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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Another take on Dusty

I think a lot of Dusty Baker backlash came from Cubs fans. This column by Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune supports that theory.

I'd expect something on the other two coaches soon. One name I've heard is Chris Speier. He was on Baker's staff in Chicago. He's an infield guy.


at 3:34 PM Blogger RPA said...

my biggest fear about the dusty baker hiring is actually neatly summed up in the article:

"He let Sammy Sosa be Sammy Sosa, Moises Alou be Moises Alou and Kent Mercker be Kent Mercker. Enabling never looked quite so ugly."

i worry that he won't be able to get griffey and dunn to exert effort on a daily basis. since i fully expect them to both be on the roster next year (which i agree with - you can't get fair value for either of them... they won't bring nearly as much in trade as what they're actually worth due to perceptions about both players around the league) it's a matter of some concern.

also from the article:

"He was not guiltless here. He put too much faith in veterans who didn't deserve faith. Loyalty is one thing; loyalty to a LaTroy Hawkins is insanity."

will we see stanton (who needs to be dfa'ed RIGHT NOW) in the 8th next year instead of burton?

i still can't figure out how much of what happened in san francisco was baker and how much was brian sabean.

all i know is that if moises alou or neifi perez are in a reds uniform next year... i won't be going to any games.

if they aren't... then i think i might give baker a chance.

at 3:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Most of the backlash in this area is because the blogs and radio shows are full of racists. I say this and I am white. I suggest you stop replying to concerns from our kentucky bloggers.


at 4:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee Steve it sure is funny when you use bigotry as an example of bigotry. As a Columbia University graduate, Reds season ticket holder and Kentucky resident I can assure you that not all kentucky bloggers are redneck card carrying Klan members as you so eloquently alluded to in your post.

at 4:32 PM Blogger Phill said...

Steve, that is an unfair generalization. I'm not counting out racism as a means of people not liking Baker but it's not usually the prime motive. Usually people hate Dusty because they don't look the situation at the manager for themselves. They listen to whatever their favorite radio guy's opinion is and they take it as their own.

I'll say this much, I don't hate Dusty Baker, I'm not going gaga over him either. I'll wait to see what he does with the team when the games start up. If he seriously does replace Burton with Stanton in the 8th(unless Stanton is having a good season and Burton isn't) I'll probably have a fit over it. The only spot I can see him doing the veterans over young guys is in the bullpen. Hopefully he's just getting a bad rap for no reason and the Cubs' fans can get shut up when the Reds whoop on Cubs.

at 4:55 PM Blogger steve said...

I guess this now means pete wont be back. I just wish dusty would have got rid of berry and move his infield guy to third base coach and kept pete as bench coach. Also john what have you heard about johnny narron we he be back next year?

at 5:15 PM Anonymous Brendan said...

Steve, saying that everyone who thinks that the Baker hiring isn't a good fit is racist is ridiculous. Stupid comments like that lessen the value of legitimate claims of racism.

If you saw Baker in Chicago, you would understand why Reds fans worry about how much effort he will get from Griffey and Dunn. There's a reason all of these ex-players are saying how much they love playing for Baker..... he babies them!

at 6:05 PM Blogger Mark T said...

I doubt Adam Dunn needs much prodding - even though it don't appear so, I think he gives 100%. Look at the number of days off he's had, look at how he complained when Pete put in a late-inning replacement for him. The guy wants to be out there.

On the other hand, I don't get the impression that Griffey ever loses much sleep over what happens on the field.

at 6:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe players want to play for Dusty because he is a winner. Something the Reds haven't had for a long time. As for all the racism not being the main reason people in Reds country don't like Baker I can only ask what world you guys live in?

at 7:26 PM Blogger Shawn said...

Actually, race has nothing to do with why I don't like the Baker contract. Race is the best part of bringing in Dusty Baker, because the Reds have been too much of a "white-bread" organization for too long. However, Baker's record with young players does concern me, and is why I think someone else should have gotten the job.

at 7:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon Steve

You"re an idiot. So everybody that says anything against Dusty and if there from KY is a racist? Well, I'm white and from KY. And I think Dusty is a great hire. And again Steve you"re an idiot.

at 7:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to Mr. Morrisey's column. It's required reading for Reds fans and every Dusty Baker hater! He may not have made all the right moves in the Windy City, but hey, we're all human beings. If the front office can improve the pitching staff in the coming seasons, Dusty will do his part to turning around the losing culture in the clubhouse.

Jason in Charlotte

at 7:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets see I am an Idiot and the racist fool that has the writing ability of an infant likes Dusty. Thank god I am not from Kentucky.

at 9:18 PM Blogger Chris at Redleg Nation said...

I'm really not sure where this "it's because of Cubs fans" thing became the conventional wisdom, but let me dispell it, at least as to me.

I watched a lot of Cubs games when Baker managed there, because 18 of them a year were also Reds games, and because my wife is a Cubs fan. My own observation, at the time, was that Dusty Baker was a really flawed manager. I didn't need a Cub fan, or even Steve Stone to tell me that.

