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RedEye
07-13-2012, 01:04 PM
Apologies if a re-post...

http://m.espn.go.com/mlb/story?storyId=8161055

RedEye
07-13-2012, 01:05 PM
I liked the tidbits on his rapport with Homer. Paul Coehlo? Really? I thought the guy just read hunting mags.

dougdirt
07-13-2012, 01:10 PM
I liked the tidbits on his rapport with Homer. Paul Coehlo? Really? I thought the guy just read hunting mags.

And he hates baseball too.

RedEye
07-13-2012, 05:23 PM
And he hates baseball too.

Clearly. Anyone who has read The Alchemist must hate baseball.

marcshoe
07-13-2012, 07:25 PM
Pretty impressive article. Looks like Dusty's put a lot of thought into the leadership side of things.

kaldaniels
07-13-2012, 07:33 PM
Pretty impressive article. Looks like Dusty's put a lot of thought into the leadership side of things.

Totally agree.

reds44
07-13-2012, 08:07 PM
Pretty impressive article. Looks like Dusty's put a lot of thought into the leadership side of things.
Now if we could only get him to do that for the other half of managing.

RedEye
07-13-2012, 09:01 PM
Now if we could only get him to do that for the other half of managing.

Exactly. I've got nothing but respect for how Dusty conducts himself as a human being around other human beings. But there are serious problems with the way he manages game play -- many of which remain unexamined due to sheer bull-headedness on his part. If that's what paying a "big name" manager gets you, then I think it's time to try something else.

RedEye
07-13-2012, 09:04 PM
Oh, and one more thing -- if Dusty is such a "renaissance man" why doesn't he extend his well-rounded intelligence to innovations in thought about his own profession?

wolfboy
07-13-2012, 10:45 PM
Good article. Thanks for posting it. :beerme:

wolfboy
07-13-2012, 10:52 PM
Oh, and one more thing -- if Dusty is such a "renaissance man" why doesn't he extend his well-rounded intelligence to innovations in thought about his own profession?

I really don't understand the nastiness. He has flaws as a manager. So what? Just about every manager has been fired at least once. Dusty isn't perfect at his job, but does that warrant personal attacks against his character?

RedEye
07-14-2012, 11:33 AM
I really don't understand the nastiness. He has flaws as a manager. So what? Just about every manager has been fired at least once. Dusty isn't perfect at his job, but does that warrant personal attacks against his character?

Okay, yes, unnecessarily nasty on my part. Mostly out of frustration. Apologies to the abstraction that is "Dusty" in the ether and to the (possible) real Dusty who (technically) could be reading what we write here.

I guess it just surprises me that someone who is so well read, and who calls baseball his career, would never have considered adopting some of the insights brought to the game by so-called "new" statistics.

_Sir_Charles_
07-14-2012, 12:14 PM
Okay, yes, unnecessarily nasty on my part. Mostly out of frustration. Apologies to the abstraction that is "Dusty" in the ether and to the (possible) real Dusty who (technically) could be reading what we write here.

I guess it just surprises me that someone who is so well read, and who calls baseball his career, would never have considered adopting some of the insights brought to the game by so-called "new" statistics.

You're making assumptions. How do you know that he HASN'T studied them?

Sometimes I think all this attitude comes from that "clogging the bases" comment years ago. And by the way, regarding that comment...he's right. But people aren't reading his intent, only that little snippet. He clearly thinks there's nothing wrong with having a good OBP. His comment was about the fact that what good in the world does it do you if we get a guy on base and the rest of the team can't bring him in. Getting on base is great and it is one of the major goals, but if you can't knock that guy in to score in some way or another...it's not helping the bottom line of scoring runs. But I guess people just assume he thinks walks are overrated and OBP is for losers. (sorry, this wasn't aimed at you Redeye...just a general comment)

Raisor
07-14-2012, 12:33 PM
Just my opinion, I could be wrong. Like my "old school" father I think that what drives Dusty crazy is runners left on base. Just like most fans. Its frusterating and annoying. And I agree. However, its just a side effect of getting more runners on. The more men on base, the more runs you'll score, but the more LOB you'll have to live with.

RedEye
07-14-2012, 12:36 PM
You're making assumptions. How do you know that he HASN'T studied them?

