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View Full Version : Willing to Give Dusty a Legitimate Chance...



Edskin
04-01-2008, 08:31 AM
and I truly hope my fellow Reds fans do the same.

Over the past several years, I have definitely been drawn to the "new school" thinking when it comes to putting a roster together and managing a baseball team. I find the evidence to be overwhelming in the favor of "new" thinking over "old school." Broad terms I know, but no need to delve into all that again.

So, in many ways Dusty Baker represents the OPPOSITE of my beliefs. He is decidedly old school. I have no doubt that at times, this approach will frustrate me. I can already tell you that seeing Corey Patterson out there has me pulling my hair out.

Having said that, when it all comes to a head, what matters is results.

And Baker has gotten good results over his career. And I think the sample size is large enough that we can't just attribute that success to dumb luck.

He had a VERY strong run in SF....and I very rarely viewed any of those rosters as "stacked." He certainly had good players along the way, but I also thought the Giants got the most out of what they had, and the often surprised me from season to season.

And believe it or not, under Baker, the Cubs got the closest they've come to a World Series in about 100 years :)

I ABSOLUTELY buy into the "clubhouse presence" theory. I believe that losing has become almost expected within the Reds organization and that we too often have seen players, managers, etc. resigned to losing.

I'm not saying the players haven't "tried" or that they've been out and out loafing over the years, but there have certainly been many occasions where there seemed to be at least a blase' approach to the game.

I think Dusty will change that. I think the players will have a healthy fear of the manager for once, and that Dusty WILL affect playing time based on performance and effort. We've already seen a twinge of that with his comments about Javy yesterday. It was a small thing, but something I liked to see-- I found it refreshing.

The Reds are far from a model franchise-- our roster still has some major holes, but I do believe this team is JUST talented enough, that with someone pulling the right strings, we could contend into the fall.

Yes, I'd prefer a manager that valued OBP more than Dusty. And I'd probably prefer a manager that didn't seem so in love with veterans and baseball hallmarks. However, I do believe in Dusty as a leader-- and I do believe it is something that "new shcool" thinking sometimes overlooks. And I do believe it's something the Reds need-- especially our better players who have been here for years and have become accustomed to losing.

Normally, if the Reds got off to a bad start, I'd write the season off by mid-May. Now, with Dusty, I feel we might have what it takes to take an early hit and still bounce back. I think we might have what it takes to win a few we shouldn't, and claw our way to a good season.

Overall, I'm willing to overlook some of his warts and focus on the big picture here-- and I'm willing to give him some time to do it.

bucksfan
04-01-2008, 08:36 AM
Pretty much my thoughts exactly, Ed.

REDREAD
04-01-2008, 09:01 AM
I've seen throughout my career that people generally perform better for a manager that they respect. It seems as though Dusty has the respect.
Whlie the players may have liked Stanton as a friend, I'm sure they were glad that Dusty spoke out and helped pressure the Reds into releasing Stanton. Naturally, the players want the best team on the field as well.

I liked how Dusty put Burton in a low pressure situation yesterday, as opposed to making Burton's first appearance with the game on the line. Burton finished strong last season, but he's still a young guy with fragile confidence.

I know I'm one of the few that have loved the Patterson signing from Day 1, and one of the few willing to forgive Dusty for leading him off. Patterson's defense picked up an extra out for us yesterday. It might not happen every day, but it will happen often enough to make a difference in the season.

*BaseClogger*
04-01-2008, 10:18 AM
I know I'm one of the few that have loved the Patterson signing from Day 1, and one of the few willing to forgive Dusty for leading him off. Patterson's defense picked up an extra out for us yesterday. It might not happen every day, but it will happen often enough to make a difference in the season.

That doesn't make sense to me. He can save that run batting #7...

top6
04-01-2008, 10:39 AM
I think the players will have a healthy fear of the manager for once, and that Dusty WILL affect playing time based on performance and effort. We've already seen a twinge of that with his comments about Javy yesterday. It was a small thing, but something I liked to see-- I found it refreshing.