But even as a big picture thing, is it really valid to dismiss criticism of Baker simply because it came from fans of a certain team? Is criticism of Dave Miley or Bob Boone worthless because it comes from a Reds fan? Even though we haven't seen a winner in a decade? I hope not.

at 9:40 PM Anonymous Red Foley said...

What can he get out of
Griffey is also my main concern with Dusty Baker.

Did anyone watch the ESPN series "The Bronx is Burning"? I would have liked to have seen a Billy Martin type manager (Joe Girardi??) in here at least for a year until Griffey is gone. Maybe Griffey will respond to Baker, who knows. Just have to wait and see.

at 9:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve? Come down here to KY and talk that trash. Get out of your smug little person attitude and bring your small brain as well. Sure you are a CUBS fan as well.

at 9:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the way morons yell "racist" everytime someone disagrees with a minority hiring. The REAL "racist" is the idiot calling everyone else a racist.
I did not agree with the hiring because I thought there were better choices. Not for ANY other reason. But since Dusty is now the manager I support him 100% even though I still have my concerns. It has nothing to do with the color of his skin! It is how he handles the veterans and the very young players on this team. I wish him and the Reds the very best!
I just want them to win. I don't care what color or for that matter what gender they hire to manage the team as long as they win more than thay lose. GO REDS!!!!!

at 9:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Do you know of what maybe Dusty and the front office discussed personel wise? Did they make any promises of bringing veterans in or did they say that this is a team in a transition to younger players? I am just curious of what the presente as the direction of the team.

at 10:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are we still bangin' on Dunn and Griffey? Those guys could do everything and then some and people still whine and complain that they didn't do it fast enough or they didn't do it with a smile. If you got a gripe with them make it legit and not the casual "Oh they don't hustle like Freel or Rose'.

I would think the pitching would be the biggest gripe and complaint material.

at 11:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris Speier was a good shortstop in his day. But then so was Tim Foli and as I recall, no one was happy with his work when he was the infield coach.

I really do hope that Pole will at least get moved to bullpen coach and someone better takes over as pitching coach. I really don't think Pole related to the pitchers at all----as evidenced by the huge rise in ERAs from 06 to 07 by Arroyo, Belisle, Coffey and others.

Does management ever actually ask the players for their opinions anymore? I remember reading about the Big Red Machine, both Howsam and Anderson often asked certain players if they thought something would be a good idea

at 11:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow a threat from a Redneck Kentucky racist. I am shocked. I make it a point not to go down to Kentucky. It is full of way too many loser Rednecks. Its also always comical when people make their threats on the Internet. What a big man or girl. lol


at 11:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

what kind of a moderator would approve of Steve's insanely bigoted comment?

Also, the Baker hiring is the right thing to do. We got the guy management wanted and he will do well with the younger players of this team, just be patient. Fan backlash at this point is useless so just sit back and root them on like you normally would. Baker is the manager, if you dont like it, root for Boston and become bandwagon garbage. Just dont sob too much when the minor league talent develops in a few years and this team is a serious threat in the Central.


at 12:28 AM Blogger Mike Grayson said...

My three problems with Dusty:
1. He overuses the starters, not just in Chicago with Wood, Prior, and Clement, but before that in SF. He led the majors 2 out of 6 years in most pitchers left in to throw 130+ pitches in SF, 1998-2002. THis has been shown to be fact, yet he won't admit to any responsibility. Why not just say 'philospophy on # of pitches is evolving, and I will be more careful?
2. He doesn't understand how important OBP is. He has continually disliked walks, and trys to get his hitters to always put the ball in play. The Cubs were near the bottom in on base percentage every year he was there. Again, it would be nice to see the man realize that there is a direct correlation between runs scored and on base percentage.
3. Veteran preferance. In Cincinnati, we have 4 strong rookies that may come up next year: Votto, Bruce, Cueto, and Bailey. We need to give these 4 a real chance, while protecting the pitchers arms from injury.I agree that we need to stay away from Neifi Perez-like leadoff hitters with a .290 OBP in the #1 hole.

I LIKE Dusty's rapport with players, and his career winning percentage being over .500.

I am willing to give him a chance, on a short leash.

And I must say, between here and RedsZone, I have not seen any racist comments. To the contrary, I think folks are giving him more of a chance and are more hesitant to criticize due to his race.

at 8:49 AM Blogger kingseyeland said...

The moderator needs to wake up and stop posting all these ignorant comments that aren't even remotely related to baseball.

I came here for Reds content, not to watch gutless anonymous posters call each other names and bash people from Kentucky, as if there's a fundamental difference between someone from Cincinnati and someone from Newport. There isn't.

at 8:50 AM Blogger Hey Barry Larkin! said...

John, Didn't you say a couple months ago that you wouldn't post personal attacks on other posters? I think this racism thread is getting overblown. I enjoy reading your blog for your insight, and that of other fans. I don't need to read fools throwing around the "R" word and attacks on every other post.


at 8:57 AM Blogger Hey Barry Larkin! said...

