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membengal
08-18-2010, 09:17 AM
Or props, as the kidz are prone to say.

(Insert fist bump here).

At any rate, I don't know what the rest of this road trip holds, or the season. Perhaps the Reds will lose every game from here on out.

For the purposes of this thread, the future does not matter.

I am reflecting on the craziness of the series against Stl, the emotions that took them out of their comfort zone, and getting swept to look up and be one game behind the Cardinals while having been rather whipped on the field and off.

Past Reds teams have not responded real well at that juncture. And having to deal with Josh Johnson and Anibel Sanchez on the weekend against the Marlins on top of what had just happened seemed cruel.

And with the season teetering (and make no mistake, it probably was), Dusty has pushed the right buttons in the clubhouse to get them re-focused and right back to playing smart, hard, and winning baseball. It is a joy to see them respond like they have to the adversity and get back to winning. I am certain that vets like Rolen and O-Cab have probably helped, but I cannot help but think that the tone Dusty set and sets and whatever he did following that series was among one of the better crisis managerial moments I have seen in my three and a half decades of following the Reds.

I forget who it was, maybe Wheels, in some thread last week who noted that it was situations like this that Dusty seemed to excel. Well stated. And worth highlighting.

So, five days after a debacle, the Reds are back to where they were before the Stl series began. Amazing work to put that behind them and move on.

Whether they win or lose from here, Dusty has done a fantastic job this year with a still very young team, and it has been a pleasure to watch him manage a team I love.

RBA
08-18-2010, 09:25 AM
Kudos to Dusty? Toto, we are not in Redszone anymore.

reds1869
08-18-2010, 09:38 AM
Dusty is a first rate man-manager. He knows how to get the most out of his players and is brilliant when it comes to the psychological aspects of the game. You can call me crazy, but I also think he has improved his in game tactical skills, too. I am very pleased to have Dusty as manager.

Sea Ray
08-18-2010, 09:48 AM
Dusty does get the most out of his players but he has mishandled both Mike Leake and Coco Cordero so his record is not spotless. Leake was doing very well before they started messing with his routine. Dusty also has a mental block about any pitcher ending a Reds win other than Coco. Last night would have been a good time to work in someone else to pitch the 9th. Due to his age, innings or whatever, Cordero will need to be rescued a few times this year and we'll need other options

jojo
08-18-2010, 09:49 AM
Winning makes everyone a genius.

dunner13
08-18-2010, 09:55 AM
Whether you like dusty or not I think you have to give him some credit for this team being in first place. Lets be honest this roster isnt exactly the yankees with all stars at every position, they are playing extremely well and dusty has to have had something to do with it.

Sea Ray
08-18-2010, 09:55 AM
Winning makes everyone a genius.

I think winning is the best thing on any manager's resume

jojo
08-18-2010, 09:56 AM
I think winning is the best thing on any manager's resume

It's the most important thing when it comes to preventing losing.

Sea Ray
08-18-2010, 10:10 AM
I think it goes without saying that "prevention of losing" goes along with winning

Az Red
08-18-2010, 10:16 AM
Call me a conspiracy theorist but I still contend the Reds started a winning attitude when a certain former 2nd baseman was hired as Special Assistant.


Just sayin'.....

membengal
08-18-2010, 10:16 AM
Winning makes everyone a genius.

Pithy. Awesome.

So much for drawing some discussion on the work done by Dusty to get them regrouped and ready to play again on Friday in the wake of the stl series.

A lot of folks on here complain that there is too much of the stats talk with respect to Xs and Os, and while I don't hold much truck with those complaints, I thought this might be a chance to think on the human element that is managing and how difficult, potentially, the task was ahead of Dusty last week.

Or not.

Reds Freak
08-18-2010, 10:20 AM
Dusty does get the most out of his players but he has mishandled both Mike Leake and Coco Cordero so his record is not spotless. Leake was doing very well before they started messing with his routine. Dusty also has a mental block about any pitcher ending a Reds win other than Coco. Last night would have been a good time to work in someone else to pitch the 9th. Due to his age, innings or whatever, Cordero will need to be rescued a few times this year and we'll need other options

I think it's a bit unfair to blame Dusty for the handling of Leake. I don't know for sure, but my guess is decisions regarding Leake (and other 'big picture' issues) are made by Walt with some input from Dusty, Price, etc. And let's not pretend that Leake has been dreadful...

lollipopcurve
08-18-2010, 10:23 AM
As a manager and not a player, Dusty is a mere peripheral.

Oh wait -- that's good.

I agree he deserves credit, and the bounceback from the sweep indicates that the ship is on a nice even keel. These last 40 games are high seas, though.

Kudos to Baker and to the front office -- the composition of the roster is such that there's excellent leadership in the locker room.

Kc61
08-18-2010, 10:26 AM
Dusty also has a mental block about any pitcher ending a Reds win other than Coco. Last night would have been a good time to work in someone else to pitch the 9th. Due to his age, innings or whatever, Cordero will need to be rescued a few times this year and we'll need other options

Cordero was all warmed up and ready to go. You'll recall it was a close game until the bottom of the eighth.

At that point, it made sense to let Coco close it out rather than get another pitcher up to start warming.

bucksfan2
08-18-2010, 10:28 AM
Pithy. Awesome.

So much for drawing some discussion on the work done by Dusty to get them regrouped and ready to play again on Friday in the wake of the stl series.

A lot of folks on here complain that there is too much of the stats talk with respect to Xs and Os, and while I don't hold much truck with those complaints, I thought this might be a chance to think on the human element that is managing and how difficult, potentially, the task was ahead of Dusty last week.

Or not.

Well said.

Sea Ray
08-18-2010, 10:29 AM
Cordero was all warmed up and ready to go. You'll recall it was a close game until the bottom of the eighth.

At that point, it made sense to let Coco close it out rather than get another pitcher up to start warming.

Very simple. You warm up two guys. If it's a 6-2 game you use the setup guy. If the setup guy has trouble, you've got Cordero ready to go. I doubt Mariano Rivera would have been used in that situation last night

LincolnparkRed
08-18-2010, 10:33 AM
Winning makes everyone a genius.

agreed, Narron, Mackanin and Miley all had their streaks where they won sometimes in spite of themselves. Let's see how the last 43 games play out before we get too far ahead of ourselves

I will say that they have bounced back from epic losses almost every time. Philly being the exception.

membengal
08-18-2010, 10:40 AM
agreed, Narron, Mackanin and Miley all had their streaks where they won sometimes in spite of themselves. Let's see how the last 43 games play out before we get too far ahead of ourselves

I will say that they have bounced back from epic losses almost every time. Philly being the exception.

That's all fine, but I tried to point out in my opening of this thread that I was interested in highlighting the specific work from Dusty to get things immediately back on track last Friday without worrying about how the end of the year goes.

The simple fact is that this was probably an emotionally compromised team when they walked off the GABP field last Wednesday afternoon, and Baker has done a superlative job at addressing whatever those clubhouse emotional issues might have been, and did so in short order.

Absolutely commendable work from Baker in a tough spot. I am struggling to recall any of those managers you listed facing a similar crisis in their managerial tenures, or, if they did, that it was handled as well as Baker just handled this.

Win or lose from this point on, Dusty just turned in one of the better short-term managerial jobs I have seen in some time with a Reds team to get them on track. However this ride ends up.

PuffyPig
08-18-2010, 10:43 AM
Very simple. You warm up two guys. If it's a 6-2 game you use the setup guy. If the setup guy has trouble, you've got Cordero ready to go. I doubt Mariano Rivera would have been used in that situation last night


Not very simple.

Warming up extra guys taxes the bullpen too.

I'd suggest that having Cordero blow through 3 Arizona hitters with a 4 run lead was an excellent way to keep him sharp and perhaps help his confidence.

edabbs44
08-18-2010, 10:48 AM
Very simple. You warm up two guys. If it's a 6-2 game you use the setup guy. If the setup guy has trouble, you've got Cordero ready to go. I doubt Mariano Rivera would have been used in that situation last night

No way.

membengal
08-18-2010, 10:55 AM
Off-topic from where I thought this thread would go, but here are the Yankees' game logs for Rivera's 2010 apperances:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?n1=riverma01&t=p&year=2010

If I have it read right, it is somewhere around 14 times this season that Rivera has entered a game in a "non-save" situation where the Yankees were up by 4 or more. Well, 13 times, with one appearance where the Yankees were down by 5.

