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View Full Version : It’s Past Time for a Regime Change



LeDoux
07-27-2011, 11:24 PM
There have been many “Fire Dusty” threads. I am hoping this one will be a little less polarized. First let’s start with a few assumptions:

A. Dusty is in the top 1/3 of the game’s managers in relationship building and “player management”, and in the bottom 1/3 in tactical prowess and “game management.” If you do not agree with this statement it would probably best to not bother reading the rest of this post.

B. The manager does not need to be sole source of a team’s problems in order for the manager to be removed. There may be many other problems, but if a manager significantly contributes to poor performance he should be let go.

Dusty has been accused on several types of misjudgment:

1. Intangibles: Starting with what Dusty does well – his “player management,” is not working. The morale of the clubhouse appears low. If Dusty’s greatest strengths are in the intangibles of motivating and encouraging, it is not translating into any observable, positive, on-the-field behavior.

2. Pitching: Dusty is slow to recognize pitcher fatigue. The majority of the time a starting pitcher is only removed after significant run-damage has occurred. He also applies rigid “rules” when the context of a stituation suggests another course (example: pitching Cordero in almost all closer situations regardless of situation).

3. Offense: Lineups: Dusty lineups are inefficient (example: Renteria in the 2-hole while Hernandez bats in the 8-hole). It can also be argued that players are not placed in the roles best suited for them (example: Stubbs in leadoff, Phillips in cleanup).

4. Player Time: Dusty seems to have a preference for known quantities over higher ceilings. (Example: Gomes playing LF vs. RHP).

All of these things are generalizations. They will not be accurate all of the time. Still, they point to a type of inflexible thinking and ineffective motivation that can harm a ballclub. And as Reds become a younger team, the complexity of the game management will only increase. It will have more “moving pieces.” As such, 2012 may be even more problematic than 2011. I appreciate Baker’s efforts up to now, but it is time to part ways.


As a side note, I would like to say that I think Dusty is very decent human being and would wish him all the best. I also believe he has the potential to be a fair manager in the American League. But he is not a good match for the 2011 Redlegs.

I welcome contrary opnions, but let's show the ORG how to disagree with class!

Redsfansince72
07-27-2011, 11:32 PM
I agreee.. to me he doesnt have Bonds or Sosa to bail him out on his bad decisions.. after Cueto had thrown 96 pitches and the long inning and the heat, that was the time to bring in LeCure.. Nope lets wait till its come from behind time.. that bugs me too..

Stray
07-28-2011, 12:34 AM
A - Totally agree
B - No arguments there

1. This is what is most troubling about this team, and to me what Dusty deserves the most blame for. His teams are always upbeat and positive even in the worst of situations, it's what has made him a great manager. As of late the players look defeated, their body language shows it. That is solely on the shoulders of Dusty as the team leader.

2. I think this is a little overblown, but I do agree somewhat. The other night with Cueto he walked a batter and got a DP ball that was booted into a two base error. The inning got away after that, and I don't really think you can put the blame on Cueto or Dusty there. There have been times where he's let a guy go too long, but there have been many times where I think our pitchers just need to start getting people out in the 7th inning or later. Fatigue after 85/90 pitches means our guys aren't in shape and that would be on them.

3. Another thing that I think is overblown on here. Phillips career numbers are not that good in the leadoff spot, and he doesn't exactly get on base a lot. Is Phillips the ideal cleanup hitter? No, absolutely not, but who in the heck on this team can give Votto any sort of protection right now? Jay Bruce lol? Also, I think Drew Stubbs gets a little more heat than he deserves. He strikes out like it's his job, but he also makes things happen when he's on base, way more than anyone else on this team. Now that Heisey is going to be playing LF I wouldn't mind seeing him leadoff more, even though Stubbs has actually been playing pretty good lately. Also, with BP batting 4th and Cozart on the DL, who is the ideal 2 hole hitter on this team? It's like we have a lot of good pieces that don't really fit right now. When Rolen/Gomes were playing well last year it made up for everything because that gave Votto his semi protection.