Sometimes I think all this attitude comes from that "clogging the bases" comment years ago. And by the way, regarding that comment...he's right. But people aren't reading his intent, only that little snippet. He clearly thinks there's nothing wrong with having a good OBP. His comment was about the fact that what good in the world does it do you if we get a guy on base and the rest of the team can't bring him in. Getting on base is great and it is one of the major goals, but if you can't knock that guy in to score in some way or another...it's not helping the bottom line of scoring runs. But I guess people just assume he thinks walks are overrated and OBP is for losers. (sorry, this wasn't aimed at you Redeye...just a general comment)

Fair point. I don't know that he hasn't. But the proof is in the pudding, no? Even if Dusty has read Bill James et al., he sure isn't applying their insights in any useful way when he constructs lineups or sets his rotation. Heck, it doesn't take a saber inclined mind to realize you don't want Drew Stubbs or Wilson Valdez getting more AB than Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier or Ryan Hanigan. Those guys aren't #winning with either old school or new school stats -- and maintaining clubhouse harmony certainly can't depend on hitting CF and middle IF at the top of the order or on reserving your best pitcher for arbitrary "save situations" at the end of games.

RedEye
07-14-2012, 12:43 PM
Just my opinion, I could be wrong. Like my "old school" father I think that what drives Dusty crazy is runners left on base. Just like most fans. Its frusterating and annoying. And I agree. However, its just a side effect of getting more runners on. The more men on base, the more runs you'll score, but the more LOB you'll have to live with.

I agree with you. Strangely, by this rationale, the more frustrated Dusty will be, b/c he'll always be judging games and player performance by run scoring rather than out avoidance -- without realizing, of course, in what ways the two are inextricably linked.

westofyou
07-14-2012, 08:02 PM
Why would Dusty read Bill James?

He lives the game, not everyone reads about their profession (lord knows I don't read books on software development when I'm not at work) chances are if he reads Bill it would be this great book (http://www.amazon.com/Popular-Crime-Reflections-Celebration-Violence/dp/1416552731)

Seems like if Dusty farted money someone would complain that the denominations were not large enough.

RedEye
07-14-2012, 10:57 PM
Why would Dusty read Bill James?

He lives the game, not everyone reads about their profession (lord knows I don't read books on software development when I'm not at work) chances are if he reads Bill it would be this great book (http://www.amazon.com/Popular-Crime-Reflections-Celebration-Violence/dp/1416552731)

Seems like if Dusty farted money someone would complain that the denominations were not large enough.

Isn't there a difference, though, when certain innovations are actually changing your profession?

Edskin
07-14-2012, 11:07 PM
I've said this on the boards many times and I'll keep saying it because I believe it bears repeating:

The manager of the SF Giants during their most successful seasons (since leaving NY) prior to 2010? Dusty Baker

The manager of the Chicago Cubs during their most successful seasons since the early 1900's? Dusty Baker

If the Reds make the playoffs this year it will be the second time they've done so in the last 17 seasons--- and Dusty Baker would be the manger of both of those teams.

Maybe it's all coincidence. Maybe Dusty is just very lucky to get managerial jobs at the time when good players are reaching the bigs. Maybe it's all luck.

But I'm a results based guy. And Dusty has consistently gotten results.

I find him to be stubborn and close-minded and there are many things he does that leave me scratching my head. But when it all comes out in the wash, Dusty appears to know how to help a team win more ball games than they did before he got there. I kind of like that.

westofyou
07-14-2012, 11:10 PM
Innovations??

You mean data right?

The game is full of guys who use their lives as that data, many of them are amazingly successful. The book 3 nights in August covers the Cards and while LaRussa uses some stats he also uses other non measured entities

I love baseball metrics, but the fact is they often examine the things that already HAVE occurred, while dugout decisions often are encumbered with variables we don't see thus the data can get skewed.

Dusty comes from an era that believed that the BASE in baseball was best obtained via having ones bat hit the ball, and if you look at the almost 140 years of organized ball that was the main goal

I don't believe the guys from his era (or Dusty) hate walks I just think they like bat on the ball baseball, not everyone enjoys a 4 hour Yankee/Sox game

Edskin
07-14-2012, 11:16 PM
Isn't there a difference, though, when certain innovations are actually changing your profession?

I think that's going a bit overboard. SABR, Bill James, Moneyball, etc.. Aren't necessarily "innovations" in my eyes--- OBP and SLG and the like have always been part of analysis-- it's just that the new math is a philosophy that redirects the focus on how we view the old math. It's always been there. It's simply a way to challenge old school philosophies by using analytics to do so.