So, at least in Rivera's case, entering a game in situations like Coco did last night is not a rare thing.

Again, if I have those logs for Rivera read right

jojo
08-18-2010, 11:13 AM
Pithy. Awesome.

So much for drawing some discussion on the work done by Dusty to get them regrouped and ready to play again on Friday in the wake of the stl series.

A lot of folks on here complain that there is too much of the stats talk with respect to Xs and Os, and while I don't hold much truck with those complaints, I thought this might be a chance to think on the human element that is managing and how difficult, potentially, the task was ahead of Dusty last week.

Or not.

My humble opinion? It's begging a big question when giving Dusty so much credit.

westofyou
08-18-2010, 11:28 AM
Dusty is a foxhole manager, he's a guy players put out more for, unlike the Narron's, Miley's and Boone's of the world. Compared to the strategies employed by that trifecta of suck Baker is status quo. His gold stars on his report card are human elements that are mostly only privy to the ones affected by the relationship. In many ways the game is simple, see ball hit ball, pitch ball, catch ball.

Add in people and the simplicity diminishes.

TheNext44
08-18-2010, 11:29 AM
It's the most important thing when it comes to preventing losing.

Actually, the most important thing when it comes to preventing losing is to score more runs than your opponent by the end of the game. ;)

But I agree with membengal on this point. He's not saying Baker deserves all the credit for the Reds success this season. He's just acknowledging that every time the Reds had a tough stretch or tough game, the team has instead of folding, has actually bounced back stronger. And Baker deserves credit for this.

I am of the camp that the manager can influence a team by around 5-10% of their win total. But it is precisely in these situations that the manager influences his team then most. He doesn't let them get too high during winning streaks or too low during losing streaks or after a tough loss.

Sea Ray
08-18-2010, 11:36 AM
Not very simple.

Warming up extra guys taxes the bullpen too.

I'd suggest that having Cordero blow through 3 Arizona hitters with a 4 run lead was an excellent way to keep him sharp and perhaps help his confidence.

It also adds to his innings and workload. He's not a kid anymore. If we need a closer the next three games last night will seem like a waste.

More to the point, Dusty has not been quick enough to pull him when he's walking/hitting the diamond full of players. He's blown a lot of saves this year but it could have been worse. He's slid through the 9th a few times too relying on the fact that he's got a 7 in 10 chance of any hit ball to find leather. This could end up costing us but I hope not

sonny
08-18-2010, 11:40 AM
I agree with the OP. Dusty, SO FAR, has managed very well. Lets give credit where it's due.

TRF
08-18-2010, 11:41 AM
Very simple. You warm up two guys. If it's a 6-2 game you use the setup guy. If the setup guy has trouble, you've got Cordero ready to go. I doubt Mariano Rivera would have been used in that situation last night

You'd be wrong. I know, because I have Rivera on my fantasy team. He's been used a number of times up by 4. No save opportunity, but he may have needed the work, or he was warm because the game was close late.

jojo
08-18-2010, 11:42 AM
Actually, the most important thing when it comes to preventing losing is to score more runs than your opponent by the end of the game. ;)

But I agree with membengal on this point. He's not saying Baker deserves all the credit for the Reds success this season. He's just acknowledging that every time the Reds had a tough stretch or tough game, the team has instead of folding, has actually bounced back stronger. And Baker deserves credit for this.

I am of the camp that the manager can influence a team by around 5-10% of their win total. But it is precisely in these situations that the manager influences his team then most. He doesn't let them get too high during winning streaks or too low during losing streaks or after a tough loss.

Well, I've thought about it and I'm miffed. Why didn't Dusty do this the last several years?

membengal
08-18-2010, 11:46 AM
Well, I've thought about it and I'm miffed. Why didn't Dusty do this the last several years?

Wow, way to completely ignore the point and context that was made to start the thread.

Caveat Emperor
08-18-2010, 11:54 AM
Dusty is a foxhole manager, he's a guy players put out more for, unlike the Narron's, Miley's and Boone's of the world. Compared to the strategies employed by that trifecta of suck Baker is status quo. His gold stars on his report card are human elements that are mostly only privy to the ones affected by the relationship. In many ways the game is simple, see ball hit ball, pitch ball, catch ball.

Add in people and the simplicity diminishes.

Spot on, WOY.

Baseball is a game of numbers played by people. Too often we lose sight of that fact and the contributions (however minute) to winning baseball that get made in the clubhouse. Those contributions might not save a 60 win team from the abyss, but they might just help a 90 win team get over the proverbial hump.

harangatang
08-18-2010, 11:56 AM
Very simple. You warm up two guys. If it's a 6-2 game you use the setup guy. If the setup guy has trouble, you've got Cordero ready to go. I doubt Mariano Rivera would have been used in that situation last nightI wouldn't have minded seeing Masset, Ondrusek, or Smith warming up in case Cordero needed bailed out.

top6
08-18-2010, 11:57 AM
I agree the team deserves a lot of credit for bouncing back from (1) the Braves loss; (2) the Phillies series; and (3) the Cards sweep - and Dusty deserves a lot of credit for making it happen.

jojo
08-18-2010, 11:57 AM
Wow, way to completely ignore the point and context that was made to start the thread.

Its actually directly on target.

TheNext44
08-18-2010, 12:05 PM
Well, I've thought about it and I'm miffed. Why didn't Dusty do this the last several years?

He probably did, but this is the first year that the team was talented enough to respond with victories.

Do you really think that a lineup with Patterson's, Taveras', Rosales', Encarnacion's, Keppinger's, and a rotation with Fogg's, Lehr's and Wells' would be able to respond with wins, no matter how well motivated?

traderumor
08-18-2010, 12:17 PM
Winning makes everyone a genius.Reductionism is a road to nowhere. Human beings play the game, so human interaction is a valid discussion point.

membengal
08-18-2010, 12:19 PM
Reductionism is a road to nowhere. Human beings play the game, so human interaction is a valid discussion point.

Thanks, tr. It used to be, anyway.

PuffyPig
08-18-2010, 12:21 PM
He's slid through the 9th a few times too relying on the fact that he's got a 7 in 10 chance of any hit ball to find leather. This could end up costing us but I hope not

As does every pitcher in baseball.

Guys like Franklin have it in their signature line.

lollipopcurve
08-18-2010, 12:23 PM
Human beings play the game, so human interaction is a valid discussion point.

Some embrace it, some push it away.

traderumor
08-18-2010, 12:25 PM
Not very simple.

Warming up extra guys taxes the bullpen too.

I'd suggest that having Cordero blow through 3 Arizona hitters with a 4 run lead was an excellent way to keep him sharp and perhaps help his confidence.:beerme:

pedro
08-18-2010, 12:26 PM
Reductionism is a road to nowhere. Human beings play the game, so human interaction is a valid discussion point.

Unfortunately for some, there is no stat for WARR (Wins Above Replacement Robot)

traderumor
08-18-2010, 12:29 PM
Some embrace it, some push it away.I like balance. I've said it before--not being able to quantify something doesn't mean it doesn't exist and should not be considered in the grand scheme of things. A good leader will excel in certain situations, fail miserably in others. As WOY pointed out, this is the type of situation that Dusty has historically excelled in.

kaldaniels
08-18-2010, 12:29 PM
Its actually directly on target.

Could we have a starting point from you jojo....how many wins better, talent-wise, do you view the 2010 team vs the 2008 team?

jojo
08-18-2010, 12:40 PM
Reductionism is a road to nowhere. Human beings play the game, so human interaction is a valid discussion point.

And it's being discussed.

Hoosier Red
08-18-2010, 12:59 PM
He's slid through the 9th a few times too relying on the fact that he's got a 7 in 10 chance of any hit ball to find leather. This could end up costing us but I hope not

That's an interesting point, but I'm not sure how that seperates him from any other closer. He's put on more guys than he should no doubt, but doesn't every pitcher rely upon the fact that a batted ball is going to become an out 7 out of 10 times? In fact I would argue it's when guys lose that statistic that they end up trying to do too much and walk people.