4. Definitely overblown on this board. Look at our entire outfield. Look up and down our pitching staff. Look at who is our starting SS. Dusty plays young guys, heck this team relies on young guys. If given the opportunity to play a proven commodity or an unknown there aren't many managers that will go with the unknown, unless they are down and out of the race. Which is where we're heading.

All in all I agree Dusty has lost us some games, and that doesn't bother me as much. What troubles me about the job that Dusty is doing right now is the body language of his players. That has always been his strength.

LeDoux
07-28-2011, 01:16 AM
A - Totally agree
B - No arguments there

1. This is what is most troubling about this team, and to me what Dusty deserves the most blame for. His teams are always upbeat and positive even in the worst of situations, it's what has made him a great manager. As of late the players look defeated, their body language shows it. That is solely on the shoulders of Dusty as the team leader.

2. I think this is a little overblown, but I do agree somewhat. The other night with Cueto he walked a batter and got a DP ball that was booted into a two base error. The inning got away after that, and I don't really think you can put the blame on Cueto or Dusty there. There have been times where he's let a guy go too long, but there have been many times where I think our pitchers just need to start getting people out in the 7th inning or later. Fatigue after 85/90 pitches means our guys aren't in shape and that would be on them.

3. Another thing that I think is overblown on here. Phillips career numbers are not that good in the leadoff spot, and he doesn't exactly get on base a lot. Is Phillips the ideal cleanup hitter? No, absolutely not, but who in the heck on this team can give Votto any sort of protection right now? Jay Bruce lol? Also, I think Drew Stubbs gets a little more heat than he deserves. He strikes out like it's his job, but he also makes things happen when he's on base, way more than anyone else on this team. Now that Heisey is going to be playing LF I wouldn't mind seeing him leadoff more, even though Stubbs has actually been playing pretty good lately. Also, with BP batting 4th and Cozart on the DL, who is the ideal 2 hole hitter on this team? It's like we have a lot of good pieces that don't really fit right now. When Rolen/Gomes were playing well last year it made up for everything because that gave Votto his semi protection.

4. Definitely overblown on this board. Look at our entire outfield. Look up and down our pitching staff. Look at who is our starting SS. Dusty plays young guys, heck this team relies on young guys. If given the opportunity to play a proven commodity or an unknown there aren't many managers that will go with the unknown, unless they are down and out of the race. Which is where we're heading.

All in all I agree Dusty has lost us some games, and that doesn't bother me as much. What troubles me about the job that Dusty is doing right now is the body language of his players. That has always been his strength.

I agree that many facets of "Bakermetrics" are overblown. But I also believe Dusty is prone to make those kind of mistakes and that those mistakes add up quickly. I know all managers make these kinds of errors and make them often. Coaching has always been more of an art than a science. But Dusty makes many more of them. Leaving a pitcher for one batter too many, playing a struggling player just a few more games, and giving a few PAs to Renteria over Hernandez can make a big impact in the W-L column. These little things haunt like walks at the old Riverfront Stadium.

I also agree with you that the morale is the bigger issue. You can ignore the little errors if you believe the intangibles could somehow make up for it. But with a clubhouse in the dumps it is clear that this is not the case. No matter how you do the math you end up with a negative number.

Vottomatic
07-28-2011, 07:55 AM
There have been many “Fire Dusty” threads. I am hoping this one will be a little less polarized. First let’s start with a few assumptions:

A. Dusty is in the top 1/3 of the game’s managers in relationship building and “player management”, and in the bottom 1/3 in tactical prowess and “game management.” If you do not agree with this statement it would probably best to not bother reading the rest of this post.

B. The manager does not need to be sole source of a team’s problems in order for the manager to be removed. There may be many other problems, but if a manager significantly contributes to poor performance he should be let go.

Dusty has been accused on several types of misjudgment:

1. Intangibles: Starting with what Dusty does well – his “player management,” is not working. The morale of the clubhouse appears low. If Dusty’s greatest strengths are in the intangibles of motivating and encouraging, it is not translating into any observable, positive, on-the-field behavior.

2. Pitching: Dusty is slow to recognize pitcher fatigue. The majority of the time a starting pitcher is only removed after significant run-damage has occurred. He also applies rigid “rules” when the context of a stituation suggests another course (example: pitching Cordero in almost all closer situations regardless of situation).

