Re: The Manager of the Future:
I've got Dusty's back until we miss the playoffs this year. If we're saying Manager of the Future, it's not Baker. I honesty think he's less than three years from retirement, regardless of how well the Reds perform. I voted for Francona, and here's why:
Obviously, as a lifelong Reds fan, I would want it to be Larkin. But I think he needs to start managing somewhere in the farm system first. Right now he seems pretty comfortable with his TV gig.
So, with Larkin not likely, I'd choose Francona. While he had four sub-.500 years with the Phillies before his string of success with the Red Sox, there was definitely a lack of talent on those clubs. The thing is, this Reds team has talent. It seems like a really good fit to me.