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Thread: Dusty Baker: Teflon Manager

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    Dusty Baker: Teflon Manager

    Tell us how you really feel, Mr. Sheehan. Really, don't hold back. The linked article about the 2003 playoffs is a gem as well. I hope he's wrong, but I have serious doubts............

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ar...articleid=7219

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    .377 in 1905 CySeymour's Avatar
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    Re: Dusty Baker: Teflon Manager

    What boggles my mind completely is that people like Dusty Baker who completely savage the idea of getting a good pitch to hit or walk. It was a philosophy that Ted Williams employed, and how anyone can say Ted Williams was wrong about hitting is beyond me.
    ...the 2-2 to Woodsen and here it comes...and it is swung on and missed! And Tom Browning has pitched a perfect game! Twenty-seven outs in a row, and he is being mobbed by his teammates, just to the thirdbase side of the mound.

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    Re: Dusty Baker: Teflon Manager

    Quote Originally Posted by BigKlu View Post
    What boggles my mind completely is that people like Dusty Baker who completely savage the idea of getting a good pitch to hit or walk. It was a philosophy that Ted Williams employed, and how anyone can say Ted Williams was wrong about hitting is beyond me.
    Baker can look at Bonds instead. Someone he managed for about 10 years. Bonds is the career BB leader by over 300BB and has 2559 BB. That's an average of 139BB per 162G. A middle of the order hitter not being aggressive is only a top 3 All-Time Hitter in MLB History. Dusty actually saw him play everyday for 10 years and doesn't even know what made him so great.

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    Re: Dusty Baker: Teflon Manager

    Sheehan has lost just about all credability to me. I am usually not to critical about writers, because I know that they have a hard job. Every time they write something controversial, they have people critisize them. This is an article that just boggles me. How can you make these statements about a manager who has a better than .500 record, and hasn't coached a meaningful game yet for the Reds? So what, he's telling a young player to be more aggressive. We've seen what happened to him when he was held back, why not try to see what he can do when we completly let him loose? Sure his methods are different, but you have a very hard time achieving greatness if you never defy convention.
    If you can't build a winning team with that core a fire-sale isn't the solution. Selling the franchise, moving them to Nashville and converting GABP into a used car lot is.
    -LTlabner

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    Re: Dusty Baker: Teflon Manager

    Quote Originally Posted by GoReds33 View Post
    Sheehan has lost just about all credability to me. I am usually not to critical about writers, because I know that they have a hard job. Every time they write something controversial, they have people critisize them. This is an article that just boggles me. How can you make these statements about a manager who has a better than .500 record, and hasn't coached a meaningful game yet for the Reds? So what, he's telling a young player to be more aggressive. We've seen what happened to him when he was held back, why not try to see what he can do when we completly let him loose? Sure his methods are different, but you have a very hard time achieving greatness if you never defy convention.
    Dusty is convention. He's the oldest school there is. What Sheehan promotes is not convention. It's thinking logically based on stats and objective observations. Trey Hillman, the new Royals manager gets it. Pretty soon (10 years?) we're going to see SABR thinking become mainstream, but it's not even close yet.

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    Re: Dusty Baker: Teflon Manager

    I couldn't read the entire article because I don't subscribe to BP, so I can't comment on exactly what Sheehan said.
    But I can say that Dusty never told Votto to swing at bad pitches, never told him to stop taking walks. Dusty said that he wanted Votto to have a more aggressive approach at the plate with runners on base. He was asked about Dunn and he said he wished he took less called third strikes with runners on base. Both Dunn and Votto agreed with him.
    I see nothing wrong with wanting your hitters to be aggressive with runners on base, and to discourage them from taking called third strikes.

    BigKlu - Vlad Guerrero never a met a pitch he didn't like and he has a lifetime .391 OBP. Oh yeah, his other stats are pretty good too. Ted Williams was one of the greatest hitters of all time with his approach, and Vlad is one of the greatest hitters of all time with his approach. Just for the record, Mantle, Mays Aaron, Ruth were all free swingers, and they did okay too.


    MLBFan30 - Doesn't Bonds actually prove that Baker is not as anti OBP as people on this board think he is? If Bonds was going to listen to anyone, it would be Baker, who is friends with Mays and Aaron, two of Bonds biggest role models. If Baker really wanted a batter to be aggressive to the point of making more outs, if he really wanted his hitters to swing at bad pitches, then wouldn't he have had Bonds swing at bad pitches and take less walks so he could get more hits?

    It's funny, because many players that played under Dusty, had some of their best OBP years while playing of him. Jeff Kent, Matt Williams, J.T. Snow, Bill Meuller, Derrek Lee, Todd Walker.
    Baker has never been against OBP, he himself had a lifetime .347 OBP, which is 69 points higher than his BA. Not Bonds territory, but not the OBP of a guy who hates walks.

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    Re: Dusty Baker: Teflon Manager

    Quote Originally Posted by mlbfan30 View Post
    Dusty is convention. He's the oldest school there is. What Sheehan promotes is not convention. It's thinking logically based on stats and objective observations. Trey Hillman, the new Royals manager gets it. Pretty soon (10 years?) we're going to see SABR thinking become mainstream, but it's not even close yet.
    People say I am nuts when I say that some Sabrmetric fans believe that it is dogma. Thanks for proving my point.