Take Drew Stubbs for example... Dusty stubbornly sticks with him both in terms of number AB's and where he hits in the order despite the statistical evidence that it isn't a good idea. Dusty's response to that might be along the lines that he beleives sticking with Stubbs and other players without radically changing the lineup helps stabilize the team overall. By keeping Stubbs in a role where he isn't really performing would seem to harm the team, Dusty might think its worth it so as not to disrupt someone else's role in the process. Perhaps over time, this sort of stability (stubbornness) lends itself to a team that is comfortable and sticks together?

I don't really buy that theory, but there is no evidence that exists that proves it to be wrong.

RedEye
07-15-2012, 09:23 AM
Innovations??

You mean data right?

Maybe I chose a poor word. What I meant is that there is if there is INFORMATION available to people working in a field that helps their organization gain a competitive edge, it would seem to be their job to know about it and to, well, apply it if it will help them reach their goal.


The game is full of guys who use their lives as that data, many of them are amazingly successful. The book 3 nights in August covers the Cards and while LaRussa uses some stats he also uses other non measured entities

Fair enough. But whether or not people are successful using another strategy wasn't exactly my point.


I love baseball metrics, but the fact is they often examine the things that already HAVE occurred, while dugout decisions often are encumbered with variables we don't see thus the data can get skewed.

Batting Drew Stubbs or Wilson Valdez second in the lineup regardless of their terrible OBP should not be encumbered by such variables. Neither should realizing that Chapman would be a better resource as a starter. For example.


Dusty comes from an era that believed that the BASE in baseball was best obtained via having ones bat hit the ball, and if you look at the almost 140 years of organized ball that was the main goal

I understand that. But I don't accept generational difference -- or tradition -- as an excuse for falling behind in one's field.


I don't believe the guys from his era (or Dusty) hate walks I just think they like bat on the ball baseball, not everyone enjoys a 4 hour Yankee/Sox game.

I would assume that guys from all eras place winning first -- regardless of the length of the game (although Dusty's decision to bring in LeCure with the bases loaded with Chapman available and no outs in the 9th a week or so ago seemed to indicate his main priority was otherwise). Given that, I would think they would investigate any route -- new or old -- that might lead to said goal, rather than digging in their heels and plugging their ears.

RedEye
07-15-2012, 09:32 AM
I think that's going a bit overboard. SABR, Bill James, Moneyball, etc.. Aren't necessarily "innovations" in my eyes--- OBP and SLG and the like have always been part of analysis-- it's just that the new math is a philosophy that redirects the focus on how we view the old math. It's always been there. It's simply a way to challenge old school philosophies by using analytics to do so.

Whether or not something has "always been there" is an existential question that we probably don't have time to get into here. However, I usually think of "innovations" as our ability to discover new ways of looking at or doing things via a different use of tools. Neither walks nor regression analysis are "new" tools -- but James et al. (I'm obviously using shorthand to refer to them here) used an innovative combination of the two to foster a new strategy for winning -- and exploit a market inefficiency. It was worth enough to baseball people "in the know" that Billy Beane was offered a huge contract by the Red Sox -- and many of his coworkers have since gone on to positions in other franchises.


Take Drew Stubbs for example... Dusty stubbornly sticks with him both in terms of number AB's and where he hits in the order despite the statistical evidence that it isn't a good idea. Dusty's response to that might be along the lines that he beleives sticking with Stubbs and other players without radically changing the lineup helps stabilize the team overall. By keeping Stubbs in a role where he isn't really performing would seem to harm the team, Dusty might think its worth it so as not to disrupt someone else's role in the process. Perhaps over time, this sort of stability (stubbornness) lends itself to a team that is comfortable and sticks together?

That's a good explanation of what Dusty might be thinking in this case, I suppose. But I would think that the most important element of having a team "stick together" would be winning. And this strategy clearly isn't helping them to accomplish that.


I don't really buy that theory, but there is no evidence that exists that proves it to be wrong.

I think there is actually evidence that proves that giving ineffective hitters more AB is detrimental to success in major league baseball. That's not new school -- that's just logical.

westofyou
07-15-2012, 12:37 PM
Batting Drew Stubbs or Wilson Valdez second in the lineup regardless of their terrible OBP should not be encumbered by such variables.

I understand that. But I don't accept generational difference -- or tradition -- as an excuse for falling behind in one's field.



Just a note on falling behind...