Sorry to be a glass-half-empty kind of guy, but if Dusty had the ability to change things why did Javy fail to hustle in the first place?

top6
04-01-2008, 10:42 AM
That doesn't make sense to me. He can save that run batting #7...
Exactly. I personally would start Bruce and let him grow, but I agree that would result in a hideously horrible defensive outfield. So there's some justification for starting Patterson.

But there is no justification for batting him leadoff. I'm not sure if this can be proven, but I strongly suspect that any wins the Reds would gain from more hustle will be lost by putting people who cannot get on base at the top of the order.

bucksfan
04-01-2008, 11:18 AM
Sorry to be a glass-half-empty kind of guy, but if Dusty had the ability to change things why did Javy fail to hustle in the first place?

There will be some number of those "failures" for any manager over the course of a season. My belief is it will happen less often for Dusty than it might for some absed on the reasons Ed gets into in his original post. Unfortunately this one happened on day #1, so it makes it hard to say right away that this was a "one-off" but I think we'll see less of it. I have no idea if I'm wright or wrong, but I won't make a judgement on one occurrence when I know something like it is bound to happen under the direction any manager.

coachw513
04-01-2008, 12:35 PM
Any legitimate examination of Dusty should begin on Thursday then Sunday IMO...with all appropriate angst over CP being the leadoff CF, I am satisfied that Bruce is the RF-in-waiting...with all appropriate disappointment that Hatteburg started at 1B yesterday, I do believe that Dusty likes Votto and wants him in the lineup as time moves along...

I'm pleased with the attitude/enthusiasm resonating from the clubhouse as a result of how Dusty's resume has been received by the players and he seemingly carries an appropriate Teddy R "big stick" that I hope he'll use with good effect...

But this franchise will be measured by the development and success of Cueto, Volquez and Bailey...not that these things are totally within the role of the manager, but much of it is...his past scares the heck out of me, but I am more than willing to measure Baker by what he does here, now, with 3 prized pitching assets the Reds haven't had since, well never...

Edskin
04-01-2008, 01:58 PM
Sorry to be a glass-half-empty kind of guy, but if Dusty had the ability to change things why did Javy fail to hustle in the first place?

The whole point is that I trust Dusty to gradually make those changes. I did not expect him to arrive, wave a magic wand, and suddenly all of our past issues would disappear. Things will certainly continue to crop up-- I just believe they will happen less and less often as long as Dusty is around.

Team Clark
04-01-2008, 02:01 PM
Sorry to be a glass-half-empty kind of guy, but if Dusty had the ability to change things why did Javy fail to hustle in the first place?

Because he's human? :confused: Question is will he do it again? I think not.

Edskin
04-01-2008, 02:21 PM
Because he's human? :confused: Question is will he do it again? I think not.

Exactly. He thought he hit it out-- he got caught watching and not running hard enough. It happens. I am not crucifying the guy for it. I just don't think those things will become a trend like they have for past Reds teams.

PuffyPig
04-01-2008, 02:23 PM
Hey, he got his chance, and he blew it by losing yestereday.

I say fire him now, before we lose another game.

:D

Caveat Emperor
04-01-2008, 02:25 PM
Baker's success will depend on how well he deploys his young-talent assets: Votto, Cueto, Volquez, Bailey, Bruce, etc.

I'll withhold judgment, but playing Scott Hatteberg isn't going to win him any favors with me.

Team Clark
04-01-2008, 02:47 PM
Baker's success will depend on how well he deploys his young-talent assets: Votto, Cueto, Volquez, Bailey, Bruce, etc.

I'll withhold judgment, but playing Scott Hatteberg isn't going to win him any favors with me.

I agree 100%. I can see sitting Votto on Opening Day. Added pressure?? Maybe he goes up to the plate and tries to win the game vs. just doing what he is capable of (incidentally that could be a game winning HR)

Play Hatte a bit more in April, ease Votto in and by May 15th Votto is tearing it up.

traderumor
04-01-2008, 03:05 PM
Baker's success will depend on how well he deploys his young-talent assets: Votto, Cueto, Volquez, Bailey, Bruce, etc.