3. Offense: Lineups: Dusty lineups are inefficient (example: Renteria in the 2-hole while Hernandez bats in the 8-hole). It can also be argued that players are not placed in the roles best suited for them (example: Stubbs in leadoff, Phillips in cleanup).

4. Player Time: Dusty seems to have a preference for known quantities over higher ceilings. (Example: Gomes playing LF vs. RHP).

All of these things are generalizations. They will not be accurate all of the time. Still, they point to a type of inflexible thinking and ineffective motivation that can harm a ballclub. And as Reds become a younger team, the complexity of the game management will only increase. It will have more “moving pieces.” As such, 2012 may be even more problematic than 2011. I appreciate Baker’s efforts up to now, but it is time to part ways.


As a side note, I would like to say that I think Dusty is very decent human being and would wish him all the best. I also believe he has the potential to be a fair manager in the American League. But he is not a good match for the 2011 Redlegs.

I welcome contrary opnions, but let's show the ORG how to disagree with class!

Excellent post. Completely agree.

It bugs me how he sent Cueto out there and had no one even warming up. Quoting Dusty "things got out of hand fast"........yes they did Dusty. Dusty is never prepared for when the wheels are falling off. Seems like the rest of us can see it coming, but he can't.

lidspinner
07-28-2011, 09:17 AM
Firing dusty sets this team back and really crimps out ability to sign free agents or raise payroll. Listen, go look up my older posts, I can't stand dusty. Guy would have trouble managing a high school team. He needs MVP players or else he cannot manage. Dave Miley could've managed with bonds and Sosa.

Problem is we are a small market team who needs all the money we can salvage. So my opinion is we need to get rid of coco and raise payroll by about 15-20 mill/year and pray our fans show up like we are the Brewers.... Afterall, we have raised attendance this year and have proven to management that if you give us a winner, we will show up. It takes a few years of winning to sell out night after night.

But let's raise payroll and keep dusty. Give votto some protection and see if votto can be that Bonds or Sosa type guy that bails dusty out. We have the pitching to keep us competitive. We have the minor leaguers needed to go get us an ace or a nice bat for LF or a leadoff or all 3. We could sell high on our triple A guys and go for Gold these next 3-4 years then wait on the Dayton team to start advancing up to the bigs.

We don't need to be a Oakland Athletics and we dont need to be a Yankee run organization. But we do need to find that ground in the middle kind of like the Brewers have. You have to give yourself a timespan that you want to win it all in and go for it. There is no sense in sitting on every minor leaguer you err have and hoping he will turn into the next Barry Larkin....sometimes you have to get proven guys now and let them help your team.

What really pisses me off is we have all the pieces of a campionship team outside of 2-3 units. Go get them units and this team is a 100 win team easy. It's sickening that we are just watching these years pass us by

TheBigLebowski
07-28-2011, 09:52 AM
Dusty's deficiencies as a tactician greatly outweigh whatever intangible value he may bring to the team as a "player's manager." He's cost us several games this season with bad decision making alone, and it's inexcusable when a manager consistently has such an adverse effect on the outcome of games.

mivers176
07-28-2011, 10:19 AM
Firing dusty sets this team back and really crimps out ability to sign free agents or raise payroll. Listen, go look up my older posts, I can't stand dusty. Guy would have trouble managing a high school team. He needs MVP players or else he cannot manage. Dave Miley could've managed with bonds and Sosa.

Problem is we are a small market team who needs all the money we can salvage. So my opinion is we need to get rid of coco and raise payroll by about 15-20 mill/year and pray our fans show up like we are the Brewers.... Afterall, we have raised attendance this year and have proven to management that if you give us a winner, we will show up. It takes a few years of winning to sell out night after night.

But let's raise payroll and keep dusty. Give votto some protection and see if votto can be that Bonds or Sosa type guy that bails dusty out. We have the pitching to keep us competitive. We have the minor leaguers needed to go get us an ace or a nice bat for LF or a leadoff or all 3. We could sell high on our triple A guys and go for Gold these next 3-4 years then wait on the Dayton team to start advancing up to the bigs.

