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View Full Version : Dusty's Hiring revisited (the original thread)



redsmetz
06-26-2012, 04:56 PM
One of the comments in the myriad of threads going on about Dusty made me go back and look at the thread from when he was first hired. It's voluminous (no surprise there) and some of those who hate Baker today, hated him from day one, but I'd be curious to hear folks thoughts looking back over it with regards to what has happened since.

It's been four and a half years since he was hired. One division title and three seasons where they considerably fell short. Presently we're in first place.

One thing that struck me was the concern folks had for the direction of the club. There were "all in" comments (some things never change, do they?), talk of pitchers arms falling off (Cueto & Bailey are integral parts of our rotation), young players who would never get the chance and the club never being able to build for the future and hang on to the up & coming players we had.

Given what has transpired over the last two off-seasons with regards to the extensions we've seen for Bruce, Phillips, Votto, etc.; I'm wondering what people think of there thoughts then.

Some of it was tempered with "wait and see" and some seemed, as the thread wore on, to come around to some small comfort with the hiring. Of course, some of the canards that have followed Baker for years popped up and are still here today.

My input in the thread was scant Mostly asking questions and being fairly noncommittal.

Enjoy the read.

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63141&highlight=dusty+baker

redsmetz
06-26-2012, 05:07 PM
BTW, by season's end, Baker will likely rank 5th all-time for Reds managers. He'll be jumping a bunch of folks in the remaining 90 games.

Always Red
06-26-2012, 05:12 PM
I like Dusty better than I did when he was hired. Why? I can't put a finger on it directly, but I have found the urban legends about him were mostly that. I love how he fights for his players, and I think they love playing for him. He shows them confidence when perhaps they're scuffling and doubting themselves.

My biggest frustration with Dusty over the years was probably when he insisted on playing Corey Patterson every day- it drove me crazy. Of course, Patterson did play a better defensive CF than anyone had in years for the Reds. But leadoff?

I did have this to say in that thread:


That thud I just heard was Aaron Harang's arm falling off in sheer terror of what the future might hold...

And I'm sorry to say, Harang's arm WAS the one most affected during that time, by a decision that Aaron made. Then unfortunately (because I like Aaron Harang) he chose to blame Dusty for his arm woes, once he was with the Padres. In retrospect, of course, Dusty should have over ruled him and gone with some fodder instead of going all out to win the game.

Mostly I'm tired of the Dusty bashing, non-stop, day after day here. I think that we all get it, there a number of folks here who hate Dusty- the Reds win in spite of him, and when they lose, it's his fault. It's tiresome, and it makes this a negative place to be.

Baseball is fun, the Reds are in first place and it's nearly July. This should be a fun place to come and read about and discuss our favorite team.

Tom Servo
06-26-2012, 05:14 PM
I like Dusty better than I did when he was hired. Why? I can't put a finger on it directly, but I have found the urban legends about him were mostly that. I love how he fights for his players, and I think they love playing for him. He shows them confidence when perhaps they're scuffling and doubting themselves.
This is exactly how I feel.

redsmetz
06-26-2012, 05:30 PM
I can't find the quotes now, but FCB had a come of comments early in the thread, before anything was official that were interesting. Basically the points he was making was that the Reds could use someone who would instill some, and it's here I'm forgetting what he said, but whose players weren't afraid to going in hard on opposing players. I don't think he said "meanness" or "toughness". And he saw that Baker seems to dislike everyone else in the NL (again, I'm not doing FCB justice by paraphrasing what he said better).

Homer Bailey
06-26-2012, 05:35 PM
My take has always been pretty consistent, and is best summarized here:

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2548023&postcount=163


The way I see, is there are two main parts to being a major league manager.

Part 1 - This is your ability to put your players in the best position to succeed statistically. It means not pinch hitting Juan Castro for Josh Hamilton (Narron), it means not letting Corey Patterson face a lefty in a late game situation and saying "he hits lefties better than righties" when it's completely not true, it means not batting Paul Janish in the two hole, etc. In my opinion, Dusty is about as bad as you can possibly be at this part of managing. Absolutely, mind-numbingly bad. Way too many instances to name, but the hunches he had with Patterson, Taveras, Gomes, Janish, etc., were enough to drive me up a wall. This part of managing is easiest to control, in my opinion. Either you have baseball smarts, or your stubborn enough to think that you know better than stats do. This is where I despise Dusty as a manager.