I'll withhold judgment, but playing Scott Hatteberg isn't going to win him any favors with me.Josh Hamilton did not start on OD last year. I think it is at least passable given the inherent Gomer factor with an OD as big as it is in Cincinnati. I remember what a big deal it was when the Reds started Chris Sabo on OD as a rookie.

Triples
04-01-2008, 03:32 PM
Sorry to be a glass-half-empty kind of guy, but if Dusty had the ability to change things why did Javy fail to hustle in the first place?

Geez, he's physically had this team for 6 weeks and during spring training to boot. Even Dusty doesn't expect (or want) his studs going all out in when nothing is on the line. Now that games count we'll see a few chains get yanked and it won't take much of that to stop things like the Javy situation. Old habits die hard but IMO professional athletes have to be competitive to get where they are and the Reds players are no different. It just takes having the right expectations and that competitiveness will show up in a hurry. I too am in favor of giving Baker a while longer before turning him over to the wolves.

top6
04-01-2008, 05:17 PM
Old habits die hard but IMO professional athletes have to be competitive to get where they are and the Reds players are no different.
I agree that old habits do die hard, and that baseball professionals should try at all times to win, which is precisely why I think Dusty is a terrible manager - as evidenced by his inabilty to grasp rudimentary concepts such as getting on base is an important skill.

I lived in Chicago during Dusty's entire career there and watched him manage (poorly) many, many games. I would give him a "chance" if he indicated he had changed, but he has not. So far, he appears the same, although slightly less engaged with the team (to be honest).

Of course, I am just one fan, I will still root for the Reds and go to the games when I can, so it doesn't much matter whether I give him a chance or not. It's pretty obvious to me that one thing sports teams in Cincinnati are NOT worried about is my opinion of them. :D

cincrazy
04-01-2008, 05:37 PM
That doesn't make sense to me. He can save that run batting #7...

Corey Patterson hitting leadoff isn't going to decide our fate this year

Edskin
04-01-2008, 06:05 PM
which is precisely why I think Dusty is a terrible manager

I dunno. Seems to me you are ignoring his overall results over a very large sample size. As I mentioned in the original post, Dusty has done a lot of winning, and not always because he couldn't help but win due to talent. Results matter. Or at least they should.

reds44
04-01-2008, 06:07 PM
That doesn't make sense to me. He can save that run batting #7...
You are a smart man. Until he moves Patterson out of the leadoff spot, his lineups are no better than Narron's. Granted he is probably a better manager in every other way then Narron is.

Highlifeman21
04-01-2008, 06:20 PM
You are a smart man. Until he moves Patterson out of the leadoff spot, his lineups are no better than Narron's. Granted he is probably a better manager in every other way then Narron is.

In Dusty's defense (and I never thought I'd be typing that opening line to a post...), who on the 25 man roster is the best fit to leadoff?

Options
Bako
Valentin
Castro
Encarnacion
Hatteberg
Keppinger
Phillips
Votto
Dunn
Freel
Griffey
Hopper
Patterson

If you want our best defensive CF in the lineup, then we get Patterson in the lineup. If you don't care about CF defense at all, then Freel and Hopper are much better leadoff options, but the upgrade in their leadoff capabilities don't even attempt to make up for their defensive liabilities, compared to Patterson.

I'm not convinced Keppinger can or should leadoff, but at the same time maybe Dusty should have tried him out in that slot during ST to see if that dog could hunt.

Encarnacion probably could leadoff, but I'd rather see him in the middle of the lineup.

Phillips would certainly hit into less DP if he led off, but he's an out making machine and has no business leading off. Phillips should bat 5th or 6th.

Votto's a possibility to leadoff, but Dusty has to put him into the lineup first....

So, if Patterson continues to be our everyday CF (and I hope he does), that means our leadoff options are Keppinger, Votto, Phillips, or Encarnacion.

Who would you leadoff?

Cyclone792
04-01-2008, 06:24 PM
Who would you leadoff?

A lineup I'd strongly consider, given the current personnel ...

1B Votto
SS Keppinger
LF Dunn
RF Griffey
3B Encarnacion
2B Phillips
CF Patterson
C Whatever lousy stick starts
Pitcher's slot

WMR
04-01-2008, 06:28 PM
A lineup I'd strongly consider, given the current personnel ...