We don't need to be a Oakland Athletics and we dont need to be a Yankee run organization. But we do need to find that ground in the middle kind of like the Brewers have. You have to give yourself a timespan that you want to win it all in and go for it. There is no sense in sitting on every minor leaguer you err have and hoping he will turn into the next Barry Larkin....sometimes you have to get proven guys now and let them help your team.

What really pisses me off is we have all the pieces of a campionship team outside of 2-3 units. Go get them units and this team is a 100 win team easy. It's sickening that we are just watching these years pass us by

I agree quite a bit with everyone's opinions on this post - however, I do think a change at Manager needs to happen. Look at the Pirates this year, Clint Hurdle comes in, same team as last year and that team is competitive and bring fans to PNC finally. Get a good, younger, up and coming manager thats hungry - I think so many guys would LOVE to take this team with all the good players, young talent, etc.

Also concerning payroll - exactly, its going to be hard to compete with St Louis, SF, PHI, etc with our current payroll - I'm not saying we have to go spend $30+ mil more but we do need to increase it, 15-20 mil a year sounds reasonable.

I have tweeted to John Fay / Mark Sheldon just last night that this team just looks done - just to be funny, I said 'you think the b2b wins vs ATL wore them out too much for the Met series?' and he replied 'if so, we have major problems inside the clubhouse' ... everyone's body language just shows they have no confidence and its making it really hard to watch their games.

FireDusty
07-28-2011, 10:47 AM
Excellent post.

It's just a bad fit.

5TimeWSChamps
07-28-2011, 10:56 AM
At least the extension was only 2 years..AMIRITE?

brm7675
07-28-2011, 11:01 AM
In the building of a team you need certain type of managers throughout their stage of growth. There are those rare times where you can find a manager who can be many things throughout the growth of a team. Those managers are of HOF quality and are far and few between. Dusty has the ability to nurture and allow players to feel safe and have their managers care. However there comes a time when a team needs a different type of managerial style, and I think this team has reached that point, this team needs someone with some fire, some umph some in your face type of leadership which isn't Dusty's style.

5TimeWSChamps
07-28-2011, 11:06 AM
How long until the first Bring back Piniella thread is started?

brm7675
07-28-2011, 11:06 AM
[QUOTE=lidspinner;2451268]Firing dusty sets this team back and really crimps out ability to sign free agents or raise payroll. Listen, go look up my older posts, I can't stand dusty. Guy would have trouble managing a high school team. He needs MVP players or else he cannot manage. Dave Miley could've managed with bonds and Sosa.

How does it set the team back and crimp it's ability to sign free agents? Bob has money and has spent it so far during his ownership tenure, at what point has Bob ever said I won't spend money?

Roush's socks
07-28-2011, 11:35 AM
This idea that the blame for this season's mediocrity is all on Dusty and Walt is ridiculous. Let's look at some facts:
1. Arroyo, who is always consistent, had mono and isn't himself. Is that Dusty's fault? The Reds have done a good job IMO of putting together a good staff even though Wood and Volquez have struggled. Since the Allstar break the Reds have had a very good starting rotation.
2. Rolen is done, and maybe that could have ben predicted. But it's not like they could have easily replaced his production. Everyone is like- "Walt never brought in legit cleanup hitter to protect Votto." Guess what, it isn't that easy to pull an elite power hitter out of you a**.
3. Everyone on this board wanted Janish over Cabrera last year. They said " Janish has a better glove and will hit enough." Well, Janish sucked and Cabrera once again is with a surprise competitive team. They had to give Janish at leat to the Allstar break to prove himself. Of course it is easy now to say they should have pulled him earlier and brought in Cozart, but that is hindsight.
4. This idea that Baker doesn't want to play young players is not grounded in reality. Look at our roster.
5. Dusty's "in game tactics" are a little conservative and sometimes old fashioned, but I just don't see that he handles the pitching staff poorly or really calls the game that different than other managers. The way he plays Coco is how all managers use their closers. You will never convince me that his batting orders really make that big of a difference in the outcomes of games. SABERmetrics people will tell you that it makes very little difference.

