Re: Managerial search over. It's Dusty.
I'll admit to perhaps being a bit rash in my thinking when I first got news of the Baker hiring. Like many, I immediately began fearing the worst: Dunn's option will be declined because he walks too much, EdE will never again see the light of day, Bailey and Cueto have already scheduled their Tommy John surgery, and the Neifi Perez Era can only be a few short weeks away.
Now that I've had the better part of a day to stew over this latest hire by the Reds, I've decided to put off my final opinion on bringing Baker in until I see what this team looks like come the first of March, and probably until at least the middle of May to see what direction Baker has this team going.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't dissapointed, bewildered and just plain mad after I first heard about this hiring. I couldn't stand Baker when he was with the Giants and thought those teams he had won despite his best efforts. In Chicago I came to dislike him more, partly becuase of his ridiculous comments regarding pitch counts and offensive philosophy, and partly because I dislike the Cubs so much. Now that he's the manager of my favorite team, I can't really say that I like him any more, but I'll at least give the guy a shot.
What troubles me about this move the most is the fact that Baker has never shown an ability to handle a young team. He's managed teams dominated by veterans and has never seemed to be able to develop young talent. One of the reasons I was genuinely excited about the Reds for the first time since the Griffey trade was because of the young talent this team has in Bruce, Votto, Bailey, Cueto, Hamilton, EdE, Phillips and Hamilton. Surround them with Dunn, Harang, Arroyo and Griffey and that's an exciting club that would be fun towatch. Now I'm extremely concerned that none of these young players will be able to live up to their potential because
1. Baker doesn't have the managerial skill set to get them there and
2. Some of them may reach that potential somewhere else because this hire signals a major shift in the direction of this team.
As I've said, I'll ultimately reserve judgement on Baker until next season, but at this point my optimism towards this team heading into next season is extremely tempered.
"It's still a long way to the top if we want to rock'n'roll, but at least they dumped the tuba player."