Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling
I don't think anyone is suggesting the Reds should fire Dusty Baker because the FO acquired bad players. On the contrary, the FO has amassed quite a lot of talent on the team. An extraordinary amount really. The personnel on the team are a manager's dream. That is why the team won 97 games despite having an average manager at best. Jocketty and Baker have worked together to assemble a team chock full of talent with only a couple of woeful duds like Valdez and Cairo, both of whom would be easily replaceable if Dusty and Walt wanted to replace them. Giving those duds hundreds of at-bats is mostly Dusty's fault, and partly Walt's fault for not forcing Dusty to let go of them. Most people can see that General Managers and managers work together to build a roster. GMs don't operate in a vacuum without communicating with the manager and forcing the manager to use players he doesn't want. Dusty Baker has plenty of input and had a big hand in the construction of this roster both good and bad.
The tired refrain that Dusty Baker cannot be criticized because the team won 97 games rings awfully hollow. No matter how many games a team wins they could always have done better. Baker has very clearly done some things poorly in his career here in Cincinnati. Many of the things people think Dusty did wrong in 2012 are the very same things he was doing wrong when the team had a losing record in prior seasons. If Dusty is the reason why the Reds are so good then why did they have a losing record last year? Same manager, different players. Adding Mat Latos, Ryan Ludwick, Todd Frazier, Sean Marshall and Zack Cozart is the reason the 2012 team was better than the 2011 team. Dusty was the same both seasons, so he was not the reason the team got better. The same criticisms of Dusty that were valid in 2011 are still valid in 2012 despite the excellent win/loss record. Dusty is not immune to criticism because he is managing a better group of players this year than last year. His strengths are still strengths and his weaknesses are still weaknesses. Fans and observers have every right to discuss those good and bad qualities without being shot down because the team has a good record this season.
Obviously the team's record has varied considerably over the years of Dusty's tenure, some good some bad. I think it is a bit gullible to believe the reason this year's team won 97 games is because Dusty Baker is the manager and that somehow that makes him immune to criticism because every one of his decisions and strategies were absolutely correct beyond question.
From what I have seen, Wilson Valdez has gotten very little blame for the Reds problems -- certainly not as mush as he deserved.
The Reds playoff loss to the Giants has very little to do with why most people want to move on from Dusty Baker. It is not like they have suddenly come to the realization that Dusty is not that great. They have seen his embarrassing lineup construction and poor in-game strategic moves for several years now. This team is loaded with talent that if utilized correctly could have done better in 2012.
Sorry, this makes no sense to me. Sounds like somebody looking for ways to criticize a manager.
Should I evaluate Baker by some fans' view of his in-game strategies and lineup construction?
Or should I evaluate him based on division championships two of three years and 97 wins this year, considering also the early playoff exits?
I'll look at the results and I think they've been better than the Reds have had since the days of Jack McKeon and Davey Johnson.
I kind of like the wins and division championships. Just me, I guess.