DAYTON — Donnie Scott, whose tenure as manager of the Dayton Dragons lasted five years, will not return for a sixth.
This week, Scott was informed he would not be rehired by the parent Reds organization, for whom he has worked the last 19 seasons, usually as a manager of one of their low minor-league teams.
"I loved Dayton; it was a blast," said Scott from his Tampa-area home on Wednesday, Sept 24. He managed the Class A Midwest League Dragons from 2001-03, plus the past two seasons. Four of his teams made the playoffs, although none reached the championship round.
"Terry Reynolds (Reds director of development) called me, and he didn't talk very long," Scott said. "That's the decision they made. I've got to move on."
Reynolds still isn't talking much.
"We appreciate the work Donnie has done, and we wish him the best," said Reynolds, who is mulling possible replacements at the Reds Instructional League in Sarasota. He would not elaborate and said his first choice as a replacement would come from within the organization.
Scott said he didn't know if the brawl his team had with Peoria (Ill.) on July 24 had anything to do with his dismissal, although new Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty picked that day to get his first in-house glimpse of the Dragons.
"I don't know if that had anything to do with it," Scott said. "I think they just wanted to make a change."
On the night in question, the Dragons received national media attention from the fight after Scott demanded interim Peoria manager Carmelo Martinez to stop yelling at his players, and Martinez came out of the dugout to confront Scott. Benches emptied after Martinez shoved Scott.
Scott, who turned 47 last month, spent parts of four seasons as a catcher in the majors with Texas, Seattle and Cincinnati, his last stop, in 1991. Before that season was finished, he was hired by then-Reds General Manager Jim Bowden to be on the organizations' minor-league staff.
It was a dream organization for Scott, who grew up in Tampa when the Reds trained there. He became a devoted fan of Pete Rose and wore Pete's No. 14 with the Dragons.
He worked through three Reds ownership groups, four farm directors and four general managers. However, he was not asked to participate in the organization's Instructional League, which began Monday in Sarasota, a bad sign, since he lives about an hour away and usually does work with the most highly considered Reds prospects.
Scott's overall regular-season record with the Dragons was 360-336 (.517), and he managed only two losing seasons — 2003 (61-78) and this season (66-72) — although the 2003 team was the only one to miss the playoffs.
For the most part, he was hampered by a lack of quality prospects and the Reds' philosophy of developing players first and winning if they can. Still, he refused to say anything bad about the Reds.
"They did a lot for me," Scott said. "I'm just praying I get (another) job."