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nate
07-20-2008, 01:08 PM
From CTR (http://www.thelotd.com/ctrent/blog/2008/07/20/pregame_mr_redlegs_v_mr_met_720):


Baker on being three games from .500:

"Itís good for the organization adn the town, we havenít had a winning season in seven years. That was my goal when I came here, to have a winning season. If you have a winning season, you can go from there. First you get to .500 and then you want to create some space between you and .500. Like my son told me last night, I didnít even know this because Iím just trying to win every day, but he said, ĎYouíre seven out of the wild card, dad.í I was like, Ďthanks son.í

"Thatís what you have to have in this game. I donít care until weíre mathematically eliminated, I donít care what anyone says.

"Thatís why Iím glad baseball is in a very good financial state. Because what happened with Colorado last year, theyíd have been dumping slaaries. There fore it gives you a chance for the miraculous comeback.

"Thereís not a lot of buying and selling going on."

I followed up if he felt it was too early to be a seller at this point

"Yeah. You always want to improve, but you donít want to delete, either. One of the problems we have here is keeping the team attitude and team-first down the stretch. It helps to be playing good baseball and being in a position where you might do something. I told the guys, you win and it stops the organization from doing wholesale anything. If youíre winning, it puts pressure on the organization to make a decision -- especially when you have 13 free agents, which is a lot. Itís the most Iíve ever had. Everybodyís more concerned about their future and playing time, which determines their future. Thatís the biggest problem I have.

"Youíve got to be a quality-type free agent for someone to rent you. Are you going to give up top prospects for someone who might not even sign, unless youíre like Milwaukee and so close. Thatís what theyíre doing with C.C. unless they can entice him to sign.

Baker was asked if this team was particularly affected by players thinking about their future

"Itís nothing about the club, itís human nature that youíre concerned about your future and your familyís future.

"If you play, everything will come. If you put playing in the game ahead of playing and contracts, the money will come. If you put the money in front of playing, it can come, but not as easy as it can. I tell my guys to keep your priorities straight, because when the game starts, the opposition doesnít care how much you make, I donít care how much you make. Thatís your business.

"Around the trade deadline is tough, because guys are worried. Thatís natural tough, itís hard getting traded in the middle of the season -- what are you going to do with your family, your housing, that kind of stuff.

"The trade deadline doesnít mean anything anyway, it always seems after the trade deadline, someone always gets traded anyway. I canít figure out how some of these guys get through waivers.

"Most fo the time youíre a buyer when you have a pretty good chance of doing something.

"They tried to break our Dodger team up for a long time, they tried to break up the Yankees for a long time. Itís hard to break up a team thatís winning."

Also, I asked Baker about Griffey in the No. 3 spot, since that's the reason many of you have said they can't win a game...

"Itís something over time heís earned. I know people say play him here or put him there, but heís like Dunn, their averages are low, but their on-base percentage is high. Their on-base percentage is better than some of the guys that are hitting for high averages. I know they get paid to hit, but it also helps to get on base and put the pitcher in the stretch. Most starters donít like being in the stretch.

"I still wish their averages were higher, you want everything, but you look around baseball and the league, you donít see a lot of everythings. Iím seeing a lot of low averages and some with high production. A lot of strikeouts."

Griffeyís OBP is .348 -- thatís tied for fourth among the players in the Redsí starting lineup on Sunday -- behind Dunn (.386), Jeff Keppinger (.356) and Edwin Encarnacion (.351). Joey Votto, like Griffey has a .348 OBP. Jay Bruce (.335), Brandon Phillips (.320) and Paul Bako (.299) have lower OBPs than Griffey.

fearofpopvol1
07-20-2008, 01:15 PM
I have no problem with any of these comments.

One thing to keep in mind is that Dusty isn't the GM so ultimately, he doesn't decide. I would expect all the comments he made. He's the manager. Of course he wants to win no matter what.

KronoRed
07-20-2008, 01:27 PM
Interesting stuff but I honestly really don't see any difference between 82 wins and 80, both are records bad teams produce.

dougdirt
07-20-2008, 01:28 PM
Interesting stuff but I honestly really don't see any difference between 82 wins and 80, both are records bad teams produce.

While I agree.... The Reds don't seem to. At least they don't speak publicly like they seem to.