6. Lastly, never forget that the other teams are trying to win too. The Cards and Brewers have more money and bigger fan bases than the Reds. To compete the Reds need young players to step up. Sometimes thing go your way, like last year when the Reds won 91 games, and sometimes they don't. It isnt all Dusty's fault. Just like he didn't deserve all the credit last year, he doesn't deserve all the blame this year.

markymark69
07-28-2011, 11:42 AM
As I have stated before - be careful what you wish for. UK found that out with Tubby (you got Billy G), I know Cal is there is now - but UK was in the NIT with Billy.

If Dusty goes - I think this organization returns to the minor league, bench coach, special assistant to GM promotion stage that wasn't all that successful. I believe this for two reasons.

1. Castellini tried the big name and will not want to spend the big bucks for a manager.

2. It will be hard to get a big name to come to Cincinnati. Before you object - think back to how many big name they have had? Sparky? wasn't a big name until he was already here. Pete? easy one - he played here from here. Lou? Had an umimpressive stint with the Yankees before Marge took a chance on him. Davey Johnson would qualify. Ray Knight? No. Jack McKeon? Was not a huge name. Bob Boone? Worked out real well didn't it.

I'm just saying be careful what you wish for. Whoever succeeds Dusty and whenever that is - it won't take long until all the "experts" on this board are calling him out too.

brm7675
07-28-2011, 11:48 AM
This idea that the blame for this season's mediocrity is all on Dusty and Walt is ridiculous. Let's look at some facts:
1. Arroyo, who is always consistent, had mono and isn't himself. Is that Dusty's fault? The Reds have done a good job IMO of putting together a good staff even though Wood and Volquez have struggled. Since the Allstar break the Reds have had a very good starting rotation.

As soon as the Reds got the medical report on Bronson and saw what he had he should have been put on teh DL. So yes it is Walt and Dusty's fault.

2. Rolen is done, and maybe that could have ben predicted. But it's not like they could have easily replaced his production. Everyone is like- "Walt never brought in legit cleanup hitter to protect Votto." Guess what, it isn't that easy to pull an elite power hitter out of you a**.

Who got Rolen, who redid his contract, who made no attempt to find a good quality backup, who didn't call up AAA players to see what they could do? Say it with me....WALT


3. Everyone on this board wanted Janish over Cabrera last year. They said " Janish has a better glove and will hit enough." Well, Janish sucked and Cabrera once again is with a surprise competitive team. They had to give Janish at leat to the Allstar break to prove himself. Of course it is easy now to say they should have pulled him earlier and brought in Cozart, but that is hindsight.

Yes Janish didn't perform, whose fault was it we had not suitable backup ready? I mean really Edgar? That is what Walt brings in?

4. This idea that Baker doesn't want to play young players is not grounded in reality. Look at our roster.

Baker had no choice and when he did, the veteran creaminess played more then youth.


5. Dusty's "in game tactics" are a little conservative and sometimes old fashioned, but I just don't see that he handles the pitching staff poorly or really calls the game that different than other managers. The way he plays Coco is how all managers use their closers. You will never convince me that his batting orders really make that big of a difference in the outcomes of games. SABERmetrics people will tell you that it makes very little difference.

If you really believe that and can say it without laughing then more power to you.


6. Lastly, never forget that the other teams are trying to win too. The Cards and Brewers have more money and bigger fan bases than the Reds. To compete the Reds need young players to step up. Sometimes thing go your way, like last year when the Reds won 91 games, and sometimes they don't. It isnt all Dusty's fault. Just like he didn't deserve all the credit last year, he doesn't deserve all the blame this year.

No it is not all Dustys fault, the players deserve some of the blame, Walt deserves some of the blame. But now it's up to Walt to make corrections, make some moves, MAKE Dusty play the players he brings in and such. The future of this franchise is right now in the hands of Walt.

Roush's socks
07-28-2011, 11:59 AM
The players deserve "some of the blame?" Have you ever played a sport? The players deserve all of the blame. They're the ones who hit, pitch, field etc. Since when does Dusty suit up and take some swings? All Dusty and Walt can do is put together a team and try to motivate them. The Reds have the same team as last year when they won 91 games, so obviously thay have the talent. Really, some of you need to take a step bac.

brm7675
07-28-2011, 12:05 PM
The players deserve "some of the blame?" Have you ever played a sport? The players deserve all of the blame. They're the ones who hit, pitch, field etc. Since when does Dusty suit up and take some swings? All Dusty and Walt can do is put together a team and try to motivate them. The Reds have the same team as last year when they won 91 games, so obviously thay have the talent. Really, some of you need to take a step bac.