A's lead off leader Weeks over 200 PA's - .218/.306/.315

TB lead off hitter Jennings over 200 PA's - .232/.307/.353

Reds lead off over 200 Pa's - Cozart - .221/.264/.370


Now while Cozart is worse in the OB% area the other guys of these forward looking organizations tend to pretty much suck as lead off men too, yet have gotten the lions share of the PA's.

I guess theses two clubs too have fallen behind their field?

Or have they sacrificed OB% in the top slot because of something else?

Like the Reds have by sliding Phillips into slot 4 instead of slot 1.

Batting order is just one aspect of the game and numerous studies have shown that switching it around only causes slight variances in runs being scored, not huge, not earth shaking but noticeable variance's that are for some reason often (even by forward thinking 21st teams not tethered to Dusty) ignored.

Edskin
07-15-2012, 12:38 PM
[QUOTE][I think there is actually evidence that proves that giving ineffective hitters more AB is detrimental to success in major league baseball. That's not new school -- that's just logical./QUOTE]

That's sort of my point though. Dusty is who he is and has stuck to "old school" theories at each of his stops. Yet, when it's all said and done, he seems to find more success for the team than the team had before he got there. My point is that perhaps some of the non-quantifiable things he does perhaps pays off more than we give it credit for?

_Sir_Charles_
07-15-2012, 12:39 PM
Isn't there a difference, though, when certain innovations are actually changing your profession?

But there's the thing. Are they really changing the game? I know they're changing people's understanding of the game...but is it really ALTERING the game?

~edit~ I see this was already covered. I should've read farther. Nevermind. Carry on. *grin*

dougdirt
07-15-2012, 01:00 PM
That's sort of my point though. Dusty is who he is and has stuck to "old school" theories at each of his stops. Yet, when it's all said and done, he seems to find more success for the team than the team had before he got there. My point is that perhaps some of the non-quantifiable things he does perhaps pays off more than we give it credit for?

Or he walked into San Francisco the first year they got the best hitter that most of us have ever seen. Or that he walked into Chicgao where his starting 5 had 3 guys finish in the top 5 of the Cy Young. Or he walked into Cincinnati where he had a young nucleus that included 4 top 25 prospects all MLB ready and a very deep farm system that has shown its fruit very well.

The guy certainly knows how to pick a job, I will give him that.

westofyou
07-15-2012, 01:10 PM
Players do matter, just ask Casey Stengel and Joe Torre

corkedbat
07-15-2012, 01:17 PM
Dusty ready to move on? I didn't exactly ready it that way, but evidently Rosenthal evidently does.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/07/nl-central-notes-cubs-dempster-mcclellan-baker.html

dougdirt
07-15-2012, 01:21 PM
Players do matter, just ask Casey Stengel and Joe Torre

They most certainly do.

A great manager can't win without talent. But a bad manager can lose (more than you would expect) with good talent.

_Sir_Charles_
07-15-2012, 01:28 PM
A bad manager can't win without talent. But a great manager can lose (more than you would expect) with good talent.

This way fits too. It all depends upon the players. Talented or not, they can fail to win...irregardless of the manager. The effect of a manager over the course of a season is VASTLY overrated IMO.

traderumor
07-15-2012, 02:06 PM
Or he walked into San Francisco the first year they got the best hitter that most of us have ever seen. Or that he walked into Chicgao where his starting 5 had 3 guys finish in the top 5 of the Cy Young. Or he walked into Cincinnati where he had a young nucleus that included 4 top 25 prospects all MLB ready and a very deep farm system that has shown its fruit very well.

The guy certainly knows how to pick a job, I will give him that.

Yes, he hired himself. He walked in like George Costanza, just started working and they let him keep the job, figured what the heck. The teams didn't really want to hire him, didn't interview anyone else, didn't conclude that he's the best man for the job, he just showed up and took the job opportunistically.

dougdirt
07-15-2012, 03:35 PM
Yes, he hired himself. He walked in like George Costanza, just started working and they let him keep the job, figured what the heck. The teams didn't really want to hire him, didn't interview anyone else, didn't conclude that he's the best man for the job, he just showed up and took the job opportunistically.
Yep, that is exactly what I meant with what I typed.

RedEye
07-15-2012, 03:41 PM
Yes, he hired himself. He walked in like George Costanza, just started working and they let him keep the job, figured what the heck. The teams didn't really want to hire him, didn't interview anyone else, didn't conclude that he's the best man for the job, he just showed up and took the job opportunistically.