By your logic on warming up a second pitcher, you'd have two people warming up every time the game goes to the 8th with a lead. He was already warmed up, throwing 15 extra pitches was less of a strain on the bullpen as a whole than having someone else warm up after Cordero's already loose and get the 15 pitches. I don't think there's much of an advantage to saving him for tomorrow. If the Reds are losing going into the 9th, he'll get the night off, if not he'll have to pitch. Odds are at some point he'll get the night off.

RFS62
08-18-2010, 02:07 PM
Managing the bullpen is one of the biggest parts of the game, and the most misunderstood.

How many times a manager gets his guys up to warm up is just as important a thing to keep track of as getting them in the game.

Bad managers get guys up way too often and not in the game.

wheels
08-18-2010, 06:06 PM
I brought this up at the beginning of that series against Florida (thanks to mem for noticing).

I've always liked Dusty on a personal level, and I think what we've seen from a relatively young club, seemingly teetering on the brink is a reflection of Dusty's biggest strength. I hardly see that as something that can be flippantly brushed aside.

It's okay to enjoy the game as you choose. At the beginning of the year I told myself that I'd just take the good with the bad, half expecting to be relegated to another late season of dispassionate bemusement.

Thing is, they've surprised the crap out of me, and I refuse to let what my idea of good roster structure (whatever that means) get in the way of soaking it all in. Good and Bad. That's what makes the ride that much enjoyable.

I was talking to a good friend of mine yesterday (who also posts here), and he seemed demoralized by the Cardinal Debacle. My rosponse to him was that no matter what, I'll look back on 2010 as a heck of a good Baseball season.

I just hope we all realize that. It's been a long time, and we deserve to get our kicks in before it's over.

It's okay to sip a few brews with friends and talk about Dusty. More often than not, we remember the PEOPLE that make this game a joy.

It's probably why we all became Baseball fans to begin with.... Right?

cincrazy
08-18-2010, 06:46 PM
The only thing you need to see in regards to how this team feels about Dusty is the videotape of the Cards game. When Carpenter mouthed off at Dusty, the ENTIRE roster went after him. He's not the best tactician. But he's not horrible, especially with a good roster. I'd even venture to say above-average.

This was a put up or shut up year for Dusty. And so far he's put up. In the last year of his contract, he's managed this team to the doorstep. Now all that's left is kicking down that door.

RedsManRick
08-18-2010, 06:49 PM
I think Dusty may very well be the best bench coach in baseball.

cincrazy
08-18-2010, 06:56 PM
I think Dusty may very well be the best bench coach in baseball.

I know that you're not a fan of Dusty, and I can understand that, because his tenure in Chicago was nothing short of a train wreck.

But I really think he's done a fabulous job in molding this young roster.

kaldaniels
08-18-2010, 06:58 PM
I brought this up at the beginning of that series against Florida (thanks to mem for noticing).

I've always liked Dusty on a personal level, and I think what we've seen from a relatively young club, seemingly teetering on the brink is a reflection of Dusty's biggest strength. I hardly see that as something that can be flippantly brushed aside.

It's okay to enjoy the game as you choose. At the beginning of the year I told myself that I'd just take the good with the bad, half expecting to be relegated to another late season of dispassionate bemusement.

Thing is, they've surprised the crap out of me, and I refuse to let what my idea of good roster structure (whatever that means) get in the way of soaking it all in. Good and Bad. That's what makes the ride that much enjoyable.

I was talking to a good friend of mine yesterday (who also posts here), and he seemed demoralized by the Cardinal Debacle. My rosponse to him was that no matter what, I'll look back on 2010 as a heck of a good Baseball season.

I just hope we all realize that. It's been a long time, and we deserve to get our kicks in before it's over.

It's okay to sip a few brews with friends and talk about Dusty. More often than not, we remember the PEOPLE that make this game a joy.

It's probably why we all became Baseball fans to begin with.... Right?

I'm confused - so do you want to annoint Dusty a saint, or burn him on the cross...it's got to be one or the other, right?

wheels
08-18-2010, 07:41 PM
I'm confused - so do you want to annoint Dusty a saint, or burn him on the cross...it's got to be one or the other, right?

I don't need to do either.

You can worry yourself about stuff like that.

kaldaniels
08-18-2010, 07:59 PM
I don't need to do either.

You can worry yourself about stuff like that.

Dude...I loved your take. I was making light of the general tone of things here.

/not as funny as I think I am

Scrap Irony
08-18-2010, 08:10 PM
I disagree with some of Baker's moves overall as it relates to strategy. That said, he's done well this year with a team comprised mainly of really young and really old guys with little in the middle.

Obviously, this team seems to believe in and trust him. That's good enough for me.

FWIW, I don't think managers affect winning all that much, but they sure can affect a team negatively.

membengal
08-18-2010, 08:23 PM
I brought this up at the beginning of that series against Florida (thanks to mem for noticing).

I've always liked Dusty on a personal level, and I think what we've seen from a relatively young club, seemingly teetering on the brink is a reflection of Dusty's biggest strength. I hardly see that as something that can be flippantly brushed aside.

It's okay to enjoy the game as you choose. At the beginning of the year I told myself that I'd just take the good with the bad, half expecting to be relegated to another late season of dispassionate bemusement.

Thing is, they've surprised the crap out of me, and I refuse to let what my idea of good roster structure (whatever that means) get in the way of soaking it all in. Good and Bad. That's what makes the ride that much enjoyable.

I was talking to a good friend of mine yesterday (who also posts here), and he seemed demoralized by the Cardinal Debacle. My rosponse to him was that no matter what, I'll look back on 2010 as a heck of a good Baseball season.

I just hope we all realize that. It's been a long time, and we deserve to get our kicks in before it's over.

It's okay to sip a few brews with friends and talk about Dusty. More often than not, we remember the PEOPLE that make this game a joy.

It's probably why we all became Baseball fans to begin with.... Right?

Was pretty sure that was you with that take that I remembered, Wheels, glad to see I have a few brain cells still active for random stuff.

Great post, and I am right there with you. It has been a fun ride, I hope it goes on awhile, and I suspect Dusty has a lot to do with how good a ride it has been. I surely think he is responsible for pulling them yet again from careening off the tracks.

edabbs44
08-18-2010, 08:37 PM
I brought this up at the beginning of that series against Florida (thanks to mem for noticing).

I've always liked Dusty on a personal level, and I think what we've seen from a relatively young club, seemingly teetering on the brink is a reflection of Dusty's biggest strength. I hardly see that as something that can be flippantly brushed aside.

It's okay to enjoy the game as you choose. At the beginning of the year I told myself that I'd just take the good with the bad, half expecting to be relegated to another late season of dispassionate bemusement.

Thing is, they've surprised the crap out of me, and I refuse to let what my idea of good roster structure (whatever that means) get in the way of soaking it all in. Good and Bad. That's what makes the ride that much enjoyable.

I was talking to a good friend of mine yesterday (who also posts here), and he seemed demoralized by the Cardinal Debacle. My rosponse to him was that no matter what, I'll look back on 2010 as a heck of a good Baseball season.

I just hope we all realize that. It's been a long time, and we deserve to get our kicks in before it's over.

It's okay to sip a few brews with friends and talk about Dusty. More often than not, we remember the PEOPLE that make this game a joy.

It's probably why we all became Baseball fans to begin with.... Right?

Good post...this was kind of on my mind today and I was thinking of starting a new thread but then saw this one and figured this was as good a spot as any.

As a few of you may know, I had my issues with the previous GM/regime and wasn't afraid to speak my mind about it. I didn't like the direction that the team was headed in, blah blah blah. But that's not what this is about.

I had faith in Jocketty upon his arrival and was pretty confident that he would steer this team in the right direction. While he was "asleep at the wheel" and all that, I knew that he was doing what was best for this franchise. Call it what you wish (FO shill, for example), but I was pretty much fine with what this regime was doing no matter what. Cairo being kept, Rolen trade and all the other moves that gave people heart palpatations didn't phase me. I reached my FO nirvana.