Big Klu
07-20-2008, 01:38 PM
While I agree.... The Reds don't seem to. At least they don't speak publicly like they seem to.

It's psychological. When you have been sub-.500 for seven years, finishing a season over .500 takes the monkey off your back.

fearofpopvol1
07-20-2008, 01:42 PM
While I agree.... The Reds don't seem to. At least they don't speak publicly like they seem to.

But would you really expect them to say anything publicly? That would be bad PR and would insinuate that the team/owners are giving up and don't care.

RedsManRick
07-20-2008, 01:44 PM
More lipservice from Dusty that he understands OBP and the like, yet he buries our three most productive hitters in the 5, 6, 7 roles. Willie Mays earned the right to bat 3rd over his career too, but if he was in the lineup as-is today, he wouldn't bat there. Dusty seems like a really nice guy, but I'll never be happy with him as a manager unless he were to make decisions on the facts at hand rather than his ingrained beliefs - and that's not happening.

Falls City Beer
07-20-2008, 01:45 PM
but I'll never be happy with him as a manager unless he were to make decisions on the facts at hand rather than his ingrained beliefs - and that's not happening.

You mean like demoting Patterson to the bench?

princeton
07-20-2008, 01:46 PM
Interesting stuff but I honestly really don't see any difference between 82 wins and 80, both are records bad teams produce.

agreed, improvement sucks.

westofyou
07-20-2008, 01:46 PM
but if he was in the lineup as-is today, he wouldn't bat there.

Of course he wouldn't he's 77 years old

RedsManRick
07-20-2008, 01:49 PM
Of course he wouldn't he's 77 years old

Exactly, he no longer has the skills to bat third in a major league lineup. Ken Griffey Jr is 38 and neither does he. But Junior is close enough to his past peak that Dusty would prefer to pretend he's just having an unlucky season.

RedsManRick
07-20-2008, 01:50 PM
You mean like demoting Patterson to the bench?

1 bad decision down, 99 to go.

westofyou
07-20-2008, 01:52 PM
Exactly, he no longer has the skills to bat third in a major league lineup. Ken Griffey Jr is 38 and neither does he. But Junior is close enough to his past peak that Dusty would prefer to pretend he's just having an unlucky season.

Willie Mays batted 3rd for the Mets, I could go through the myriad of players who didn't move one step from the order slot they held most for their careers as they declined too.

Doesn't make it right, but let's not act as if it's some fallacy that only Dusty Baker has committed.

Falls City Beer
07-20-2008, 01:56 PM
That this team has 48 wins despite Harang's awfulness, Arroyo's near-total collapse in the first half, Cueto's early struggles, Josh Fogg, Keppinger's injury, Burton's injury, Cordero's having blown 5 saves (three of which should have been guaranteed gimme saves), is virtually miraculous.

I don't chalk that up to Dusty, but I sure as hell have a difficult time pointing to much Dusty's done to keep this team from maximizing its output. This team's record should look a lot like Padres' or the Indians'--not the Reds' current record.

RANDY IN INDY
07-20-2008, 01:59 PM
Interesting stuff but I honestly really don't see any difference between 82 wins and 80, both are records bad teams produce.

But if Dusty or any of the players were sporting that kind of attitude towards winning and losing, they would be attacked beyond belief on this forum.

RedsManRick
07-20-2008, 02:02 PM
Willie Mays batted 3rd for the Mets, I could go through the myriad of players who didn't move one step from the order slot they held most for their careers as they declined too.

Doesn't make it right, but let's not act as if it's some fallacy that only Dusty Baker has committed.

I didn't ever say or imply that Dusty is the only manager who has made this mistake. But as you said, it doesn't make it right. I'm more interested in how the Reds can win and the moves required to get there than in downplaying our mistakes merely because they've been made before.

Stormy
07-20-2008, 02:27 PM
That this team has 48 wins despite Harang's awfulness, Arroyo's near-total collapse in the first half, Cueto's early struggles, Josh Fogg, Keppinger's injury, Burton's injury, Cordero's having blown 5 saves (three of which should have been guaranteed gimme saves), is virtually miraculous.

I don't chalk that up to Dusty, but I sure as hell have a difficult time pointing to much Dusty's done to keep this team from maximizing its output. This team's record should look a lot like Padres' or the Indians'--not the Reds' current record.