Doug didn't mean what he wrote in that sense, I think it's clear. It is fair to say, though that Dusty did have good fortune in terms of the talent he managed.

oregonred
07-15-2012, 03:46 PM
Never hurt Phil Jackson either... I think he took a flyer on the Reds situation a few years back as a last, well paid gig for a few seasons. I don't think he really had a lot of other options at that point.

In his last six full seasons, Dusty has managed a team with 80+ wins exactly once.

RedEye
07-15-2012, 03:49 PM
Just a note on falling behind...


A's lead off leader Weeks over 200 PA's - .218/.306/.315

TB lead off hitter Jennings over 200 PA's - .232/.307/.353

Reds lead off over 200 Pa's - Cozart - .221/.264/.370


Now while Cozart is worse in the OB% area the other guys of these forward looking organizations tend to pretty much suck as lead off men too, yet have gotten the lions share of the PA's.

I guess theses two clubs too have fallen behind their field?

Or have they sacrificed OB% in the top slot because of something else?

Like the Reds have by sliding Phillips into slot 4 instead of slot 1.

Batting order is just one aspect of the game and numerous studies have shown that switching it around only causes slight variances in runs being scored, not huge, not earth shaking but noticeable variance's that are for some reason often (even by forward thinking 21st teams not tethered to Dusty) ignored.

I agree with you that there can be other factors to consider when it comes to constructing a lineup.

RedEye
07-15-2012, 04:16 PM
A's lead off leader Weeks over 200 PA's - .218/.306/.315

TB lead off hitter Jennings over 200 PA's - .232/.307/.353

Reds lead off over 200 Pa's - Cozart - .221/.264/.370



But these are cherry-picked examples, and both franchises have proactively moved to ameliorate the situation recently.

TB was surely disappointed to see Desmond Jennings' abysmal OBP this year, in that it does not at all match his prior performance (.350-ish OBP in 2011 in around 300 PA). His futility at leadoff -- partially injury induced -- has led Maddon to try a variety of other options (BJ Upton, Carlos Pena, Ben Zobrist, and others) on 35-some other occasions.

In the case of Oakland, we have a similar situation. The A's probably also expected something more like the .340 OBP Week put up in 2011. He has sucked this year, and when it seemed clear that he wasn't going to perform up to expectations, he was supplanted by Coco Crisp (lifetime .328 OBP) who has started the majority of the last 30 games at leadoff.

In both cases, these are young players with limited career sample sizes who seemed like they would be good at avoiding outs. As they showed otherwise, their generally forward-looking managers sought other options.

Dusty, on the other hand, persists at batting guys with sub .300 OBP in the first and second spots of the order. Obviously, a manager can only work with what he has. But some managers are much less tradition-bound in their approaches to begin with. Sure, it's nice to have a speedy guy up front, but if he sucks, you can try to replace him with someone less speedy who just gets on base. I've seen really no initiative on Dusty's part to say, bat Ryan Hanigan or Todd Frazier in the first few slots -- which is really what he should be doing to get the most AB's out of his best hitters. But see ... we all know Dusty would never do that.


Batting order is just one aspect of the game and numerous studies have shown that switching it around only causes slight variances in runs being scored, not huge, not earth shaking but noticeable variance's that are for some reason often (even by forward thinking 21st teams not tethered to Dusty) ignored.

Agreed. But isn't there some cliché about this being a game of inches? Don't teams lose out on the playoffs every year because of, say, a loss here or there? Sometimes teams can't avoid having crappy hitters up-front (the A's really don't have a lot of good hitters for example) but it would be nice to have a manager who looks somewhat inclined to look for them.

redsmetz
07-15-2012, 09:47 PM
Or he walked into San Francisco the first year they got the best hitter that most of us have ever seen. Or that he walked into Chicgao where his starting 5 had 3 guys finish in the top 5 of the Cy Young. Or he walked into Cincinnati where he had a young nucleus that included 4 top 25 prospects all MLB ready and a very deep farm system that has shown its fruit very well.

The guy certainly knows how to pick a job, I will give him that.

And yet how many folks in the initial Dusty thread when he was hired decried the him getting the job saying he was positively the worst choice for our stable of young players, pitchers and position players. And how many people ad naueum repeated the old canard that he had serious vet love, something that has not occurred here to any great degree.

Seriously, do folks want it both ways? It just strikes me as the ongoing reality of folks really just having Dusty hate and the success we're having now (flawed though it is) should just be ignored.