Morgan maintains...."Give Dusty an opportunity. Then, if it doesn't work out, criticize him. But give him a chance."
And I think that is fair.
A week or so ago, none of us, in our wildest dreams, envisioned that in this FO's hunt for a manager that Baker was on that list. Were any of us even discussing the possibility when looking at what viable candidates were out there. I don't think Baker's name ever entered any of those discussions. Why? Because we considered it simply unfathomable that he would be even considered.
Then it happens. Like a punch in the gut. And initial reactions have been strong.
I guess I should be more accepting of Baker since he is seen as so "old school". But my dislike of Baker is pretty much in-line with the perceptions that everyone else has held about the guy these last several years.
And it's up to Dusty Baker to dispel those perceptions if they are wrong
He's a "big name" manager from outside
the organization. In fact, it was noted that the last time the Reds went outside the organization to hire a manager (sweel Lou), they won the World Series. That really means very little to me. And mainly because the economics of the game has greatly changed over the last 17 years. Lou came into a scenario that was quite different, and one of them was he "inherited" a pretty talented team.
Can that be said with what Baker's getting?
Regardless of how I feel about Baker, there is one thing that is absolutely true.... he is facing one heck of a challenge that is nowhere near what he had in San Fran and Chicago
. He had bigger payrolls and more talent with those teams. And having a Barry Bonds on your roster also helps.
Some have contended this week that Baker might be able to draw players to Cincy. I think in his WLW SportsTalk interview the other day he killed that notion when he said that is not his role. He is the field manager
, and it's the job of the GM to acquire the players. And I agree with Dusty on that.
Over the course of time on here, most feel that this team must (primarily) scout and develop younger players and build up our farm system as that source of talent-draw.
That is not Baker's job. As he has already stated - he feels his role is the field manager. That's the job of this FO.
But the question has to be asked though - Is he the guy that can adequately work within that system and help those younger players? Does he have the patience? He's a competitive guy, that is for sure. It's noble that he wants to win.
I just hope this job doesn't end up frustrating the heck of out of him because it ain't San Fran or Chicago.
But I am sure he doesn't have t be reminded of that.
So Baker is here, and we have to live with that.
So now the pressure is on this FO - who talked him into coming here, and what they told, or even promised him, we have no idea - to acquire those players to make this a competitive, winning, team.
Even as much as I may dislike and have my doubts about Baker, I (we) cannot expect him to turn this team around and vastly improve it, simply because he's a big name manager, seen as a "motivator", with the current personnel intact.
Changes are going to have to be made, or IMHO, he'll do no better then Pete, who ended with a 41-39 record.
Dusty is just not that good IMO.
But after the intial horror and shock has worn off (it still lingers though), I believe I (we) have to do what Morgan states above......
"Give Dusty an opportunity. Then, if it doesn't work out, criticize him. But give him a chance."
I just wonder HOW LONG Reds fans will be tolerant (patient) and give him that opportunity? They haven't shown it towards Krivsky. Are they going to be calling for Dusty's head after his first year as manager?
And again - the game threads are going to be quite entertaining this year.