The players do deserve some, but if you play the wrong players, play them in the wrong position and wrong batting order, leave them in to long, chose the wrong replacement and such....how is that their fault?

Ohioballplayer
07-28-2011, 12:30 PM
This idea that the blame for this season's mediocrity is all on Dusty and Walt is ridiculous. Let's look at some facts:
1. Arroyo, who is always consistent, had mono and isn't himself. Is that Dusty's fault? The Reds have done a good job IMO of putting together a good staff even though Wood and Volquez have struggled. Since the Allstar break the Reds have had a very good starting rotation.
2. Rolen is done, and maybe that could have ben predicted. But it's not like they could have easily replaced his production. Everyone is like- "Walt never brought in legit cleanup hitter to protect Votto." Guess what, it isn't that easy to pull an elite power hitter out of you a**.
3. Everyone on this board wanted Janish over Cabrera last year. They said " Janish has a better glove and will hit enough." Well, Janish sucked and Cabrera once again is with a surprise competitive team. They had to give Janish at leat to the Allstar break to prove himself. Of course it is easy now to say they should have pulled him earlier and brought in Cozart, but that is hindsight.
4. This idea that Baker doesn't want to play young players is not grounded in reality. Look at our roster.
5. Dusty's "in game tactics" are a little conservative and sometimes old fashioned, but I just don't see that he handles the pitching staff poorly or really calls the game that different than other managers. The way he plays Coco is how all managers use their closers. You will never convince me that his batting orders really make that big of a difference in the outcomes of games. SABERmetrics people will tell you that it makes very little difference.

6. Lastly, never forget that the other teams are trying to win too. The Cards and Brewers have more money and bigger fan bases than the Reds. To compete the Reds need young players to step up. Sometimes thing go your way, like last year when the Reds won 91 games, and sometimes they don't. It isnt all Dusty's fault. Just like he didn't deserve all the credit last year, he doesn't deserve all the blame this year.




I am going to have to agree with you on this on, I have said it before this years Reds have no killer instinct, last years Reds were hungry, wanted to hurt you with the bats, this year it seems like they are just happy making money, I dunno, I cant sit here and tell you what they all feel, but it is not all Duhsty's fault, sorry guys!

BurgervilleBuck
07-28-2011, 01:37 PM
I'm in agreement with everything you've said, Roush's Socks. Unfortunately, the pragmatic view is pooh-poohed in favor of armchair managing and hindsight. But right on, brother. That's what I say.


I am going to have to agree with you on this on, I have said it before this years Reds have no killer instinct, last years Reds were hungry, wanted to hurt you with the bats, this year it seems like they are just happy making money, I dunno, I cant sit here and tell you what they all feel, but it is not all Duhsty's fault, sorry guys!
There's little killer instinct and little heart, in my opinion. The scrappy team we saw last year has been replaced by guys who just aren't that much fun to watch.

smixsell
07-28-2011, 04:16 PM
I've been calling for Dusty's pink slip for quite some time.

LeDoux
07-28-2011, 04:41 PM
I've been calling for Dusty's pink slip for quite some time.

I believe you. In fact, several posters have been calling for a change for some time. I created this post for calmer discussion of the topic, which is why Dusty Baker's name isn't in the title.

LeDoux
07-28-2011, 05:32 PM
As I have stated before - be careful what you wish for. UK found that out with Tubby (you got Billy G), I know Cal is there is now - but UK was in the NIT with Billy.

If Dusty goes - I think this organization returns to the minor league, bench coach, special assistant to GM promotion stage that wasn't all that successful. I believe this for two reasons.

1. Castellini tried the big name and will not want to spend the big bucks for a manager.

2. It will be hard to get a big name to come to Cincinnati. Before you object - think back to how many big name they have had? Sparky? wasn't a big name until he was already here. Pete? easy one - he played here from here. Lou? Had an umimpressive stint with the Yankees before Marge took a chance on him. Davey Johnson would qualify. Ray Knight? No. Jack McKeon? Was not a huge name. Bob Boone? Worked out real well didn't it.