Part 2: The part of being a manager that none of us know anything about: Managing the clubhouse. I've never read of an instance of a player not liking Dusty Baker, or not being excited to play for Dusty Baker. He's a player's manager. He seems to be a pretty cool guy. I have absolute, 100% confidence in many members of this board being better at Part 1 (above) than Dusty is. I have no idea how to evaluate part 2, and there is no way to quantify how that affects a team. I don't doubt that it is important to a ball club. Some overstate its importance, but the fact is, it can't truly be measured. Regardless, you don't want a ball club of guys that don't like each other, or don't like the manager.

Why many don't like Dusty is the fact that part 1 is the easiest to evaluate, and it's pretty much factual that Dusty is not good at that part of managing. How much stock you put into part 2 probably weighs directly into your opinion of the man as a manager.

redsmetz
06-26-2012, 05:38 PM
BTW, Doug mentioned that he was going to get the domain name firedustybaker.com. Out of curiousity, I went to the site I use for securing domain names and, irony of ironies, the Whois for that domain says that today is actually the expiration date for it. So it might be available tomorrow.

Vottomatic
06-26-2012, 05:50 PM
I don't hate Dusty Baker. But I feel like Homer Bailey (the poster above). I think Dusty is good at clubhouse dealings with players. But in my 47 year lifetime, I never scratched my head as often as I do over a manager's strategical moves.......lineup construction, pinch hitting, use of bullpen, etc. I just think the strategy part is more important.

I was always a fan of Davey Johnson and wanted him to come back. The Nationals had the same thought and now they're doing pretty well. Just my preference in type of managers.

Revering4Blue
06-26-2012, 06:02 PM
One fond memory for me from that time period:

GAC's humorous Fred G. Sanford. faking a heart-attack avatar.

"Dusty Baker? Oh,no!"

mdccclxix
06-26-2012, 06:03 PM
I don't hate Dusty Baker. But I feel like Homer Bailey (the poster above). I think Dusty is good at clubhouse dealings with players. But in my 47 year lifetime, I never scratched my head as often as I do over a manager's strategical moves.......lineup construction, pinch hitting, use of bullpen, etc. I just think the strategy part is more important.

I was always a fan of Davey Johnson and wanted him to come back. The Nationals had the same thought and now they're doing pretty well. Just my preference in type of managers.

I like Davey as well, but I think it's obvious he only took that job knowing he had an amazing crop of talent coming in and now it's seriously paying off. And it's worth noting his leadoff choices are very similar to Dusty's, low OBP middle infielders. .306 in leadoff this year. Also, he's sticking with his vet Zimmerman in the 3 hole, to the tune of .599 OPS this year. Similar to the Cozart and Rolen situations here.

Sea Ray
06-26-2012, 06:24 PM
I think Davey Johnson is the best manager we've had since Sparky but I think Dusty is very good. I don't have any major issues with his player choices. Minor issues I have are that I think he bunts too much and he sometimes gives me the willys leaving a starter in "trying to give him the opportunity for a win".

I don't blame him for our problems at closer because we have no closer. I don't blame him for batting Cozart #1 because we have no leadoff hitter; ditto for cleanup hitter. We have an unbalanced team, heavy with RH hitters, RH pitchers and the hittters strike out too much, swing at bad pitches and have low OBP.

As for Dusty's rep coming in, I think it was deserved but to his credit, I think he learned from it. I think he does know not to treat his young arms like he did Pryor and Wood and I think he's done well giving our youngsters opportunities.

oneupper
06-26-2012, 06:31 PM
I haven't liked Baker since day one. In that first thread, I worried about the money. :)
That said, like a chronic disease, you come to acceptance and even start to see the silver linings.

His vet-love used to drive me crazy, but we've probably exaggerated it here. A lot of the kids we wanted him to play weren't very good. (Of course, many of the vets sucked worse).
He's a good PR man and a good man, and never throws his players under the bus (in public). The guy fields the press' stupid questions every day without losing patience. Gotta admire that.
He hasn't destroyed all the young arms. (fingers crossed).

That said, I think he costs the team several wins a year with low percentage in-game moves and poor lineup construction. This continues to drive me nuts, especially when the team is good or healthy enough to overcome some of it (like this year, so far).