Isn't it time for the Reds fan base to be in that same state? At what point do we put away the overanalysis and just root for this team, this manager, this FO and this franchise? All the Cordero talk, the free Heisey talk, the Dusty lineup talk, isn't that, at this point, all nonsense? Don't we think that this regime is doing the right thing in most regards? Haven't they earned our faith? From here on out, shouldn't we be backing the decisions instead of picking them apart on a case by case basis? Instead of complaining because Gomes got a bad jump or because Baker brings in a reliever too late/early for your tastes, should we be rooting for that player instead of ripping the guy or the manager for playing said player at that time?

This isn't the past. This isn't the obviously mismanaged franchise that can get easily shredded in any discussion. This is a team that is in first place by 2.5 games in the 2nd half of August and has a bright future ahead of it. Picking apart decisions made by the FO or Baker at this point is almost ridiculous. I think they've earned the trust of the fan base at this point. I know it is foreign to a lot of us, but it is true.

Scrap Irony
08-18-2010, 08:49 PM
This isn't the past. This isn't the obviously mismanaged franchise that can get easily shredded in any discussion. This is a team that is in first place by 2.5 games in the 2nd half of August and has a bright future ahead of it. Picking apart decisions made by the FO or Baker at this point is almost ridiculous. I think they've earned the trust of the fan base at this point. I know it is foreign to a lot of us, but it is true.

Well said.

Sea Ray
08-18-2010, 09:31 PM
I think Dusty may very well be the best bench coach in baseball.

So you think in game strategy is his strong suit?

westofyou
08-18-2010, 10:05 PM
I don't need to do either.

You can worry yourself about stuff like that.

I like Dusty like I like the band The Hold Steady, he is the embodiment of a players manager (they of what rock n roll can be) and has an idea of how to deliver his goods.

It's derivative, unscientific and all that but it moves my soul in an indescribable way that makes me happy.

therefore I don't want to dig into the why so much.

wheels
08-18-2010, 10:59 PM
Dude...I loved your take. I was making light of the general tone of things here.

/not as funny as I think I am

Ooops!

It's hard to tell these days.

jojo
08-19-2010, 08:19 AM
If the guy who first challenged the notion that an increase in storks occurring at the same time there is an increase in babies doesn't mean storks deliver babies was a reductionist, than that's probably the camp to be in....

Pointing out that it's wild supposition to give Dusty substantial credit for things like molding a winning roster and being the reason for the Reds performance after the Cards series-especially when he couldn't do the same thing during losing seasons-isn't shredding Dusty. It's just not warm and fuzzy.

The Reds are 18 games over and 3 up...there's really a need for a narrative to make that more interesting? BTW, why isn't looking at the performance and showering credit on Dusty reductionist? It is of course. So really "reductionist" is only a pejorative when it doesn't fit a romanticized version of events.

Personally, I think the miracle of child birth doesn't need a stork involved to be beautiful....but that's just me.

lollipopcurve
08-19-2010, 08:31 AM
I brought this up at the beginning of that series against Florida (thanks to mem for noticing).

I've always liked Dusty on a personal level, and I think what we've seen from a relatively young club, seemingly teetering on the brink is a reflection of Dusty's biggest strength. I hardly see that as something that can be flippantly brushed aside.

It's okay to enjoy the game as you choose. At the beginning of the year I told myself that I'd just take the good with the bad, half expecting to be relegated to another late season of dispassionate bemusement.

Thing is, they've surprised the crap out of me, and I refuse to let what my idea of good roster structure (whatever that means) get in the way of soaking it all in. Good and Bad. That's what makes the ride that much enjoyable.

I was talking to a good friend of mine yesterday (who also posts here), and he seemed demoralized by the Cardinal Debacle. My rosponse to him was that no matter what, I'll look back on 2010 as a heck of a good Baseball season.

I just hope we all realize that. It's been a long time, and we deserve to get our kicks in before it's over.

It's okay to sip a few brews with friends and talk about Dusty. More often than not, we remember the PEOPLE that make this game a joy.

It's probably why we all became Baseball fans to begin with.... Right?

Outstanding post.

lollipopcurve
08-19-2010, 08:34 AM
If the guy who first challenged the notion that an increase in storks occurring at the same time there is an increase in babies doesn't mean storks deliver babies was a reductionist, than that's probably the camp to be in....

Pointing out that it's wild supposition to give Dusty substantial credit for things like molding a winning roster and being the reason for the Reds performance after the Cards series-especially when he couldn't do the same thing during losing seasons-isn't shredding Dusty. It's just not warm and fuzzy.

The Reds are 18 games over and 3 up...there's really a need for a narrative to make that more interesting? BTW, why isn't looking at the performance and showering credit on Dusty reductionist? It is of course. So really "reductionist" is only a pejorative when it doesn't fit a romanticized version of events.

Personally, I think the miracle of child birth doesn't need a stork involved to be beautiful....but that's just me.

We get it. The numbers tell the story. No matter how you frame it, that is reductionist.

jojo
08-19-2010, 08:36 AM
We get it. The numbers tell the story. No matter how you frame it, that is reductionist.

The players tell the story. And it's a good story. That is reading the book-not fixating on the distribution of consonants as the above statement seems to be suggesting.

traderumor
08-19-2010, 09:21 AM
If the guy who first challenged the notion that an increase in storks occurring at the same time there is an increase in babies doesn't mean storks deliver babies was a reductionist, than that's probably the camp to be in....

Pointing out that it's wild supposition to give Dusty substantial credit for things like molding a winning roster and being the reason for the Reds performance after the Cards series-especially when he couldn't do the same thing during losing seasons-isn't shredding Dusty. It's just not warm and fuzzy.

The Reds are 18 games over and 3 up...there's really a need for a narrative to make that more interesting? BTW, why isn't looking at the performance and showering credit on Dusty reductionist? It is of course. So really "reductionist" is only a pejorative when it doesn't fit a romanticized version of events.

Personally, I think the miracle of child birth doesn't need a stork involved to be beautiful....but that's just me.Your entry into this conversation was reducing "winning baseball games" into an incredibly narrow frame of reference. That is why I referred to it as reductionist. Would you prefer dismissive?

I get that you do not think that this aspect of discussing the Reds is worthy of discussion. I also get that you can be found calling posters out for not adding to the discussion in a thread in which you are waxing eloquent. So what did your dismissive comment add to the discussion?

westofyou
08-19-2010, 09:25 AM
Letters make the words that make the sentences that make the paragraphs that make the chapters that that make the story that we embrace.

Sometimes the story is what folks want to talk about, not the letters, because that's what is important to THEM.

Why try and devalue that emotion for them?

traderumor
08-19-2010, 09:31 AM
Letters make the words that make the sentences that make the paragraphs that make the chapters that that make the story that we embrace.

Sometimes the story is what folks want to talk about, not the letters, because that's what is important to THEM.

Why try and devalue that emotion for them?Example. I grew up with the BRM. I was not pumped to get Posnanski's book, but I eventually bought it with a Christmas gift card. I knew it already, I lived it, watched or listened day by day, replayed the 75 World Series on DVD a few times...the book was wonderful, explored some angles that a 9-11 year old boy didn't know about baseball back then, and I'm glad I read it. I imagine I'll have a similar expereince with the 1990 book and can't wait to get a copy.

lollipopcurve
08-19-2010, 09:38 AM
The players tell the story. And it's a good story. That is reading the book-not fixating on the distribution of consonants as the above statement seems to be suggesting.

The players have a manager. By virtue of his being there every day and making countless decisions about the players, he has an influence. Just because you cannot reckon that influence with numbers, it does not mean the influence is insubstantial. You seem like a logical guy, and a human being to boot, so this should not be difficult for you to understand.

jojo
08-19-2010, 10:12 AM
The players have a manager. By virtue of his being there every day and making countless decisions about the players, he has an influence. Just because you cannot reckon that influence with numbers, it does not mean the influence is insubstantial. You seem like a logical guy, and a human being to boot, so this should not be difficult for you to understand.

The players play. That seems like the most overriding element. Since we watch them, it seems like the strangest one to marginalize too.

Again, to the extent I've been accused of being a reductionist, it's been because of the suggestion that the focus should be on the players. On a sliding scale of reductionism, focus upon the manager is farther to the left of holism than a focus upon the 25 man roster. As pejorative labels go, it's an especially confusing one to apply in this thread.

jojo
08-19-2010, 10:19 AM
Letters make the words that make the sentences that make the paragraphs that make the chapters that that make the story that we embrace.