This team just played .500+ ball for the last 4 months of last season, and with the addition of a guy who has won 12 games single-handedly (Volquez), and a much improved bullpen, and virtually the exact same offensive pieces, they should probably be building on that. The idea that this team should be among MLB's worst records is absurd.

However, to the main point: I do believe Dusty Baker has shown signs of adjusting nicely to a few facets of the game where he was previously tone deaf. Aside from his refusal to flip Griffey and Dunn, I don't even have *major* problems with his lineup construction (as he's greatly adjusted his usage of the #1-2 slots for the better). Likewise, aside from a few high profile missteps, he's handled most of the starting pitchers pretty well.

He'll never be a good tactical manager, but he's exerting positive influence in other ways, and has adapted well in a few other formerly deficient areas, in my opinion. I think he's coming around, a little, and am glad. He's definitely done a better job with the team the past month+.

red-in-la
07-20-2008, 05:28 PM
Willie Mays batted 3rd for the Mets, I could go through the myriad of players who didn't move one step from the order slot they held most for their careers as they declined too.

Doesn't make it right, but let's not act as if it's some fallacy that only Dusty Baker has committed.

Yeah, Dusty has more than enough without adding to them. I am not sure if Mays doing it means much. I was wrong then, and the manager should have paid for it then, and Baker should pay for it now.

Speaking of Baker-isms though, maybe somebody can splain this one to me. Today, Phillips PH against a RH pitcher......OK, so in the 10th Bako stands there against Wagner......why is that not consider awful managing?

red-in-la
07-20-2008, 05:38 PM
This team just played .500+ ball for the last 4 months of last season, and with the addition of a guy who has won 12 games single-handedly (Volquez), and a much improved bullpen, and virtually the exact same offensive pieces, they should probably be building on that. The idea that this team should be among MLB's worst records is absurd.

However, to the main point: I do believe Dusty Baker has shown signs of adjusting nicely to a few facets of the game where he was previously tone deaf. Aside from his refusal to flip Griffey and Dunn, I don't even have *major* problems with his lineup construction (as he's greatly adjusted his usage of the #1-2 slots for the better). Likewise, aside from a few high profile missteps, he's handled most of the starting pitchers pretty well.

He'll never be a good tactical manager, but he's exerting positive influence in other ways, and has adapted well in a few other formerly deficient areas, in my opinion. I think he's coming around, a little, and am glad. He's definitely done a better job with the team the past month+.

This team still has players who stand and watch. There is NO excuse for that and NO EXCUSE for a manager who allows it to happen.

I believe Willie Randolph did all he could, will help from Charlie Manuel, to explode the ridiculous stance that managers have little do with a team's success. And different manager is by no means a guarentee that things will improve......but a manager CAN make a difference.

KronoRed
07-20-2008, 06:05 PM
agreed, improvement sucks.

Guess it depends on the goal, if it's .500 on the way to a nice shiny trophy then sure, but it keeps coming across like "we'll get to .500 and have a pizza party"

cincrazy
07-20-2008, 06:17 PM
That this team has 48 wins despite Harang's awfulness, Arroyo's near-total collapse in the first half, Cueto's early struggles, Josh Fogg, Keppinger's injury, Burton's injury, Cordero's having blown 5 saves (three of which should have been guaranteed gimme saves), is virtually miraculous.

I don't chalk that up to Dusty, but I sure as hell have a difficult time pointing to much Dusty's done to keep this team from maximizing its output. This team's record should look a lot like Padres' or the Indians'--not the Reds' current record.

Shhhh, don't you know Dusty Baker is the reason this team doesn't have the best record in baseball? ;)

Stormy
07-21-2008, 02:13 PM
Shhhh, don't you know Dusty Baker is the reason this team doesn't have the best record in baseball? ;)

Sarcasm aside, his comment was that the Reds should have amongst the worst records in baseball with our personnel. Given that we played .500+ ball for the last 80 games of 2007, and have added significantly to our pitching talent pool since that time, I found that assertion to be extreme hyperbole.

Falls City Beer
07-21-2008, 03:05 PM
Sarcasm aside, his comment was that the Reds should have amongst the worst records in baseball with our personnel. Given that we played .500+ ball for the last 80 games of 2007, and have added significantly to our pitching talent pool since that time, I found that assertion to be extreme hyperbole.

Volquez's production has been seriously counterbalanced by Hamilton's. Plus they lost Lohse's production. Plus they've had serious declines in the production of their ace Harang and Arroyo.