Acceptance and rationalization for now. But I won't be sad when he's gone.

dougdirt
06-26-2012, 06:35 PM
BTW, Doug mentioned that he was going to get the domain name firedustybaker.com. Out of curiousity, I went to the site I use for securing domain names and, irony of ironies, the Whois for that domain says that today is actually the expiration date for it. So it might be available tomorrow.

I do have $11 bucks sitting in paypal..... :laugh:

I still feel the same way about him as I always have.... he is a bad manager.

mdccclxix
06-26-2012, 06:38 PM
Aside from batting a catcher lead off, when has Dusty had the opportunity to play a high OBP player to hit 1st? He hasn't. Or, if he did have one (Dickerson, Hairston, etc) they often did lead off (when they played). So, I don't think it's fair to blame him for the leadoff woes. It's not some cure all for the bad teams that the FO has put on the field the last 5 years. And last year lead off was "ok" but it didn't seem to matter all that much in the end. Aside from that lineup quirk, what really is there to blame Dusty for?

corkedbat
06-26-2012, 07:06 PM
My opinion on Dusty hasn't changed. I'd love to sit out in the moon deck with Dusty, have a beer and watch a game, but I don;t like the thought of him managing the team I follow. Not everything he does as a manger is bad or stupid or evil - his relationship-building with plasyers is a strongpoint..

The concerns about him ruining arms was somewhat overblown (the Harang episode" still pisses me off), but when it comes down to the things he does do wrong, they're consistent, significant and infuriating enough to make me want him gone (lineup construction and in-game moves chief among them). I think there are plenty of candidates out there who could equal the results thus far in his tenure and more than a couple who could better them.

I don't blame it all on Dusty either. Jocketty deserves his share also. I loved the moves he made in the offseason (as far as they went), but the leadoff and cleanup issues have gone unaddressed for far too long.

Sea Ray
06-27-2012, 10:30 AM
I still feel the same way about him as I always have.... he is a bad manager.

I would think anyone who's into stats would have a hard time saying that Dusty's a bad manager. He's 20th all time in managerial wins, 2nd only to Jim Leyland among active managers. His win % is decent, better than Lou Pinella's. "Bad" managers just don't have numbers like that.

I think folks who think Dusty's a bad manager are over rating the talent on this Reds team. I would argue this team does not have .600 win % talent. Dusty's getting the most out it. I don't see him doing boneheaded things like Pete Rose did when he continually played Eddie Milner over Eric Davis or himself over Nick Esasky. I understand those that would like to see Hanigan hit in the #2 hole, but that's a very minor thing as Hanigan is splitting time with Mes. I understand those that want Jay Bruce in the #4 hole but I also see Jay struggle as often as I see Phillips.

These are typical fan second guessing and it goes on everywhere. The truth is Dusty doesn't have a lot of toys to play with. Unless Walt improves this roster, their margin of victory will be razor thin

RedsManRick
06-27-2012, 11:00 AM
I was fairly apoplectic at the time. I still don't like Dusty as a manager, from a lineup/strategy standpoint. But I don't like most managers from that standpoint.

I would happily support replacing him with somebody else, but only if that somebody else is an actual improvement. And given the way the organization operates, I don't think their view of an upgrade would look the same as mine.

_Sir_Charles_
06-27-2012, 11:06 AM
Mostly I'm tired of the Dusty bashing, non-stop, day after day here. I think that we all get it, there a number of folks here who hate Dusty- the Reds win in spite of him, and when they lose, it's his fault. It's tiresome, and it makes this a negative place to be.

Baseball is fun, the Reds are in first place and it's nearly July. This should be a fun place to come and read about and discuss our favorite team.

This is the part that's become the most bothersome for me...and mind boggling. One would think we'd be happy with our first place club. *shrugs*

bucksfan2
06-27-2012, 11:39 AM
Dusty hates OBP, loves vets, and doesn't know how to manage a pitching staff. There I got that out of the way.

For the most part I have no issue with Dusty. I can see how the stat heavy fan wouldn't like him. I often think Dusty talks just to talk and deflect the blame from his players. In fact this latest stunt from Chapman is one of the few times I have heard Dusty criticize a player in the press. For the most part I think Dusty has done a decent job with the players he has been given. If it were up to me Dusty has his job as long as he wants if he starts to make the playoffs. If he doesn't then its time for a new manager hopefully a younger manager.

dougdirt
06-27-2012, 12:19 PM
I would think anyone who's into stats would have a hard time saying that Dusty's a bad manager. He's 20th all time in managerial wins, 2nd only to Jim Leyland among active managers. His win % is decent, better than Lou Pinella's. "Bad" managers just don't have numbers like that.
They do when they have Barry Bonds for 10 years (and Balco right down the street) and then head to Chicago where they had 3/5 of their rotation compete for the Cy Young. A manager can only be as good as his talent and Dusty has had a whole slew of it. The guy makes bad decisions though, consistently. Manager wins are akin to pitcher wins.... they don't really tell much.