    Sabr stats can be very effective tools to running a team, but Dusty's oldest school conventions are also very effective tools to running a team. A good manager needs to understand how and when to use many different approaches to understanding the game.

    Also, some SABR stats will become common place, but I am pretty sure that many will be be disproved over the years.

    Some are not based on wholly logical and objective observations. They are based on the belief that what has happened in the past will happen in the future in the same way. That trends will continue in the same pattern. That is not logical.

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    Re: Dusty Baker: Teflon Manager

    I'll just pick this...
    "A good manager needs to understand how and when to use many different approaches to understanding the game. "

    Baker uses 1 approch, and that's his own. SABR looks to maximize production through a verity of different approaches. It says, use good RP during high leverage situations, and bad ones when the games situation isn't important. (DBacks/Indians). It says, hit pitcher 8th if the 9th batter is worse (Kendell). It says, put higher OBP skills at the top of the order so less outs will be made and better hitter will get more chances to hit. It says, fielding is undervalued in guys like Everett where he might cost 1 Win on offense but +2.5 on defense. Or say SB's are only worth it if it occurs at a certain rate. It's figuring out the difference between Griffey and BP as a baserunner. Or determining that Hamilton has one of the best arms in the game (Yes, we see that it's good, but stats prove it). It says, that Jeter is a poor defender no matter how many jump thows and stand diving he does. ETC. (It doesn't really "say" that stuff, but these are general assertions)

    SABR stats is not everything, it's just a tool. But it's becoming better every year as new stats and improved stats come out. What do you mean they'll get "disproved"? So you take Batting Average and all it's crazy assertions -Read the Article- and can't disprove that? Stats are just a device that tries to measure something. Some are obviously better than others for overall value, but they can't be disproven. I might like a stat that looks at how the batter can hit for power, average, on base, have speed, run well, field well relative to position, how they do in important situations, etc, and sum them up into 1 number that describes how many Wins that player was worth. Or You can take Batting Average to rank players, a stat that doesn't measure power, speed, on base skills, and also depends on opposing fielders, ballpark, opposing pitching. SABR trys to quantify what happens on the field, and provide a reference for decision making. "Dusty manages from his heart" or w/e crap they are saying is just not going to cut it. Things need to be decided from a rational and scientific based standpoint, along with the "heart". When I say SABR will be mainstream, I mean it will not be thought of as this "guy living in the basement" type idea (Peter Gammons). It will be incorporated into decisions as another option or integrated into an option for managers and baseball people.

    This is a great time to bring up this article....

    http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2008...and-true-wins/

    I just hope people can actually read the entire thing. It's a usual long post by a great blogger. He's a fantastic baseball writer.

    Here's a sample......
    Some of this should be obvious. Batting average? It’s ridiculous. Preposterous. Imagine that no one had ever come up with batting average before … and then someone on a blog came up with with this idea:

    Blogger: I have come up with a new statistic. It involves balls put in play. I call it batting average.
    Establishment: Great! How’s it work?
    B: See, what we’ll do is, we’ll take the number of hits that the batter has and divide it by the number of at-bats that he has in order to determine how often he gets a hit.
    E: That sounds like on-base percentage. What’s the difference?
    B: Well, it’s all in what you call “at-bats” For one thing, we don’t count walks.
    E: What do you mean you don’t count walks?
    B: They don’t count. We take plate appearances and subtract walks. They never happened.
    E: How can a walk never happen?
    B: It just doesn’t.
    E: Aren’t walks good things? Like in Little League, we always say “Walk’s as good as a hit.”
    B: I hate walks. They’re gone. So let’s say a guy comes to the plate 12 times, and he gets four hits and walks twice …
    E: Right … that’s a .500 on-base percentage.
    B: Exactly, but if you just subtract the walks, you will see that he has a .400 batting average.
    E: Um, OK.
    B: But there are other things. If you hit a fly ball, and someone tags up and scores a run, that does not count as an at-bat.
    E: Why not?
    B: Because you are sacrificing yourself for the betterment of the team? I call it a sacrifice fly. Get it?
    E: Well, what are you sacrificing if it doesn’t even count against your stats?
    B: You just are, OK?
    E: What if you hit a ground ball and the runner scores.
    B: How’s that?
    E: Let’s say the infield’s back and a guy hits a ground ball to get the run in. How do you score that?
    B: No, that’s not a sacrifice fly.
    E Why not? Doesn’t that accomplish the same thing?
    B: It just isn’t. Come on, pay attention. What’s it called. Sacrifice FLY? Hello! He didn’t hit a fly ball.
    E: It just seems to me …
    B: Sacrifice bunts also do not count as at-bats. And when you get hit by a pitch … doesn’t count.
    E You don’t get any statistical notice for getting hit by a pitch?
    B: Like it never happened.
    E: I’m afraid to ask this: What happens if you reach on an error.
    B: That’s the beauty of this system. According to my new batting average, you’re out.
    E: But you’re not really out.
    B: I know. Isn’t it great?
    E: Why does this have to be so complicated?
    B: It’s batting average! It will take over the world!
    Last edited by mlbfan30; 03-10-2008 at 01:32 AM.