Folks, can we please stop all the hateful personal attacks, and all the racism BS? People didn't like the Baker hiring because of critism (whether just or not) of his handling of young players and pitchers and criticism from angry Cubs fans. I myself did not like the hire originally, but after seeing the press conference, I've come around. Baker is the manager. Nothing will change that now, get behind him, or get behind another team. Remember, this is just a game. Peace.

at 10:00 AM Blogger Gene in WV said...

Sparky said it best. If Dusty has players, he will win. If he don't, he will not.

Same would have been true of Mac, and Sparky, for that matter.

I can think of no other sport where the coach, or , in this case, the manager, has less affect than in baseball.

Over the course of 162 games, the team with the best players will win most everytime, assuming injuries don't beset them.

I am not saying managers can't make some difference, I am just saying it is very minimal, especially where in game moves are concerned. All the moves in the world don't matter, if the player don't respond--especially true of pitchers.

A manager might "steal" 2 or 3 games a year, if he is really good. Two or three games won't help this team. Pete stole that many, and we still ended up 18 games below .500.

One thing I definitely like about the Dusty hiring is that we already know, and so do the players, that the same guy will be making out the lineups for the next three years. That gives him some leverage none of the managers have had for several years. Players can respond, or sit.

at 11:13 AM Blogger John Fay said...

last couple posters were correct -- too much race debate, too many attacks. We're done. No more will be posted hopefully.

I'm on vacation. Blog will be a little lean for a week.

at 4:02 PM Anonymous CHEVIOT SPORTS AUTHORITY said...

What is Larry Bowa doing? Always liked him. Too bad Davey Concepcion never learned to speak much English.

at 8:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Krivsky and Castellini were satisfied with Baker's comments on the Wood and Prior situations, then I'm satisfied. I'm willing to bet that Dusty learned a lot from what happened to Wood and Prior, and he can't be immune to the criticism that came from it.

As for the guy who suggested Larry Bowa, are you kidding me? Have you ever seen him manage? My roomate a few years ago was a huge Phillies fan and one of my biggest joys was watching Larry Bowa make dumb moves that lost games. And it happened over and over and over... He might have good rapport with players, but Bowa's in-game choices probably cost the Phillies 2-3 games per month.


at 8:41 PM Blogger John Fay said...

bowa was coaching third for the Yankees.
the two other coaches will be dusty guys, I think. Concepcion's English in fine. That's just a silly thing to say, especially when Spanish is the first language of half the infield

at 9:25 PM Blogger Hugh D. Pohl said...

The idea that someone has to work to get Griffey and Dunn to play hard or well is one of the most assinine comments I hear on Reds's blogs. Didn't anybody see the seasons they had? They don't need to be treated like babies. I never can understand why people think that being a hard-ass is what makes people productive. I've never seen it in the real world. Some intense "leaders" may succeed because of their other skills but it is usually in spite of being hard-asses, not BECAUSE of it.

at 11:06 PM Blogger Gene in WV said...

Hugh D. Pohl,

Here, here!!

"nuff said.

at 2:32 AM Blogger Phill said...

I wouldn't think Concepcion's English would be that bad for the English speaking guys and it'd be good seeing as, John pointed out, half the infield is spanish speaking.

I don't believe Davey would take a job here though. Not for lack of wanting it but he's got his own business back in Venezuela. It'd be great to see him holding a position in the organization but I just don't see that happening.

at 7:05 AM Blogger cincikid said...

How about Barry Larkin?

I don't know what kind of relationship Baker and Larkin have but it's possible to think that they could be friends and we are really talking about a low pressure bench position where Larkin can get back in a uniform and become a leader in this city once agian. Just a thought!

at 10:07 AM Anonymous CHEVIOT SPORTS AUTHORITY said...

No one was suggesting that Larry Bowa manage the team, but he sure could provide a bit of intensity.

John, You are right about Concepcion's Spanish being an asset. My idea of Concepcion is even better than I first thought. Sometimes I just amaze myself with my own intellect. I guess he wouldn't be interested in coaching?

at 11:35 AM Blogger Phill said...

I'm not sure how long he's going to be there but he's been working with the Washington Reds doing I don't even know. I know he's off in Europe teaching people to play baseball or something. So probably in some player development job. Yet another guy I think it'd be great to get into the organization again but don't think it could happen for awhile.

at 11:55 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that Oakland hired its new bench coach, the new Royals staff is complete and it seems that Dusty will be bringing in "his guys" to complete his coaching staff, what spot would be available to Mackanin in the Red's organization, as Krivsky promised.

at 1:54 AM Blogger Phill said...

Probably reverting back into the scouting type thing. He didn't say he would have a job with the Reds as a coach. He said he would have a job within the organization.

at 11:30 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

When he was managing here in Chicago, when the winning stopped Dusty started talking about other things. Things that had nothing to do with baseball, trying to change the subject, trying to get peoples mind off the obvious, the team was losing, and his magic was gone. Yes, he babies players, and doesn't require 100% effort. Cubs players this year had a hard time adjusting because of the huge difference between Pinnella and Baker. Players realised Dusty was more of a friend then a manager. There was a lot of loseing in those first few months, then things got better. It took a while to get past Dusty, and move on.

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