I think folks who think Dusty's a bad manager are over rating the talent on this Reds team. I would argue this team does not have .600 win % talent.
2 teams per season have that kind of record (that is a 97 and 65 record).



Dusty's getting the most out it. I don't see him doing boneheaded things like Pete Rose did when he continually played Eddie Milner over Eric Davis or himself over Nick Esasky. I understand those that would like to see Hanigan hit in the #2 hole, but that's a very minor thing as Hanigan is splitting time with Mes. I understand those that want Jay Bruce in the #4 hole but I also see Jay struggle as often as I see Phillips.
Simply because someone else was a worse manager doesn't mean that Dusty is a good one. When you combine the things that Dusty says with the things that Dusty does, he isn't a good manager. He doesn't get the new things in baseball. Like Rick said though, there probably isn't any kind of real upgrade on the horizon given the front office views.

_Sir_Charles_
06-27-2012, 03:40 PM
He doesn't get the new things in baseball.

I've seen new stats in use in baseball. I've seen pitch counts installed in baseball. I've seen the bullpen's role altered SLIGHTLY in recent years. What exactly are these new things in baseball? The game has changed very little since Dusty actually PLAYED imo.

Revering4Blue
06-27-2012, 04:38 PM
The truth is Dusty doesn't have a lot of toys to play with. Unless Walt improves this roster, their margin of victory will be razor thin

It's as simple as this to me.

lidspinner
06-27-2012, 09:35 PM
I've seen new stats in use in baseball. I've seen pitch counts installed in baseball. I've seen the bullpen's role altered SLIGHTLY in recent years. What exactly are these new things in baseball? The game has changed very little since Dusty actually PLAYED imo.

I've got one example....dusty's refusal to play small ball with the bottom of our lineup....small ball is not new, but it's not old either...guys laughed at small ball until the late 70's when teams actually starting using it to win.

You have to play small ball with the bottom of your lineup at all times, and you play small ball with the top of your lineup late in the game when you need that run...up till last year dusty almost always refused to play small ball....that's a side effect of having bonds on your team all those years.

Sea Ray
06-27-2012, 09:46 PM
I've got one example....dusty's refusal to play small ball with the bottom of our lineup....small ball is not new, but it's not old either...guys laughed at small ball until the late 70's when teams actually starting using it to win.

You have to play small ball with the bottom of your lineup at all times, and you play small ball with the top of your lineup late in the game when you need that run...up till last year dusty almost always refused to play small ball....that's a side effect of having bonds on your team all those years.

I'm not sure exactly what you're referring to but bunting more isn't going to make much difference. At it's best it gives away outs and when you ask players to do something they're not good at, a manager hasn't done his job. Hanigan's the only bottom of the order guy I know of that knows how to bunt and given his high OBP I don't want him giving away outs

Sea Ray
06-27-2012, 09:49 PM
Who's your best manager in the NL? My best managers in MLB would be Jim Leyland and Mike Scioscia but it's not really fair to compare them since AL plays by different rules.

WVRedsFan
06-27-2012, 11:55 PM
Well, it hasn't been as bad as we thought. After first two seasons, we've been pretty successful--well, almost.

What I got from re-reading that thread is the folks I haven't seen for awhile--Cyclone792, FCB, Stormy, and others. Just have to wonder what happened to them. Maybe it's not natural for someone to stay on a board for 12 years--like me.

Razor Shines
06-30-2012, 01:19 AM
I was reminded of a previous season's anger toward Dusty tonight.

Sitting in the grass behind the left field wall at a Round Rock Express vs the Nashville Sounds game and the man who comes trotting toward me in the bottom of the first is none other than the man, the myth, the out machine Corey F Patterson. It was an awful scene, I went into a rage. My wife and friends holding me back from climbing over the wall, screaming at him..."what did you have on him?! Where are the photos you sob?! No one OPS's .592 and still gets nearly 400 at bats!!". "How dare you force these people watch your at bats! My children are here!" Obviously I didn't actually do anything disrespectful, maybe a little gentle sobbing.

