Originally Posted by Brutus
Don't think you're stupid enough to fall for the argument that this Reds team did better with Dusty than without and that its' not worth risking the alternatives to find out whether it's true? I never said the Reds made the playoffs solely on account of Dusty Baker. But I sure as heck think if someone is going to make the argument he was given talent, then they should also not be talking out of both sides of their mouths and act like it's his fault they didn't do anything in the playoffs. You can't have it both ways. Either he was not responsible for their success in the regular season or he was equally not responsible for the lack of playoff success.
That grass isn't always greener on the other side. Personally, I think the Reds are better with Dusty than without. And to whatever extent that is debatable, I don't think we should want to find out if it's true. Bobby Valentine says hello.
My point is that what happened earlier this century has no relevance to the question of whether Dusty is the person to lead this team to a World Series title. You keep bringing up the past, but this organization was run like the Pirates until this ownership group took over. Things are different now, so I don't think your reference to past Reds performance is particularly compelling.
Dusty did a fine job with the team this season. The 97 wins are impressive in any season, although it needs to be understood that we played in a division with two 100 game losers. Given the makeup of the division and starting pitching performances by the Reds this season, I don't particularly think it was working miracles to win 97.
This team has the talent to compete for a World Series over the next 2-3 years if they can re-sign Ludwick and make a couple smaller upgrades. After that, I think most of the starting pitching will likely sign elsewhere. We have too much money tied up in other players to give them big FA deals. We have a two, maybe three, year window to win it all with this group. The question is, do you want Dusty to be the person making the clutch decisions in crucial playoff games during this limited window?
I don't have the confidence in Dusty to make the correct situational decisions that come up in playoff baseball that do not come up in the regular season. Do you think Dusty would have pulled Zito in game 4 after 2 2/3 of rocky baseball before he gave up the big inning? The Giants manager did so and I think that won the series for them. I have no confidence in Dusty to do that. I think Dusty left his pitchers who were leaking oil in for one or two batters too long in game 4. I really think he was out managed in that game.
If the Reds retain Dusty and win it all with him, no one will be happier than me. I think he is a good guy and I wanted it to work out for him. I just don't think he is the person I want calling the shots in the playoffs and, if I were Walt, I would go in another direction.