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    Re: Dusty Baker: Teflon Manager

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    Just for the record, Mantle, Mays Aaron, Ruth were all free swingers, and they did okay too.
    Sorry to burst your bubble, but Mantle and Ruth both drew a lot of walks. So did Gehrig.

    And no, I would never say Mays and Aaron were not great hitters...they were.
    ...the 2-2 to Woodsen and here it comes...and it is swung on and missed! And Tom Browning has pitched a perfect game! Twenty-seven outs in a row, and he is being mobbed by his teammates, just to the thirdbase side of the mound.

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    Re: Dusty Baker: Teflon Manager

    I want to get back to the Sheehan article on this post. If you know Sheehan, you know that he has been a Dusty hater since he's been writing. The title really says a lot, because when critics give someone else the title "teflon", it usually means that that person succeeds when their critics think they shouldn't. This was the case with Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Rudy Giulliani, Jim Carrey, Tom Cruise and many other public figures.

    The way I see it, Dusty Baker and his success really bothers Saber fans like Sheehan, because he consistently wins when all of Sheehan's calculations "prove" that he shouldn't. I mean how can a guy go to the playoffs 9 out of 14 years as a manager, when he doesn't know that OBP is the most important part of the game? It must be so frustrating to Joe, that I understand why he rants. If I kept saying that you can't make money by charging people $4 for a cup of coffee, I would be ranting about Starbucks and calling them the "Teflon" Coffee House too.

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    Re: Dusty Baker: Teflon Manager

    This reminds me of the time the Reds got Eric Milton and how much controversy over it. Someone said it was a good signing because no one else in the Reds rotation had 14 wins the previous season (the amount Milton had). He had a "winning" record. He's had success. Well, this is going to be one of those things. Lots of money for a high profile, over achieving manager.

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    Re: Dusty Baker: Teflon Manager

    Managing a baseball team is about more than just making out the line up and making pitching changes. The managing of the clubhouse and the personalities is Dusty's strength.
    I was in the ORG once, best 6 months of my life.

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    Re: Dusty Baker: Teflon Manager

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfanmia View Post
    Managing a baseball team is about more than just making out the line up and making pitching changes. The managing of the clubhouse and the personalities is Dusty's strength.
    Yep, The only negatives I have heard about Dusty comes from the media and fans. His players all love the guy.
    SECOND PLACE DOESN'T CONCERN ME

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    Re: Dusty Baker: Teflon Manager

    I've been a critic of Baker before, too. But I also have to give the guy props for winning, but just like any other manager in the history of the game, he has won because he had good players. And his strength seems to have been to get all his players on the same page. When you consider the managers we've had around lately, they weren't able to do that. If Baker can at least do that, then the team is that much better off.
    ...the 2-2 to Woodsen and here it comes...and it is swung on and missed! And Tom Browning has pitched a perfect game! Twenty-seven outs in a row, and he is being mobbed by his teammates, just to the thirdbase side of the mound.

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    Re: Dusty Baker: Teflon Manager

    I think Dusty baker is an overall Above Average Baseball Manager.

    As a Manager, he is GREAT. Managing players year-round, giving them pep-talks, keeping them motivated, massaging egos/kicking butt as needed per player/situation/dependencies/etc... he is probably in the top 2%.

    As a BASEBALL Manager, he is Below Average. Putting together a roster, putting players in the right position in the lineups to maximize their skills and the end result of victories, etc, he is sorely lacking on a number of fronts. He is Great at working with players on certain techniques, attitude, demeanor, etc, but metrics/statistics/etc WAY below average.

    However, I think his SUPERIOR People-Management helps overcome his Baseball Statistical inferiority, to make him an Above Average Manager. Not Great, not even Borderline Great. His players, on the majority, will probably have a better year, individually, if looked at in a vacuum. However, putting them all together in the right lineup, etc, will not help the TEAM.

    Can he take a talented team and get the most out of the INDIVIDUAL players to get them over the hump if they have been underacheiving? Yes. Can he take a talented team that is already doing well and/or a POTENTIALLY good team and get the most out of them as Individuals AND as a Team? My guess is probably not. Any gains he might get out of such a team at the individual level would be minimal compared to the potential damage he might bring to the team from a strategy/metrics/playing crappy veterans over potential youth perspective.

    Just my $.02

    If you think the Reds are a talented team that Underacheived last year, then you should have some hope. If you think the Reds SUCKED last year, and got better under Miley because he helped People Manage a lot better and only slightly in the strategy department, then you probably look at the lack of major changes to the 2008 roster and say Dusty Baker isn't going to get us over the hump in and off itself.

    PEACE

    -BLEEDS
    I think that in a year or two, one of these guys - Frazier, Dorn, Valaika, Cumberland, Stubbs - will be ready to replace Dunn. They won't hit as many home runs as Dunn, but they should have similar OPS. - 757690, July 22, 2008

    Alonso will be playing 1B for the REDS and batting 4th one year from today. - Kingspoint, July 9, 2009


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