It was kinda funny though that I actually think Patterson is bad at baseball, it's ridiculous. I considered myself a good baseball player, I played in college, I was better than most people and I wasn't even near being in Patterson's league. He's still an out machine though.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

AtomicDumpling
06-30-2012, 04:23 AM
I've seen new stats in use in baseball. I've seen pitch counts installed in baseball. I've seen the bullpen's role altered SLIGHTLY in recent years. What exactly are these new things in baseball? The game has changed very little since Dusty actually PLAYED imo.

Have you not noticed that players are a lot bigger (due to workout regimens not steroids), pitchers throw much harder, pitchers throw a wider variety of pitches, defensive shifting used much more, players studying video so everyone's weaknesses are exposed, statistical analysis has lead to huge changes in philosophy and strategy, improved surgical techniques and physical therapy keep the best players on the field and in peak condition, money rules the game now with payrolls averaging $100 million, ballparks are smaller and actually have real grass, interleague play, the cut fastball rules the game now, Latin players compose almost 50% of the league now, PitchFx, sabermetrics, the Wild Card has been added and the playoffs have expanded, instant replay has been added?

That is a long list of huge changes that I thought of in about a minute and I am sure I left out a bunch of things. No, the game is completely different now than it was when Dusty played beside Hank Aaron in the 1970's. The game has changed a lot since those days. Watch some Big Red Machine games and notice how small the players are -- even the sluggers. You simply can't manage the same way they did back in a bygone era and expect to succeed.

WMR
06-30-2012, 10:39 AM
The game hasn't changed since the 70s? The way we understand the game hasn't changed since the 70s? Oh lordy.

Didn't like him then, don't like him now.

_Sir_Charles_
06-30-2012, 02:28 PM
Have you not noticed that players are a lot bigger (due to workout regimens not steroids), pitchers throw much harder, pitchers throw a wider variety of pitches, defensive shifting used much more, players studying video so everyone's weaknesses are exposed, statistical analysis has lead to huge changes in philosophy and strategy, improved surgical techniques and physical therapy keep the best players on the field and in peak condition, money rules the game now with payrolls averaging $100 million, ballparks are smaller and actually have real grass, interleague play, the cut fastball rules the game now, Latin players compose almost 50% of the league now, PitchFx, sabermetrics, the Wild Card has been added and the playoffs have expanded, instant replay has been added?

Of course I was aware of those. But very little of that has changed anything that Dusty could/would do differently in a game. And that was the purpose of the original question. Strategy. Other than bullpen usage, VERY little has changed in regards to in game strategy.


That is a long list of huge changes that I thought of in about a minute and I am sure I left out a bunch of things. No, the game is completely different now than it was when Dusty played beside Hank Aaron in the 1970's. The game has changed a lot since those days. Watch some Big Red Machine games and notice how small the players are -- even the sluggers. You simply can't manage the same way they did back in a bygone era and expect to succeed.

Maybe you weren't understanding my statement. The basic game hasn't changed. The rules are still basically all the same. The in-game strategy is still basically the same. Sure, players are different as they hit the ball harder and throw it harder...but they're still playing the game in the same manner. What are these managerial changes that Dusty needs to adopt?

edabbs44
06-30-2012, 07:55 PM
Wow, I was extremely negative on the hiring at the time. Much less sour on the guy now. I'm not in love with the man, but I think there could be worse. I do think that he is better than a lot of posters believe he is.

Scrap Irony
06-30-2012, 10:06 PM
I'm not in love with the man, but I think there could be worse. I do think that he is better than a lot of posters believe he is.

Same here.

Baker's in-game managing isn't always good, but his handling of players, IMO, is top-notch. His supposed major flaws-- veteran preference, abusing young arms-- have turned out to be patently false. The Reds have a team of young guys right now that were almost all developed here in the Queen City under Baker.

edabbs44
06-30-2012, 10:18 PM
Same here.

Baker's in-game managing isn't always good, but his handling of players, IMO, is top-notch. His supposed major flaws-- veteran preference, abusing young arms-- have turned out to be patently false. The Reds have a team of young guys right now that were almost all developed here in the Queen City under Baker.