Their pitching got better, but it's mostly been due to Burton, Lincoln, and Cordero. Obviously Volquez has been a boon, but he came at a high price in the offensive production area.

Matt700wlw
07-21-2008, 06:23 PM
...because of OBP - I thought Dusty didn't care about OBP?

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080720&content_id=3160227&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

RedsManRick
07-21-2008, 06:28 PM
Dunn has a high OBP, therefore he should hit behind Brandon Phillips? And EE is buried even further. Dusty knows what OBP is but apparently has no idea what to do with it.

It's a shame Dunn couldn't slug 150 points lower, then he might be able to get some more at bats.

nate
07-21-2008, 06:34 PM
Dunn has a high OBP, therefore he should hit behind Brandon Phillips? And EE is buried even further. Does knows what it is but apparently has no idea what to do with it.

It's a shame Dunn couldn't slug 150 points lower, then he might be able to get some more at bats.

Maybe if he played SS?

guttle11
07-21-2008, 06:39 PM
"we'll get to .500 and have a pizza party"

Throw in a participation trophy and I'm sold.

From a PR standpoint, the Reds have to point to .500, and then to the playoffs when they get there. You can't sell "Golly, we think we're on the right track, but it's going to take a year, maybe two or three. And we're fine with losing some games now in an effort to build a young roster that will win later. In fact, wins and losses don't matter right now".

That's salad. While it may be healthy, you don't make friends with salad.

RedsManRick
07-21-2008, 06:59 PM
Throw in a participation trophy and I'm sold.

From a PR standpoint, the Reds have to point to .500, and then to the playoffs when they get there. You can't sell "Golly, we think we're on the right track, but it's going to take a year, maybe two or three. And we're fine with losing some games now in an effort to build a young roster that will win later. In fact, wins and losses don't matter right now".

That's salad. While it may be healthy, you don't make friends with salad.

And you don't ogle a girl at the beach because she's eating healthy and dropped 15 pounds. Either she's hot or she's not.

The Reds would do well to hit the gym instead of spending so much time wondering which swimsuit makes their butt look smaller.

Spring~Fields
07-21-2008, 07:34 PM
...because of OBP - I thought Dusty didn't care about OBP?

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080720&content_id=3160227&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

I think he goes by who is playing CF and SS more than he does OBP.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/2008.shtml

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/teams/batting?team=cin&cat=onBasePct&order=false&season=2008&split=0&seasonType=2&type=reg

Stormy
07-21-2008, 07:41 PM
Volquez's production has been seriously counterbalanced by Hamilton's. Plus they lost Lohse's production. Plus they've had serious declines in the production of their ace Harang and Arroyo.

Their pitching got better, but it's mostly been due to Burton, Lincoln, and Cordero. Obviously Volquez has been a boon, but he came at a high price in the offensive production area.

That's all true, but in the context of my reference of Pete's .500+ record, Hamilton only managed 90ABs after the All-Star Break last year due to injuries (Not to mention Lohse was traded in late July).

I'm not debating whether the dynamic of this team is different without Hamilton (you're right, it is), but rather debating your assertion that the Reds should be in the cellar despite ostensibly improving personnel since the time when Petey Mac just had them playing .500+ ball.

By the way, who cares? I agree with you that Dusty has done a solid job *more recently.*

kaldaniels
07-21-2008, 07:47 PM
Dusty's remark about Jr earning the #3 hole is why I would trade him for 50 cents on the dollar yesterday.

I love Jr as a person, don't get me wrong. I root for him every day. But is there anyone on here who subscribes to the "he has earned the 3 spot" theory?

RedsManRick
07-21-2008, 07:59 PM
Dusty's remark about Jr earning the #3 hole is why I would trade him for 50 cents on the dollar yesterday.

I love Jr as a person, don't get me wrong. I root for him every day. But is there anyone on here who subscribes to the "he has earned the 3 spot" theory?

It's not horrible logic if the guy is 31 and simply having a bad-half year. It's the fact that Junior is 38 and that even the scouting report agrees he's losing it that frustrates me. This isn't a problem of bad luck, which is what I imagine Dusty thinks.

Spring~Fields
07-21-2008, 07:59 PM
I think that Adam Dunn would be more productive for the Reds team in the three hole.