Re: Managerial search over. It's Dusty.
I find there to be a number of material aspects to forecasting how Dusty Baker may, or may not, mesh will with the direction of the current Reds organization. Law's article touched upon several of them, and I think they are germane and well stated.
1. The Reds weakest unit in 2007 was their bullpen. If not properly addressed (and Wayne's demonstrated an ability to whiff on BP improvement twice in two years), how might that impact Dusty's demonstrated tendency to ride his starters longer conventional wisdom indicates is prudent?
2. The Reds haven't developed a pair of top of the rotation starters in more than a decade, and until Harang's and Arroyo's advent, hadn't boasted a decent #1-2 since the brevity of Harnisch and Neagle. So, history would demonstrate that we don't have the luxury of flaming out a pair of arms, and quickly replacing them. Taking the chance that a pitcher abusing phenom like Dusty Baker, under directives to 'win immediately', possibly devoid of a viable and deep bullpen, is going to handle them with care is a pretty big risk. That's without even taking into account the potential handling of youngsters like Bailey.
3. Speaking of the fast forward to a mandate of 'winning now', how might it affect an organization whose GM was just articulating the inception of a 'rebuilding process' less than 18 months ago? At year's end, the future was spelled Bruce, Hamilton, Votto, Bailey, Cueto, Encarnacion, Phillips etc... but aside from BP, there isn't a guy in the group who has a stranglehold on a starting job. How much of the future might be moved via trade to 'go for it now'? How much of a rope will Dusty give young players who demonstrate the typical coming of age inconsistencies, if he's given veteran options in their stead? Is the youth movement going to be derailed, and should it be, before it starts paying it's dividends.
4. Dusty doesn't have any regard for the relevance of OBP to offensive production, and I'm not sure how it can be anymore explicitly stated. In the event that Dusty's speedy CF type happened to possess +OBP skills, then his teams lucked into a decent OBP at leadoff, in the far more frequent circumstance that his speedy CFers didn't possess those skills, his teams were stuck with 280-320OBPs in the #1-2 slots. Frankly, that's no more enlightened than a Miley or Narron batting whoever played SS #2.
Personally, I saw an enormous difference in this offense when Pete placed Hamilton and Keppinger in the #1-2 slot based upon their ability to get on base (as did our offensive output which rose by a statistically significant margin following such moves in July), so the idea of the potential desire to put a rabbit CFer at #1 and a bat handler at #2 gives me premonitions of a potential Hopper and Gonzo tandem at #1-2, and that dismays me.
I think extremely valid points have been made that Dusty is a good manager, but that he might not fit well with the construct of this team (a team which was showing signs of only being a starter and a reliever or two away from contending in the NL Central). I think Dusty's signing has a good chance of derailing the Reds first signs of positive direction this decade.