The other knock he gets is that he has a lot of wins because he had guys like Sosa, Bonds and Votto. But I think that is one sign of a good manager, when you win with talent. Or, more importantly, when you don't lose.

The 1998 Mariners had Arod, Griffey, Edgar and the Unit and they ended up with 76 wins. Talent doesn't always equate to victories.

dougdirt
06-30-2012, 11:29 PM
The other knock he gets is that he has a lot of wins because he had guys like Sosa, Bonds and Votto. But I think that is one sign of a good manager, when you win with talent. Or, more importantly, when you don't lose.

The 1998 Mariners had Arod, Griffey, Edgar and the Unit and they ended up with 76 wins. Talent doesn't always equate to victories.

The 1998 Mariners also had a team ERA of 4.93, including two starters who started 56 combined games with ERA's of 6.37 and 5.85 to go with a bullpen who had Mike Timlin as a closer with a 2.95 ERA, followed by 202 appearances with ERA's of 6.48, 7.29, 5.32 and 6.10.

Sure, the team had some talent, but it had a whole bunch of just flat out terrible players too.

WVRedsFan
06-30-2012, 11:49 PM
He drives me nuts with.his set lineups--you know what I mean, but if the wins come, who cares? Only problem is not enough wins come.

AtomicDumpling
07-01-2012, 06:12 AM
Of course I was aware of those. But very little of that has changed anything that Dusty could/would do differently in a game. And that was the purpose of the original question. Strategy. Other than bullpen usage, VERY little has changed in regards to in game strategy.



Maybe you weren't understanding my statement. The basic game hasn't changed. The rules are still basically all the same. The in-game strategy is still basically the same. Sure, players are different as they hit the ball harder and throw it harder...but they're still playing the game in the same manner. What are these managerial changes that Dusty needs to adopt?

Maybe you didn't read the list? I can't believe you don't see how those changes will affect managing.

Many of those things have caused smart baseball strategy to change 180 degrees. Technology and data analysis alone can account for tremendous in-game changes in terms of positioning fielders, when to use certain relievers against certain hitters, how to pitch to certain hitters (exploit the holes in their swings discovered by pitch graphs and video) or whether or not to pitch to them at all, and how to exploit the strike zones of individual umpires are just a few examples.

Do you think a manager might use a different strategy if the batter is a 5'8" 170 pound second baseman playing on astroturf with a 365 foot left field wall batting against a six foot pitcher with three different pitches who as already thrown 130 pitches in the 8th inning with a bone chip floating in his elbow as opposed to a modern 6'2" 200 pound second baseman playing on thick grass with a 325 foot left field wall facing a 6 foot six inch situational reliever with a bionic elbow throwing 97mph with a changeup and two different breaking balls and a brand new cutter fresh from the bullpen while the bench coach is shifting the fielders around the diamond before every pitch due to spray charts that cross reference each hitter's prior results with every pitch type and location? Keep in mind the defense is going to be 100% aware of how successful the batter has been in his last 100 bunt attempts, which pitches he can handle, which side of the field he usually bunts to, how often he is asked to bunt in similar situations, his average time down the first base line, and his "tells" that indicate if he is going to bunt or not. The hitter's manager has access to run expectancy and win expectancy charts that show how often each of his options have been successful in the exact same situations over the last few years and how that affects his chances of winning the game. There are so many more factors going through a good manager's head now than there were back in the 70's that it is just a whole new ballgame.

edabbs44
07-01-2012, 06:56 AM
He drives me nuts with.his set lineups--you know what I mean, but if the wins come, who cares? Only problem is not enough wins come.

2nd best record in the NL. Tough crowd.

edabbs44
07-01-2012, 07:01 AM
The 1998 Mariners also had a team ERA of 4.93, including two starters who started 56 combined games with ERA's of 6.37 and 5.85 to go with a bullpen who had Mike Timlin as a closer with a 2.95 ERA, followed by 202 appearances with ERA's of 6.48, 7.29, 5.32 and 6.10.

Sure, the team had some talent, but it had a whole bunch of just flat out terrible players too.

Well, that kind of proves my point. It's kind of a lazy argument to blame his success on Barry Bonds, though it certainly helps to have a freak of nature like him play for you.

He won 89 games with the Giants in 1998. Check out that roster. I wonder how many heart attacks would have been had on GiantsZone that season.