Sometimes the story is what folks want to talk about, not the letters, because that's what is important to THEM.

Why try and devalue that emotion for them?

That's great. I'm trying to understand what they base such strongly held opinions upon. I'm thinking it's got to involve something more than feelings about reductionist philosophy but it seems clear that the issue really isn't open for discussion.

BTW, the statement below can not be fairly characterized as focusing upon the letters in the metaphor...


My humble opinion? It's begging a big question when giving Dusty so much credit.

jojo
08-19-2010, 12:28 PM
Your entry into this conversation was reducing "winning baseball games" into an incredibly narrow frame of reference.


Actually that's completely untrue.

lollipopcurve
08-19-2010, 12:32 PM
The players play. That seems like the most overriding element. Since we watch them, it seems like the strangest one to marginalize too.

Again, to the extent I've been accused of being a reductionist, it's been because of the suggestion that the focus should be on the players. On a sliding scale of reductionism, focus upon the manager is farther to the left of holism than a focus upon the 25 man roster. As pejorative labels go, it's an especially confusing one to apply in this thread.

Talking about the manager's influence does not mean one is marginalizing the players. Strawman.

jojo
08-19-2010, 12:35 PM
Talking about the manager's influence does not mean one is marginalizing the players. Strawman.

In the sense that talking about the impact of players is reductionist, the above view of the role of the manager has to be considered a logical extension (since it's going from a complex roster to the effect of a single individual) of the argument rather than a strawman.

westofyou
08-19-2010, 12:49 PM
'sometimes it's not about you, or what you want'

Grandma Westofyou

jojo
08-19-2010, 12:52 PM
dis·cus·sion (d-skshn)
n.
1. Consideration of a subject by a group; an earnest conversation
2. An exchange of views on some topic

lollipopcurve
08-19-2010, 12:53 PM
In the sense that talking about the impact of players is reductionist,

What is reductionist is the argument that the manager's influence is insubstantial because it cannot be measured statistically.

jojo
08-19-2010, 12:56 PM
What is reductionist is the argument that the manager's influence is insubstantial because it cannot be measured statistically.

For the sake of discussion, I'll concede your definition if you concede that ascribing a value to an unmeasurable effect is supposition.

membengal
08-19-2010, 01:01 PM
What a fun end to this thread! Yay!

Red in Chicago
08-19-2010, 01:10 PM
What a fun end to this thread! Yay!

It's getting very close to it. Bickering back and forth really gets old.

membengal
08-19-2010, 01:12 PM
It's getting very close to it. Bickering back and forth really gets old.

Yeah, sorry to see it. That certainly wasn't my intention in starting the thread. I was genuinely marveling at how the Reds picked themselves up in the aftermath of the StL debacle and thinking that some appreciation of the role of the manager in that was worth some discussion.

lollipopcurve
08-19-2010, 01:21 PM
Yeah, sorry to see it. That certainly wasn't my intention in starting the thread. I was genuinely marveling at how the Reds picked themselves up in the aftermath of the StL debacle and thinking that some appreciation of the role of the manager in that was worth some discussion.

Absolutely. I think folks made some nice connections between various low points in the season, pointing out that Baker deserved some credit for the team's ability to quickly put those moments behind them.

I apologize for oiling our squeaky wheel.....

membengal
08-19-2010, 01:25 PM
Absolutely. I think folks made some nice connections between various low points in the season, pointing out that Baker deserved some credit for the team's ability to quickly put those moments behind them.

Exactly. And you are right that folks have pointed out the other low points that Baker got the team successfully refocused from. Those two 6-run leads that turned into losses each could have been potential season de-railers. It was was so odd, and so historically unusual, they each represented danger points. And each time, the team has found its stride. I have such a hard time ignoring the role that the manager must play in that. Whatever buttons are being pushed in the clubhouse by Dusty and his chosen clubhouse emissaries are the right ones for this club.

Brutus
08-19-2010, 01:43 PM
Sorry, in advance, for the lengthy post. However, I think this is applicable and relevant to the discussion.

Last year, a sports admin professor friend of mine hosted a sports psychologist speaker to his classes. The gentleman spoke on human behavior, the DISC and MBTI personality types (a subject I've submersed myself in the last few years anyhow) and compatibility issues with athletes and their teammates.

The gist of the engagement, in my opinion, perfectly embodies Dusty Baker.

He said that any team (or group of people for that matter) working together for any length of time would conform to one basic identity--one general personality.

If that group were of varying character, varying work ethics, differing ideals, the group would signify one of chaos, dissaray and embattlement. That seems normal.

Basically though, any group of a majority of like-minded people would gravitate (or conform) to that of the most influential (usually dominant) personalities in the group. After all, as humans we're typically either leaders or followers. If the most extroverted and dominant personalities (D and I in the D.I.S.C. method) are of high moral fiber, strong workers and have a lot of resilience, that is typically the personality a team will take.

What's interesting though is that he believes if the manager is one of these stronger personalities within the team confines, it will be his personality and identity the team will take. If the manager (or coach) is more introverted, then often the personality will instead be dictated based on the more dominant players' personalities, and the manager becomes less of a stablizing force.

Think of the New England Patriots. They, like the Bengals, have taken a ton of chances on character risks. The difference for them is that they have strong leadership and coaching. If there are a few problematic personalities, those individuals are kept in check and conformed to the team identity because the leaders are of strong character base. Think of it like our immune system fighting a virus or sickness. Without that direction, the character problems (or sickness) takes over the body.

How does this relate to Dusty Baker?

It's said that good managers get the most out of their players. Though it seems like an overused cliche, it's absolutely not.

Humans need both mind and body to function together. We are not physically productive if we are not psychologically stable. Yes, strong minds and stable individuals will not succeed without talent. Likewise, teams need talent. But talented players also cannot function to their capacity unless they are also in the right mindset. Teams need both mind and body to win.

I truly believe Baker embodies the leadership of his teams. The Reds have gone out and surrounded him with Scott Rolen, Orlando Cabrera, etc. and they have been terrific clubhouse influences. I believe Baker's identity (even last year, as you recall the Reds were overacheiving the first two months of the year in spite of not having a ton of talent) has gripped this team and they are playing as an extension of him.

Sabermetrics measures baseball in the form of production, which is produced by capable talent. However, I believe it is the managerial/leadership/psychological intangibles that aid players in allowing their full talent to yield their maximum results. I truly believe wins and losses, which can be measured by a pretty strong degree to runs scored and runs allowed, are a reflection of whether those runs were maximized by mind & body together.

I do not care for Baker's baseball philosophy, if I'm being perfectly honest. However, I believe he is one of those managers that shapes his team instead of getting shaped by his team.

We all have had days at work where we were worthless. We didn't have 'our minds' in the game. If you're a baseball player, imagine how much happier you are at work with a boss and co-workers that allow you to stay at peak mental capacity everyday. Thus, you maximize your productivity.

Athletes are just like us, folks. Having a Dusty Baker does wonders for the mind. The mind can do wonders for the body.

jojo
08-19-2010, 01:52 PM
He said that any team (or group of people for that matter) working together for any length of time would conform to one basic identity--one general personality.

If that group were of varying character, varying work ethics, differing ideals, the group would signify one of chaos, dissaray and embattlement. That seems normal.

Basically though, any group of a majority of like-minded people would gravitate (or conform) to that of the most influential (usually dominant) personalities in the group.

Dusty didn't help much in 2008 and 2009.

I give Rolen the lion's share of the unprovable credit.

mdccclxix
08-19-2010, 02:01 PM
Sorry, in advance, for the lengthy post. However, I think this is applicable and relevant to the discussion.

Last year, a sports admin professor friend of mine hosted a sports psychologist speaker to his classes. The gentleman spoke on human behavior, the DISC and MBTI personality types (a subject I've submersed myself in the last few years anyhow) and compatibility issues with athletes and their teammates.

The gist of the engagement, in my opinion, perfectly embodies Dusty Baker.

He said that any team (or group of people for that matter) working together for any length of time would conform to one basic identity--one general personality.

If that group were of varying character, varying work ethics, differing ideals, the group would signify one of chaos, dissaray and embattlement. That seems normal.

