Saturday, October 5, 2013

Reds make the right decision in firing Dusty Baker

Yesterday, the Cincinnati Reds fired manager Dusty Baker. Now, I'm not one of those guys who bash Dusty Baker. I think he's a good manager. He knows baseball. He's a fine teacher. He's a good man. According to, Baker stood up for batting coach Brook Jacoby when Reds GM Walt Jocketty wanted to fire him. Allegedly, Baker said, "If you want to fire someone, fire me." And maybe that gave Jocketty cover to fire Baker. According to the story, It certainly didn't sound like Jocketty was happy with Baker at the end of this year.

But was it the right decision? Yes. The Reds didn't hit with runners in scoring position. So dumping Jacoby was correct. However, some of the Reds offensive woes belong to Dusty Baker. The Reds played like him. Laid back. In 2010, the Reds had a leader in third baseman Scott Rolen. But since then, there were no leaders in the clubhouse. If there's no leader in the clubhouse, then the manager must lead the team. After being swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the last three games of the season, I had no faith they would win a one game playoff. The team looked lifeless. Someone needed to fire them up. And without leaders, the spark must come from the manager. Dusty should have thrown some tables, do what the manager in the movie Bull Durham did. Throw the team in the showers, and read them the riot act.

Dusty Baker is a good manager. He deserves better. But he's not the right man for the Reds at this juncture. He would be great for a Reds team that had a leader like the 1999 Reds. I hope he and the Reds find a happier future.

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