Redhook
07-01-2012, 08:24 AM
Dusty is a good man and is respected by his players. Overally, he's an average manager at best. Could be better, could be worse. That being said, there are 2 things that he has done that really irritates me:

1) His complete ignorance on the importance of getting people on-base in front of Votto. I understand this team lacks these players to some degree, but it still should be better than it is.

2) His insistence on keeping Chapman in the pen. I firmly believe if his opinion was to start Chapman from Day 1, Chapman would be in the starting rotation right now. Dusty has impeded his progress and we may never see the full potential of Chapman. I put nearly 100% of the blame on this subject on Dusty.

And, as a bonus, I can't stand how often he has his players *attempt* to bunt. Not only should they not be bunting, they fail at it quite often. A nice little double negative.

Redhook
07-01-2012, 08:24 AM
Dusty is a good man and is respected by his players. Overally, he's an average manager at best. Could be better, could be worse. That being said, there are 2 things that he has done that really irritates me:

1) His complete ignorance on the importance of getting people on-base in front of Votto. I understand this team lacks these players to some degree, but it still should be better than it is.

2) His insistence on keeping Chapman in the pen. I firmly believe if his opinion was to start Chapman from Day 1, Chapman would be in the starting rotation right now. Dusty has impeded his progress and we may never see the full potential of Chapman. I put nearly 100% of the blame on this subject on Dusty.

And, as a bonus, I can't stand how often he has his players *attempt* to bunt. Not only should they not be bunting, they fail at it quite often. A nice little double negative.

oneupper
07-01-2012, 08:48 AM
He won 89 games with the Giants in 1998. Check out that roster. I wonder how many heart attacks would have been had on GiantsZone that season.

I'm not sure I understand this. That team (1998 Giants) was second in RS and had decent hitters at every position. (most 85+ OPS) The pitching was middle of the road but not bad. Plus Bonds. What exactly is the point? Did that team overachieve or underachieve in your view? (not sarcastic, just don't understand)

I think that Baker teams like 2005 and 2006 Cubs were what turned many of us off from Baker. He'd run guys like Neifi Perez, Patterson, Juan Pierre, Todd Hollandsworth out there every night. Without Prior and Wood (whom he presumably ruined earlier) those teams were doomed. Those teams weren't bad, they were pathetic.

That said, I think Baker has been fortunate that with the drop-off in offense overall, the game is returning to something more attuned to his managerial style.

_Sir_Charles_
07-01-2012, 11:42 AM
Maybe you didn't read the list? I can't believe you don't see how those changes will affect managing.

Many of those things have caused smart baseball strategy to change 180 degrees. Technology and data analysis alone can account for tremendous in-game changes in terms of positioning fielders, when to use certain relievers against certain hitters, how to pitch to certain hitters (exploit the holes in their swings discovered by pitch graphs and video) or whether or not to pitch to them at all, and how to exploit the strike zones of individual umpires are just a few examples.

Do you think a manager might use a different strategy if the batter is a 5'8" 170 pound second baseman playing on astroturf with a 365 foot left field wall batting against a six foot pitcher with three different pitches who as already thrown 130 pitches in the 8th inning with a bone chip floating in his elbow as opposed to a modern 6'2" 200 pound second baseman playing on thick grass with a 325 foot left field wall facing a 6 foot six inch situational reliever with a bionic elbow throwing 97mph with a changeup and two different breaking balls and a brand new cutter fresh from the bullpen while the bench coach is shifting the fielders around the diamond before every pitch due to spray charts that cross reference each hitter's prior results with every pitch type and location? Keep in mind the defense is going to be 100% aware of how successful the batter has been in his last 100 bunt attempts, which pitches he can handle, which side of the field he usually bunts to, how often he is asked to bunt in similar situations, his average time down the first base line, and his "tells" that indicate if he is going to bunt or not. The hitter's manager has access to run expectancy and win expectancy charts that show how often each of his options have been successful in the exact same situations over the last few years and how that affects his chances of winning the game. There are so many more factors going through a good manager's head now than there were back in the 70's that it is just a whole new ballgame.

Okay, okay...I get your point. Yes, we're able to get more detailed information on hitters/pitchers. Granted. Yes we've got more data available to scout players, etc. But I don't see much that gets changed DURING the game in respect to new data. Sure, some of the scouting reports that we used to get on players have turned out to be almost the opposite of the truth, but once they've got the real truth on the player...the strategy used on him has remained the same.