Basically though, any group of a majority of like-minded people would gravitate (or conform) to that of the most influential (usually dominant) personalities in the group. After all, as humans we're typically either leaders or followers. If the most extroverted and dominant personalities (D and I in the D.I.S.C. method) are of high moral fiber, strong workers and have a lot of resilience, that is typically the personality a team will take.

What's interesting though is that he believes if the manager is one of these stronger personalities within the team confines, it will be his personality and identity the team will take. If the manager (or coach) is more introverted, then often the personality will instead be dictated based on the more dominant players' personalities, and the manager becomes less of a stablizing force.

Think of the New England Patriots. They, like the Bengals, have taken a ton of chances on character risks. The difference for them is that they have strong leadership and coaching. If there are a few problematic personalities, those individuals are kept in check and conformed to the team identity because the leaders are of strong character base. Think of it like our immune system fighting a virus or sickness. Without that direction, the character problems (or sickness) takes over the body.

How does this relate to Dusty Baker?

It's said that good managers get the most out of their players. Though it seems like an overused cliche, it's absolutely not.

Humans need both mind and body to function together. We are not physically productive if we are not psychologically stable. Yes, strong minds and stable individuals will not succeed without talent. Likewise, teams need talent. But talented players also cannot function to their capacity unless they are also in the right mindset. Teams need both mind and body to win.

I truly believe Baker embodies the leadership of his teams. The Reds have gone out and surrounded him with Scott Rolen, Orlando Cabrera, etc. and they have been terrific clubhouse influences. I believe Baker's identity (even last year, as you recall the Reds were overacheiving the first two months of the year in spite of not having a ton of talent) has gripped this team and they are playing as an extension of him.

Sabermetrics measures baseball in the form of production, which is produced by capable talent. However, I believe it is the managerial/leadership/psychological intangibles that aid players in allowing their full talent to yield their maximum results. I truly believe wins and losses, which can be measured by a pretty strong degree to runs scored and runs allowed, are a reflection of whether those runs were maximized by mind & body together.

I do not care for Baker's baseball philosophy, if I'm being perfectly honest. However, I believe he is one of those managers that shapes his team instead of getting shaped by his team.

We all have had days at work where we were worthless. We didn't have 'our minds' in the game. If you're a baseball player, imagine how much happier you are at work with a boss and co-workers that allow you to stay at peak mental capacity everyday. Thus, you maximize your productivity.

Athletes are just like us, folks. Having a Dusty Baker does wonders for the mind. The mind can do wonders for the body.

Post of the week for me. Thank you for sharing this. :thumbup: One thing I'd like to add is Dusty's consistency and the role it plays in his leadership you described. He is always fair with his players, loyal as well, consistent with strategy and a winning mentality, and on and on. He really has shaped this team to his liking and the players have flourished under him. He often has gotten the most out of platoons, for example.

Caveat Emperor
08-19-2010, 02:03 PM
Dusty didn't help much in 2008 and 2009.

I give Rolen the lion's share of the unprovable credit.

That a chef cannot cook with bad ingredients does not devalue his skill just as surely as the quality of the ingredients alone cannot guarantee a good meal without the chef.

TheNext44
08-19-2010, 02:10 PM
Dusty didn't help much in 2008 and 2009.

I give Rolen the lion's share of the unprovable credit.

First, how do you know Baker didn't help much in 08 an 09?

If your assertion that the manager's effect can not be measured is true, then how can we be sure that Baker didn't help the team win more games in those years than if they had a different manager?

Unless you are saying that a manager has no effect on a team's ability to win, which is much more difficuilt postition to defend.

Here's my position:

A manager is only has good has his players. However, a good manager can get the most out the players that he has. Average mangers get their players to play to their ability. Bad managers get their players to not care.

I think getting your players to bounce back after tough losses falls under the category of getting the most out of your players.

You're position is that we don't know that this is just because of Baker, that it could be more because of Rolen. That's a fair argument. Now defend it. What evidence or narrative do you have to support that? I am being very siincere. I think this would be a healthy discussion.

Brutus
08-19-2010, 02:14 PM
Dusty didn't help much in 2008 and 2009.

I give Rolen the lion's share of the unprovable credit.

For 4 months of the year last year, the Reds were overacheiving and playing well beyond their talent. Some could call that luck. However, through April and May, the team was winning a decent amount of games that they probably should not have and people were enjoying the team despite not having a ton of talent.

June and July were miserable, but the injuries mounted and the team did finally succumb to the lack of ability. Point is, I remember reading this board and how amazed many of us were that the Reds had a winning record the first couple months of the season. Scott Rolen wasn't there yet, so I have to think Dusty deserves some of that credit.

I can't help but think this feels like an episode of Lost.

This is like a fundamental "faith" versus "science" type thing. Some will need everything proven to them to know it exists. Others just have the belief that it does, even if it's not always black and white.

I know this, and I don't need any stats to back this up: there are some days I feel like crap and don't get a lick of work done. There are others I feel good and get a ton of work done. I am, as an individual, capable of a certain amount. Others might be capable of more. So when I'm feeling well, I am reaching my talent level. There are some work environments that cause (or prevent) me to more often reach my ability. Baseball is a lot like that.

It's a bunch of humans who's physical successs--i.e. reaching their capacity--is dictated a lot by the environment in which they participate.

There are a lot of stats that back that up. They may not be baseball stats, but they're long-studied patterns of human behavior. But that's for the men of science. For the men of faith, we already know that ;)

traderumor
08-19-2010, 02:15 PM
Dusty didn't help much in 2008 and 2009.

I give Rolen the lion's share of the unprovable credit.I submit that their record would have been worse with the talent level than it was in both seasons were it not for a solid major league manager like Dusty at the helm. Both years the Reds were +2 over their expected W/L. I give Dusty the credit for outperforming Pythag.

BTW, your "unprovable credit" is in the category of plausible explanations, as is it a plausible explanation that Dusty is deserving of some credit for the progression of this organization during his tenure. Everything in the world doesn't have to be provable (materialism). Sometimes, presuppositions lead you down right roads.

Also, someone deserving of props right now that the Board is silent about is Brook Jacoby. The offense being tops in the NL is the most unexpected development of the season, yet he has gotten very little credit and is deserving of some recognition as well.

edabbs44
08-19-2010, 02:19 PM
It's such a shame that, in this day and age, a fan base cannot just root for their team and hope they do well. You would think that this board would be pretty much positive across the vast majority of the discussions being had.

Proof that Dusty is doing well as manager? 1st place. Saying that this team should be doing better than they currently are is outlandish. I wasn't happy with Baker when he was hired but if this team is winning then he's ok by me. He really hasn't given any of us any reason not to like what he is doing.

jojo
08-19-2010, 02:20 PM
That a chef cannot cook with bad ingredients does not devalue his skill just as surely as the quality of the ingredients alone cannot guarantee a good meal without the chef.

But a significant part of the argument is that Dusty's biggest strength is that he gets the most out of his players.

He came up zero's on Ramon Hernandez last year but he's working his magic this year? Has he been ignoring Gomes, a guy that should be a Dusty soul mate from an intangible standpoint? Why did it take until Dusty's third season for Phillips to play like 2007 again? EE should've been the perfect fit for Dusty, shouldn't he have been? And Gonzo? Jay Bruce could use a little more nurturing. Just saying...

Or could it be that a better roster leads to more wins? It's serious point.

I think everyone would agree that whatever effect Dusty has, it is much less important than the true talent on the roster. It's the only position to take given the Reds performance in 2008 and 2009. So whatever effect he has, it can't be considered large as a starting point. So really arguing the impact of Dusty is arguing at the margins.

But let me ask this. If it's not appropriate to ascribe little value to something that is unmeasurable, why it it acceptable to ascribe significant value to it?

lollipopcurve
08-19-2010, 02:21 PM
This is like a fundamental "faith" versus "science" type thing. Some will need everything proven to them to know it exists. Others just have the belief that it does, even if it's not always black and white.

I know this, and I don't need any stats to back this up: there are some days I feel like crap and don't get a lick of work done. There are others I feel good and get a ton of work done. I am, as an individual, capable of a certain amount. Others might be capable of more. So when I'm feeling well, I am reaching my talent level. There are some work environments that cause (or prevent) me to more often reach my ability. Baseball is a lot like that.

