Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling
You think Valdez and Cairo would be on the team in 2012 if Dusty Baker didn't want them there? No way. Those guys were there because Dusty Baker wanted them there. Jocketty could easily replace those guys at any time. They were both literally in the bottom five worst players in the major leagues this season offensively and they are both poor defensive players too according to UZR. If Dusty wanted them gone they would be gone.
Why do so many people want to give Dusty a pass when it comes to deciding which players are acquired and which players make the team? Dusty and Walt work together to build the team. Walt goes and gets players that Dusty wants. I don't buy the excuse that Dusty is forced to use players he doesn't want on the team. That is not an excuse based in reality.
Putting Wilson Valdez in the lineup for 200+ plate appearances (half of them in the 2 slot) this season is just asinine. If you absolutely must put him in the lineup then put him at the bottom or else you will look like a complete fool. Valdez had the worst OPS in major league baseball in 2012 (min. 150 PAs). He has a .594 career OPS and is a below average fielder. His .463 OPS in 2012 was nearly 300 points lower than pitcher Mike Leake's .749 OPS. Even pitcher Mat Latos had a better OPS than Wilson Valdez.
Yes, I believe Cairo and Valdez were Jocketty's decision. Baker may have gone along with them, but they are primarily the decision of the front office. I hardly see the wisdom of firing the field manager because the FO acquires bad bench players.
As for Valdez' 200+ plate appearances and batting slot, this all took place in the regular season in which the Reds won more games than any team in baseball, save one. Again, I'd hardly fire Dusty for bad moves in the regular season, unless our new minimum standard is 98 games won.
Frankly, and this is not directed at AD, I think RedsZone spent more time blaming Valdez for the Reds' problems this year than any other player. What a joke! It's easy to pick on the fringe bench player. He was well down the list of the team's real problems, a backup middle infielder.
I don't personally care if the Reds renew Baker or go with another good manager, I admire Dusty enormously, but sometimes a fresh look at the team is good. But this team's problems were personnel related IMO.
I just watched CC Sabathia pitch a complete game victory to clinch a playoff series. Mat Latos, a great young talent, wasn't quite ready to do that. I wouldn't fire Dusty for that. Nor would I fire him for the men left on base and the total 8 runs scored in the three final home games, including games against Vogelsong and Zito.