1B Votto
SS Keppinger
LF Dunn
RF Griffey
3B Encarnacion
2B Phillips
CF Patterson
C Whatever lousy stick starts
Pitcher's slot

1B Votto
3B EE
LF Dunn
RF Griffey
2B Phillips
SS Keppinger
CF Patterson
C
P

Wow how I would love to see that.

Highlifeman21
04-01-2008, 06:29 PM
A lineup I'd strongly consider, given the current personnel ...

1B Votto
SS Keppinger
LF Dunn
RF Griffey
3B Encarnacion
2B Phillips
CF Patterson
C Whatever lousy stick starts
Pitcher's slot

If Phillips had Dunn, Griffey and Encarnacion ahead of him in the lineup everyday, 40 DP on the year would be a low guess on my part.

WMR
04-01-2008, 06:30 PM
If Phillips had Dunn, Griffey and Encarnacion ahead of him in the lineup everyday, 40 DP on the year would be a low guess on my part.

You've gotta bat him somewhere. Best to have him a bit lower than a bit higher.

Cyclone792
04-01-2008, 06:33 PM
1B Votto
3B EE
LF Dunn
RF Griffey
2B Phillips
SS Keppinger
CF Patterson
C
P

Wow how I would love to see that.

That would most definitely work too.


If Phillips had Dunn, Griffey and Encarnacion ahead of him in the lineup everyday, 40 DP on the year would be a low guess on my part.

It'd be the Reds version of Chasing History: 2008 with Phillips chasing Jim Rice and the big ole 3-6. When he'd get close to the record, I'd get tickets and head down nightly since I wouldn't want to miss it.

Meanwhile, the fans sitting behind me at that game would likely be groaning about strikeouts.

RedsManRick
04-01-2008, 06:34 PM
A lineup I'd strongly consider, given the current personnel ...

1B Votto
SS Keppinger
LF Dunn
RF Griffey
3B Encarnacion
2B Phillips
CF Patterson
C Whatever lousy stick starts
Pitcher's slot

:thumbup:

Highlifeman21
04-01-2008, 06:35 PM
You've gotta bat him somewhere. Best to have him a bit lower than a bit higher.

I definitely think 5th or 6th is the best place for Phillips, however I shudder to think of the number of potential DPs out there for him to hit into.

If we could only teach him or train him to clog the bases and take a walk....

WMR
04-01-2008, 06:38 PM
I definitely think 5th or 6th is the best place for Phillips, however I shudder to think of the number of potential DPs out there for him to hit into.

If we could only teach him or train him to clog the bases and take a walk....

Oh, I agree. He really does remind me of Willie Mays Hayes when he first showed up to Indians camp when he swings.

Highlifeman21
04-01-2008, 06:40 PM
It'd be the Reds version of Chasing History: 2008 with Phillips chasing Jim Rice and the big ole 3-6. When he'd get close to the record, I'd get tickets and head down nightly since I wouldn't want to miss it.

Meanwhile, the fans sitting behind me at that game would likely be groaning about strikeouts.

Strikeouts, lack of sacrifice flies, low BA w/ RISP... ya know, the usual talk at the ballpark.

reds44
04-01-2008, 07:04 PM
In Dusty's defense (and I never thought I'd be typing that opening line to a post...), who on the 25 man roster is the best fit to leadoff?

Options
Bako
Valentin
Castro
Encarnacion
Hatteberg
Keppinger
Phillips
Votto
Dunn
Freel
Griffey
Hopper
Patterson

If you want our best defensive CF in the lineup, then we get Patterson in the lineup. If you don't care about CF defense at all, then Freel and Hopper are much better leadoff options, but the upgrade in their leadoff capabilities don't even attempt to make up for their defensive liabilities, compared to Patterson.

I'm not convinced Keppinger can or should leadoff, but at the same time maybe Dusty should have tried him out in that slot during ST to see if that dog could hunt.

Encarnacion probably could leadoff, but I'd rather see him in the middle of the lineup.

Phillips would certainly hit into less DP if he led off, but he's an out making machine and has no business leading off. Phillips should bat 5th or 6th.