It's a bunch of humans who's physical successs--i.e. reaching their capacity--is dictated a lot by the environment in which they participate.

There are a lot of stats that back that up. They may not be baseball stats, but they're long-studied patterns of human behavior. But that's for the men of science. For the men of faith, we already know that


Really, really well-stated!

kaldaniels
08-19-2010, 02:24 PM
I asked you earlier jojo but never got an answer (i think)....how many more wins talentwise is the 2010 team vs the 2008 team?

jojo
08-19-2010, 02:27 PM
It's such a shame that, in this day and age, a fan base cannot just root for their team and hope they do well. You would think that this board would be pretty much positive across the vast majority of the discussions being had.

Proof that Dusty is doing well as manager? 1st place. Saying that this team should be doing better than they currently are is outlandish. I wasn't happy with Baker when he was hired but if this team is winning then he's ok by me. He really hasn't given any of us any reason not to like what he is doing.

Who is hoping the Reds don't do well? Who is saying the Reds should be doing better?

edabbs44
08-19-2010, 02:29 PM
Who is hoping the Reds don't do well?

I don't know..did I say that?


Who is saying the Reds should be doing better?

So you think that Dusty has done as good of a job with this team (performance wise) as humanly possible?

jojo
08-19-2010, 02:32 PM
I asked you earlier jojo but never got an answer (i think)....how many more wins talentwise is the 2010 team vs the 2008 team?

I thought the Reds were probably a 78ish win team in 2008 with a chance to be 81ish though it would've required alot to go right (a perfect opportunity for Dusty magic but it never materialized).

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65275&highlight=2008+reds

Going into this year, I thought the Reds were an 84 win team with potential (i.e. alot more margin of error or "room" to grow).

Caveat Emperor
08-19-2010, 02:35 PM
But a significant part of the argument is that Dusty's biggest strength is that he gets the most out of his players.

He came up zero's on Ramon Hernandez last year but he's working his magic this year? Has he been ignoring Gomes, a guy that should be a Dusty soul mate from an intangible standpoint? Why did it take until Dusty's third season for Phillips to play like 2007 again? EE should've been the perfect fit for Dusty, shouldn't he have been? And Gonzo? Jay Bruce could use a little more nurturing. Just saying...

Or could it be that a better roster leads to more wins? It's serious point.

I think everyone would agree that whatever effect Dusty has, it is much less important than the true talent on the roster. It's the only position to take given the Reds performance in 2008 and 2009. So whatever effect he has, it can't be considered large as a starting point. So really arguing the impact of Dusty is arguing at the margins.

But let me ask this. If it's not appropriate to ascribe little value to something that is unmeasurable, why it it acceptable to ascribe significant value to it?

Whatever it is, significant or insignificant, quantifiable or unquantifiable, it's working. The team is playing great baseball. I don't care about the hows are whys -- I just want it to continue. I've watched a decade of awful and wasted years of my life in front of a television and in $7 box seats hoping that garbage would magically transform to gold for just one summer.

I think you'd have to be just a truly miserable fan to start picking nits with a first place team and look to fire the people in charge because they aren't FURTHER in first place.

jojo
08-19-2010, 02:36 PM
I don't know..did I say that?


It's such a shame that, in this day and age, a fan base cannot just root for their team and hope they do well.




So you think that Dusty has done as good of a job with this team (performance wise) as humanly possible?

I think it likely wouldn't have mattered who managed the Reds assuming it was a guy that any FO would say rose to a level to be qualified. They'd (the Reds) be pretty close to where they are this afternoon

jojo
08-19-2010, 02:38 PM
I think you'd have to be just a truly miserable fan to start picking nits with a first place team and look to fire the people in charge because they aren't FURTHER in first place.

I agree but who is arguing those points??????

wheels
08-19-2010, 03:50 PM
I guess it's easier for someone who is more of a fan of another team to check his passion at the door when discussing his second or third favorite team.

I mean, I wish the Indians well, but......

traderumor
08-19-2010, 03:54 PM
I think it likely wouldn't have mattered who managed the Reds assuming it was a guy that any FO would say rose to a level to be qualified. They'd (the Reds) be pretty close to where they are this afternoonThis is essentially the same argument as paying a veteran, designated "closer" is silly because cheap good relievers could get the same result. Yet clearly, there are guys with very good stuff that fail repeatedly in that situation. The same with managers. Not all competence is created equal.

edabbs44
08-19-2010, 04:03 PM
Originally Posted by edabbs44
I don't know..did I say that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by edabbs44
It's such a shame that, in this day and age, a fan base cannot just root for their team and hope they do well.


Maybe it didn't come out that way, but I was saying those two things in tandem. Instead of just rooting for the team and hoping they do well, we have to overanalyze each lineup, pitching change, double switch, steal call, at bat, batted ball, defensive positioning, quote from the manager, etc and bash the hell out of it if it doesn't fit what we want to see.

jojo
08-19-2010, 05:54 PM
This is essentially the same argument as paying a veteran, designated "closer" is silly because cheap good relievers could get the same result. Yet clearly, there are guys with very good stuff that fail repeatedly in that situation. The same with managers. Not all competence is created equal.

How has that Cordero contract worked out for the Reds?

edabbs44
08-19-2010, 06:13 PM
How has that Cordero contract worked out for the Reds?

Burn. What a nightmare.

traderumor
08-19-2010, 06:21 PM
How has that Cordero contract worked out for the Reds?

Again, violating your own rules? Hasn't this been discussed elsewhere ad nauseum and your position is debatable and has been debated, extensively all over the place? I thought you had a rule against that. Anyhow, I digress.

Not hardly a "burn," but there is a position with a lot of merit that the bullpen dramatically improved upon his signing, so while perhaps paying top dollar, the Reds dramatically improved a weakness. And having just watched the Dbacks meltdown last night circa the pre-Coco 2007 Reds bullpen, your position is tenable.

But then that position has been discussed a lot on this board and two opposing positions certainly have merit on both sides.

jojo
08-19-2010, 06:30 PM
Again, violating your own rules? Hasn't this been discussed elsewhere ad nauseum and your position is debatable and has been debated, extensively all over the place? I thought you had a rule against that. Anyhow, I digress.

I have zero clue what this means.


Not hardly a "burn," but there is a position with a lot of merit that the bullpen dramatically improved upon his signing, so while perhaps paying top dollar, the Reds dramatically improved a weakness. And having just watched the Dbacks meltdown last night circa the pre-Coco 2007 Reds bullpen, your position is tenable.

The weakness of that position was addressed here:
http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1956759&postcount=104

We're now seeing how his contract is hindering the Reds chances to compete this year and next.

wheels
08-19-2010, 09:26 PM
I'm no fan of Cordero circa now, but to say that he's "hindered their chances to compete" this season is a bit hyperbolic.

I guess they could be six games ahead instead of three, but to that notion I give a dismissive "ho hum".

Next year? I gotta agree with you on that....Sorta. I still think they'll be "competitive".

RFS62
08-20-2010, 06:24 AM
Sorry, in advance, for the lengthy post. However, I think this is applicable and relevant to the discussion.

Last year, a sports admin professor friend of mine hosted a sports psychologist speaker to his classes. The gentleman spoke on human behavior, the DISC and MBTI personality types (a subject I've submersed myself in the last few years anyhow) and compatibility issues with athletes and their teammates.

The gist of the engagement, in my opinion, perfectly embodies Dusty Baker.

He said that any team (or group of people for that matter) working together for any length of time would conform to one basic identity--one general personality.

If that group were of varying character, varying work ethics, differing ideals, the group would signify one of chaos, dissaray and embattlement. That seems normal.

Basically though, any group of a majority of like-minded people would gravitate (or conform) to that of the most influential (usually dominant) personalities in the group. After all, as humans we're typically either leaders or followers. If the most extroverted and dominant personalities (D and I in the D.I.S.C. method) are of high moral fiber, strong workers and have a lot of resilience, that is typically the personality a team will take.

What's interesting though is that he believes if the manager is one of these stronger personalities within the team confines, it will be his personality and identity the team will take. If the manager (or coach) is more introverted, then often the personality will instead be dictated based on the more dominant players' personalities, and the manager becomes less of a stablizing force.