I'm just saying be careful what you wish for. Whoever succeeds Dusty and whenever that is - it won't take long until all the "experts" on this board are calling him out too.


I never claimed to be an expert, just a fan like everyone else. And a new manager would be criticized for sure. Its part of the job. I also agree that there is also a possibility the newcomer could be worse. But in my opinion, the possibility that the next guy is worse is a poor rationale for keeping someone that is not a good fit. It is not just the Red's record that is the problem. Many regular baseball fans see games being lost by poor decisions. There is a time to stick with a manager through hard times. But I do not believe the current situation is an example of this.

LeDoux
07-28-2011, 05:36 PM
This idea that the blame for this season's mediocrity is all on Dusty and Walt is ridiculous. Let's look at some facts:
1. Arroyo, who is always consistent, had mono and isn't himself. Is that Dusty's fault? The Reds have done a good job IMO of putting together a good staff even though Wood and Volquez have struggled. Since the Allstar break the Reds have had a very good starting rotation.
2. Rolen is done, and maybe that could have ben predicted. But it's not like they could have easily replaced his production. Everyone is like- "Walt never brought in legit cleanup hitter to protect Votto." Guess what, it isn't that easy to pull an elite power hitter out of you a**.
3. Everyone on this board wanted Janish over Cabrera last year. They said " Janish has a better glove and will hit enough." Well, Janish sucked and Cabrera once again is with a surprise competitive team. They had to give Janish at leat to the Allstar break to prove himself. Of course it is easy now to say they should have pulled him earlier and brought in Cozart, but that is hindsight.
4. This idea that Baker doesn't want to play young players is not grounded in reality. Look at our roster.
5. Dusty's "in game tactics" are a little conservative and sometimes old fashioned, but I just don't see that he handles the pitching staff poorly or really calls the game that different than other managers. The way he plays Coco is how all managers use their closers. You will never convince me that his batting orders really make that big of a difference in the outcomes of games. SABERmetrics people will tell you that it makes very little difference.

6. Lastly, never forget that the other teams are trying to win too. The Cards and Brewers have more money and bigger fan bases than the Reds. To compete the Reds need young players to step up. Sometimes thing go your way, like last year when the Reds won 91 games, and sometimes they don't. It isnt all Dusty's fault. Just like he didn't deserve all the credit last year, he doesn't deserve all the blame this year.

I agree with a lot of this post. But the reason I included assumption B in the initial post was to move the focus from "Where does the blame lay" to "Is Dusty a good fit for this team?" This team has and always will have problems. I argue that Dusty has become one of these.

LeDoux
07-28-2011, 05:44 PM
The players deserve "some of the blame?" Have you ever played a sport? The players deserve all of the blame. They're the ones who hit, pitch, field etc. Since when does Dusty suit up and take some swings? All Dusty and Walt can do is put together a team and try to motivate them. The Reds have the same team as last year when they won 91 games, so obviously thay have the talent. Really, some of you need to take a step bac.

Respectfully, I disagree. Like in many organizations, there are several "layers" of decisions to be made for the Reds. Players are respondsible for making performance decisions (hit the cutoff man, drive the ball the other way, etc.). As Brm pointed out, managers make tactical decisions (who to play where and when). GMs make strategic decisions (trade, extend, draft, etc.) There will always be some bad decisions made at all levels. I argue that Dusty is making too many errors in the areas he is respondsible for.

FlyingPig
07-28-2011, 05:44 PM
I think what bothers me most about Dusty Baker, the manager, is his lack of success managing in the later innings. He doesnt make good choices in substitute situations, bunt (or not to bunt) situations, and most notably in bullpen situations. He leaves starters out there too long, he plays the wrong matchups...

I've either watched or listened almost every game this season (from North Carolina), and although I know it's not fact, it just seems the Reds have lost 75% of both one run games and extra inning games this season.

I'm just a frustrated fan right now.

demas863
07-28-2011, 05:52 PM
Ditto. Great post.