Votto's a possibility to leadoff, but Dusty has to put him into the lineup first....

So, if Patterson continues to be our everyday CF (and I hope he does), that means our leadoff options are Keppinger, Votto, Phillips, or Encarnacion.

Who would you leadoff?
I think vs. righties is a no brainer.

1. 1B Votto/Hatteberg (Both High OBP guys, Votto would be ideal)
2. 3B Edwin (Another good OBP man, developing power)
3. LF Dunn (Best hitter, great OBP)
4. RF Griffey (power hitter to drive in the 3 OBP guys in front of them)
5. 2B Phillips (driving in runs that Griffey fails to do)
6. SS Keppinger (this is nearly by default. I am not high on Keppinger, but he seems like the next best hitter. Gonzalez goes here when healthy)
7. CF Patterson (defense, and can steal a base when he gets on getting himself in scoring position for the C spot)
8. C Valentin/Bako/Ross

As people already have posted, I think this is hands down the best lineup the Reds can run out there vs. righties.

Now vs. lefties things become a bit more complicated. Your big hitters are both lefties, and your high OBP leadoff hitter(s) both struggle against lefties. However, this would be my lineup

1. CF Hopper (good speed, and until his numbers come down he seems like the best choice vs. lefties)
2. 3B Edwin (righty, high OBP)
3. LF Dunn (still gets on at a high clips vs. lefties)
4. 2B Phillips (murders lefties)
5. RF Griffey
6. SS Keppinger
7. 1B Votto/Hatteberg
8. C Valentin/Ross/Bako

I'm sure people will say why I think Hopper should leadoff vs. lefties but I'm not high on Keppinger. Hopper has speed to manufacture hits that Keppinger does not. Ideally when Gonzalez gets healthy he plays SS and probably Keppinger plays 1st vs. LHP.

Red in Chicago
04-01-2008, 07:41 PM
I lived in Chicago during Dusty's entire career there and watched him manage (poorly) many, many games. I would give him a "chance" if he indicated he had changed, but he has not. So far, he appears the same, although slightly less engaged with the team (to be honest).

Of course, I am just one fan, I will still root for the Reds and go to the games when I can, so it doesn't much matter whether I give him a chance or not. It's pretty obvious to me that one thing sports teams in Cincinnati are NOT worried about is my opinion of them. :D

Nicely said. Having lived through the Dusty tenure here, I can't for the life of me see why the Reds hired him. Doesn't appear that anything has changed since his days with the Cubs, so I really have very low expectations for him in Cincy. I see no reason to give him a chance, but that doesn't mean I want the Reds to lose. I just want a different manager and center fielder ;):p:

*BaseClogger*
04-01-2008, 07:54 PM
Corey Patterson hitting leadoff isn't going to decide our fate this year

With some of the evidence RZer's have put forth, based on simulations, it could cost the Reds around 15 runs. If the Cubs win the division by one game, you may change your mind! :thumbup:


A lineup I'd strongly consider, given the current personnel ...

1B Votto
SS Keppinger
LF Dunn
RF Griffey
3B Encarnacion
2B Phillips
CF Patterson
C Whatever lousy stick starts
Pitcher's slot

There's my lineup too...

GAC
04-01-2008, 08:18 PM
why did Javy fail to hustle in the first place?

He was! :p:

cincrazy
04-01-2008, 08:27 PM
With some of the evidence RZer's have put forth, based on simulations, it could cost the Reds around 15 runs. If the Cubs win the division by one game, you may change your mind! :thumbup:



There's my lineup too...

If it costs us 15 runs, I'd most certainly change my mind :thumbup:

I mean don't get me wrong, I agree that Patterson shouldn't be a leadoff hitter. But I Just don't see any other better alternatives to him in our lineup. Votto? That's asking a lot of a player in his first full major leage year. Bruce? Ditto. Phillips? No way. If we put in Freel or Hopper we lose Patterson's superior D.

It's a glaring weakness on this club, for sure.

Topcat
04-02-2008, 06:51 AM
Dusty's a "name" manager and may actually have some clout in front office. But I am no fan of him. This is a case of me hoping i am wrong , but I do not see him as a wise move as Reds Bench boss.