Think of the New England Patriots. They, like the Bengals, have taken a ton of chances on character risks. The difference for them is that they have strong leadership and coaching. If there are a few problematic personalities, those individuals are kept in check and conformed to the team identity because the leaders are of strong character base. Think of it like our immune system fighting a virus or sickness. Without that direction, the character problems (or sickness) takes over the body.

How does this relate to Dusty Baker?

It's said that good managers get the most out of their players. Though it seems like an overused cliche, it's absolutely not.

Humans need both mind and body to function together. We are not physically productive if we are not psychologically stable. Yes, strong minds and stable individuals will not succeed without talent. Likewise, teams need talent. But talented players also cannot function to their capacity unless they are also in the right mindset. Teams need both mind and body to win.

I truly believe Baker embodies the leadership of his teams. The Reds have gone out and surrounded him with Scott Rolen, Orlando Cabrera, etc. and they have been terrific clubhouse influences. I believe Baker's identity (even last year, as you recall the Reds were overacheiving the first two months of the year in spite of not having a ton of talent) has gripped this team and they are playing as an extension of him.

Sabermetrics measures baseball in the form of production, which is produced by capable talent. However, I believe it is the managerial/leadership/psychological intangibles that aid players in allowing their full talent to yield their maximum results. I truly believe wins and losses, which can be measured by a pretty strong degree to runs scored and runs allowed, are a reflection of whether those runs were maximized by mind & body together.

I do not care for Baker's baseball philosophy, if I'm being perfectly honest. However, I believe he is one of those managers that shapes his team instead of getting shaped by his team.

We all have had days at work where we were worthless. We didn't have 'our minds' in the game. If you're a baseball player, imagine how much happier you are at work with a boss and co-workers that allow you to stay at peak mental capacity everyday. Thus, you maximize your productivity.

Athletes are just like us, folks. Having a Dusty Baker does wonders for the mind. The mind can do wonders for the body.


Brilliant post.

I often wonder how so many smart people who can make compelling arguments for the value of statistical analysis and take a scientific approach to performance evaluation seem to completely ignore the psychology of performance.

It's a science too. But we don't have numbers to argue about or the ability to quantify the characteristics we're observing.

It's far more interesting to me than number crunching. I want to know what these guys are thinking, how they deal with adversity.

The human, psychological element of sports is a fascinating subject.

traderumor
08-20-2010, 08:58 AM
I have zero clue what this means.



The weakness of that position was addressed here:
http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1956759&postcount=104

We're now seeing how his contract is hindering the Reds chances to compete this year and next.It means that I have noted your chiding of posters for beating dead horses, yet here you are beating the crap out of one.

jojo
08-20-2010, 09:14 AM
It means that I have noted your chiding of posters for beating dead horses, yet here you are beating the crap out of one.

You brought it up and I politely provided a link to a more appropriate thread rather than rehash the issue in this, an unrelated thread. If you still wish to continue this line of discussion, it's probably most appropriate to continue it via PM.

Brutus
08-20-2010, 11:08 AM
Brilliant post.

I often wonder how so many smart people who can make compelling arguments for the value of statistical analysis and take a scientific approach to performance evaluation seem to completely ignore the psychology of performance.

It's a science too. But we don't have numbers to argue about or the ability to quantify the characteristics we're observing.

It's far more interesting to me than number crunching. I want to know what these guys are thinking, how they deal with adversity.

The human, psychological element of sports is a fascinating subject.

It's an excellent subject, and in this case, an excellent question. I've often wondered that myself, and make no mistake, I am a huge stat guy.

I think people were so blown away with the studies of correlation to the events taking place on a diamond, baseball enthusiasts haven't taken the time to consider causation.

I think it's just an easy way out. We have this sport that is so stat-centric, so quantifiable, we don't want to believe that there are still many aspects of it that exist within the 'team' dynamic--the part of the sport that still relies on 9 players working as one cohesive unit.

Everyone I know has mood swings, productivity spikes and ups and downs at our workplace. I really have never been able to understand how people can't believe athletes are subject to the same issues. The argument, in my mind, has been misunderstood. It's not that chemistry and intangibles directly relate to wins & losses... that correctly can be measured by the segments of runs score/allowed. The real argument has always (or should have been) how physical peak performance is maximized or minimized by those issues.

Mario-Rijo
08-20-2010, 11:25 AM
It's an excellent subject, and in this case, an excellent question. I've often wondered that myself, and make no mistake, I am a huge stat guy.

I think people were so blown away with the studies of correlation to the events taking place on a diamond, sabre enthusiasts haven't taken the time to consider causation.

I think it's just an easy way out. We have this sport that is so stat-centric, so quantifiable, we don't want to believe that there are still many aspects of it that exist within the 'team' dynamic--the part of the sport that still relies on 9 players working as one cohesive unit.

Everyone I know has mood swings, productivity spikes and ups and downs at our workplace. I really have never been able to understand how people can't believe athletes are subject to the same issues. The argument, in my mind, has been misunderstood. It's not that chemistry and intangibles directly relate to wins & losses... that correctly can be measured by the segments of runs score/allowed. The real argument has always (or should have been) how physical peak performance is maximized or minimized by those issues.

There fixed that for ya.

Heath
08-20-2010, 11:35 AM
Keep it civil people, this team is 3.5 games ahead with about 40 to go.

Now we know how yankeezone.com feels every August.

westofyou
08-20-2010, 11:42 AM
There fixed that for ya.

Wrong

gonelong
08-20-2010, 12:11 PM
Brilliant post.

I often wonder how so many smart people who can make compelling arguments for the value of statistical analysis and take a scientific approach to performance evaluation seem to completely ignore the psychology of performance.

It's a science too. But we don't have numbers to argue about or the ability to quantify the characteristics we're observing.

IMO 3 reasons.

1. It depends how you are approaching the game as a fan.

If I have my fan-hat on I am interested in Brandon Phillips comments prior to the Cardinal series and how that will affect both organizations, teams, managers, players, etc. With my fan-hat I am interested in the pitch-by-pitch/AB-to-AB/game-by-game/series level. I am interested in the individual players and performances. I want to see if Carpenter is going to plunk Phillips. I want to see if a fight breaks out, who is mixing it up and who is on the fringe. How does the game ebb and flow?
If I have on my arm-chair GM hat(acgm-hat), I am more interested in the overall performance of the roster over the long-haul. I am not as concerned about the day-to-day stuff or what happened 2-3 series ago.
2. Availaility of (valid) information

The numbers are all available to everyone crunch.
The psychology of the players is not. It's kinda hard for a fan to factor in the psychology of Player A on his performance when I have no clue what his mental state is and how it is affected by his health, wife, kids, GM, Manager, contract situation, playing time, lineup slot, trade status, etc.
3. Application of information:

Psychology is a soft science difficult (impossible?) to quantify. Mathmatics is a hard science that is relatively easy quatified.

nature or nuture = debatable
A > B = end of discussion
A nature > A nuture = debatable
B nature > B nuture = debatable

If by some chance I did have all this psychology information for everyone in the organization, I am still not home-free. How much was this player's performance affected by each of these items? I have to quantify it in some terms (a lot, some, a little) in order to:

fan-hat: discuss it with my buddies
acgm-hat: decide if/what needs to be done about it.



The fan-hat in me had more interest than acgm-hat in me does, though acgm-hat me is still intersted in this the degree information flow allows.



It's far more interesting to me than number crunching. I want to know what these guys are thinking, how they deal with adversity.

The human, psychological element of sports is a fascinating subject.

The fan-hat in me agrees with you completely.
The acgm-hat i me does not.

GL

BRM
08-20-2010, 12:11 PM
Maybe it didn't come out that way, but I was saying those two things in tandem. Instead of just rooting for the team and hoping they do well, we have to overanalyze each lineup, pitching change, double switch, steal call, at bat, batted ball, defensive positioning, quote from the manager, etc and bash the hell out of it if it doesn't fit what we want to see.

It's a message board made up of fanatical Reds fans. I think the "overanalyzing" is going to happen whether the Reds are 10 games up or 10 games back. It's what the folks here do. And quite frankly, if the posts here were nothing more than "rah rah Reds", it would get pretty boring.