not criticizing or calling anyone out.

StillFunkyB
03-24-2008, 05:44 PM
The bigger question seems to be: who is in charge? My guess is Baker has more power over personel decisions than Wayne K. Wayne K. wouldn't have done some of the things that have taken place without knowing full well that Dusty has the owners ear and a longer term contract.

The thing I don't understand is why does it have to be one person in charge?

If it is one person in charge, then it's the owner and that's the way it should be. You own the team, you ultimately hold the power.

I honestly prefer an Owner, GM, and Manager that communicate and work together.

Does it have to be the end of the world if the GM preferred someone else? Maybe Wayne and Bob talked about it and they both came to the decision on Dusty, who knows.

But overall I would prefer the Owner, GM, and Manager all communicate on personnel decisions.

WVRedsFan
03-24-2008, 06:19 PM
If I'm the owner, you bet I'd have a say in who gets hired. He expressed the desire to Krivsky that he wanted a name manager and Krivsky carried out orders. Nothing spectacular in this.

Krivsky seems a little more conservative than Bobby Cast, but only in degrees. It's more than likely that he's going to not argue with the owner considering he's entering his contract year and has taken the team from 73-89 to last year's 72-90. That kind of "improvement" means you do what the boss says especially when you give the manager you fired last season an extention before he had proven anything. I imagine Castilini probably didn't trust his judgment (which is almost a death rattle in the MLB).

*BaseClogger*
03-24-2008, 08:02 PM
But just curious, if money doesn't matter, do people really prefer Pete McKain?

I do.

GAC
03-24-2008, 08:23 PM
IMO, there's people on this board that like Wayne, but don't like Dusty.

I find that very hard to believe RR. http://www.forumsextreme.com/imgs1/sFun_nahnahna4.gif

But I'd garner that everyone on here would agree that Dusty was not only not their first choice, but not even on their list.

KronoRed
03-24-2008, 11:07 PM
I do.

If it's Pete vs Dusty then I'm all for the Pete wagon.

Also, if Dusty has more say in player matters then the GM then Wayne outta quit.

SteelSD
03-24-2008, 11:40 PM
Cast had ability to blackball anyone such as Mack. WK probably did too. And they were able to reach consensus on Baker. That doesn't mean that Baker was anyone's choice or nonchoice.

Yeah, that would remind me of an exchange from a little-known film I love called "Head Office" (1985). I'll translate to represent the most likely scenario during the Reds' baseball operations meeting to discuss whether or not to hire Baker:

Krivsky: Bob, it could cost us over $9 million over three years to sign Dusty Baker. An offer of that size could trigger market interest and drive the price even higher. I firmly recommend against it.

[everyone stares at Krivsky]

Krivsky: Oh, well I could recommend for it. We've successfully overcome market interest in the past- most recently when signing Cordero.

[everyone continues staring at Krivsky]

Krivsky: No? Well, then I go back to my original proposal. I recommend against any offer would be catastrophic. We should retain Pete Mackanin.

Castellini: You're wrong.

Krivsky: Wrong? How could I be wrong? I'm willing to go either way!

.........

"Consensus" reached.;)

MikeS21
03-25-2008, 10:35 AM
The one thing I think we're forgetting is that Kirivsky was Castelinni's hire - not Lindner's. Krivsky met with Cast and laid out his philosophy, and Cast must have agreed with him, or else would have moved on to someone else. Plus, I think Cast made it clear to Krivsky that there was a new sheriff in town and that there wouldn't be a passive involvement of ownership as was with Lindner (didn't Carl Lindner/John Allen interview Krivsky when O'Brien got hired?). Krivsky must have agreed because he didn't withdrawal from consideration.

The point is that these guys are adults and I don't think Krivsky "had the rug jerked out" beneath him by Castelinni. I think when Pete Mackanin was installed, Castelinni and Krivsky had an idea that they were going to shoot for a big name manager - otherwise, why the "Interim" tag? No other replacement manager had previously been given that tag. They intended for Mackanin to simply fill out the rest of the season until the big name mangers were available. The only reason Pete Mackanin got any consideration at all was because the team actually performed better than expected. But a big name was their goal from the beginning, and I think both Castelinni and Krivsky were on board with that from the beginning.

Cooper
03-25-2008, 11:46 AM
More than one person can be in charge --the best companies use a wide array of personel resources to solve problems and get things done. It's only a problem if there's a lack of open communication or role confusion. Is Wayne the GM or is it Baker? Can Wayne tell Baker who to play and when; or it that considered Dusty's area of expertise?

I have nothing to base it on, but there may be some elements of the front office that are competing with each other to accumulate more power. If that's the case- the club suffers.

The Boston model had some of the same issues a couple years ago. Theo quit and only came back after being assurred that he was in charge of certain elements of the front office. They worked thru the problems -but it took a seperation to get it done.

Falls City Beer
03-25-2008, 12:06 PM
Pete Mac seemed like a nice enough guy, but someone the players likely couldn't care less about. That's probably not the nicest thing to say, and the players would never say anything bad about Pete, I'm sure, but so far in his career he's failed to galvanize 25 men in any meaningful way on a MLB field. Dusty, for better or worse, gets things out of his players--often even mediocre ones. I'm sure most will say that that's illusory, but whatever. I think some people can energize groups while others aren't so good at it.

camisadelgolf
03-25-2008, 12:34 PM
I think Dusty Baker could potentially cost the Reds a few games with his managerial style, but he could get those games back with the players he draws to town. I think Cordero should be solid, and Patterson, who came on a minor league contract, might be an All-Star at GABP.