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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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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Could it be Baker?

I've been chasing the managerial thing again today. The one thing I've been able to learn definitively is the club has at least talked to Dusty Baker.

Baker makes sense in a lot of ways: He's has a lot big league experience. He was the manager of the year in NL three times. He's won -- 1,142-1,041 career record, 88 wins or more eight times in 14 years.

Baker's agent hasn't called me back. I've got a message into Baker himself in a convoluted way. I'll update if I can get more.


at 2:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, please no. Please Lord...nooooooooo!!!!

Griffey and Baker on the same team? I'm sure that would be swell.

at 2:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone is better then Pete so this would be good news.

at 2:47 PM Blogger Shawn said...

Baker would be a disaster in Cincinnati. He has only won when he had the best player in baseball, Barry Bonds, and the Cubs declined every year with him in charge and didn't recover until this year when Lou Piniella took over.

at 2:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't like Dusty Baker, but that doesn't mean the players won't respond to him. I don't think managers really make that much of a difference anyway. Definitely not as much as a football or basketball coach.

at 2:53 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Not surprised at all. Runs a great clubhouse, almost universal respect, if not reverence, from the players, had a track record of winning in San Fran with inferior talent, genuinely decent guy.

Forget Chicago. Sometimes a stop is not a fit. Who remembers Stengel with the Dodgers? Who remembers Zimmer with the Padres? Who remembers Tanner with the Braves?

Who remembers the Germans at Pearl Harbor?

Honestly, the role of manager is about being the right type of approach/personality to fit with your team, talent and clubhouse. See Torre with the Yankees; see Piniella with Devil Rays, etc.

This hire would not bother me in the least, but no doubt some of you will scream about the usage of Wood (who was already injured before Baker) and Prior.

Remember: the pitcher can always say when he's gassed. Did anyone think less of Arroyo for coming out early a few times this year? Seems smart, just like it seems dumb to say you're good-to-go if you're not.

And if it's Baker, look for big changes on the coaching staff. Might Rothschild come south again?

at 2:54 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

If you think Griffey and Baker will clash, then you know nothing about Dusty Baker. Zero.

at 2:54 PM Blogger George said...

No way. Just a mandated interview. Baker might just be worse than Bob Boone.

at 2:56 PM Blogger Brad said...


Please tell me you accidentally smoked crack and this isn't true. Please....

Dusty baker will pull a Kerry Wood on Homer Bailey.....

at 2:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Homer Bailey, meet Mark Prior

at 3:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope Dusty can find his tooth picks and his sweat bands..They haven't been seen in his EESPN appearances

at 3:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just talking with a Reds insider BEGGING, PLEADING: "NO DUSTY BAKER."
His commentary on ESPN is even LAZY.
Can't we all donate a buck to get Geradi here?
I'll take Geradi light with Oster -- someone to light the fire!

at 3:15 PM Anonymous Monroe said...

Dusty Baker is all about veterans, which doesn't exactly seem like the direction the Reds should be going.

at 3:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buck up for Girardi ???

If Baker gets anywhere near what he got in Chicago, he will be a Top 3-5 manager in pay !

The Reds coulg get Girardi & a full staff for what they will need to pay Baker !

at 3:16 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buck up for Girardi ???

If Baker gets anywhere near what he got in Chicago, he will be a Top 3-5 manager in pay !

The Reds coulg get Girardi & a full staff for what they will need to pay Baker !

at 3:22 PM Anonymous USEYOURBRAIN said...


at 3:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


If this is true it's like the Reds thought of the manager they needed and then picked the exact opposite guy.

at 3:25 PM Blogger Exiled No More said...

Why on earth would the Reds want Bailey, Harang, ect to throw 135 pitches per game? Do they seriously not know about Baker's proclivity to overuse his starting pitchers?

at 3:26 PM Blogger Exiled No More said...

I wonder if Homer Bailey's agent has already demanded a trade? I know I would.

at 3:37 PM Blogger yermyboyblue said...


at 3:38 PM Blogger Rob said...

Isn't a bit of a leap to go from knowing the Reds have talked to the most obvious person out there that meets MLB's "you must interview a minority" quota to "Baker may be favored for the job"?

at 3:43 PM Anonymous rickNmd said...

Not if Girardi doesn't want the job. He's had an opportunity for half a dozen jobs and skipped them all and he'd leave the second he could get to New York or Chicago. Pass. You don't want us, we don't want you.

at 3:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe Torre!!!! That is all that needs to be said. The players will follow!!!

at 3:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this happens, it proves that Castellini is more interested in a big name vs a good fit.

Krivsky will have a tough time dealing with such a tenured and stubborn manager...especially one that likes to speak openly to the press ( a Krivsky "no no" !), about all issues.

My opinion only, not the right man for the Reds & its fans.

at 3:54 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Baker would be my last choice. From yesterday's list I put forth (some even with very little chance but mentioned by other posters), I'd take Baker last.

I'd rather see any of the following:

Hell I'd take Narron back over Baker. Please John use your pull to get this taken care of and let anyone but Baker manage.

As others have stated, he didn't win with Bonds, the Cubs declined each year with him as a manager. He doesn't seem to work well with the younger players.


at 3:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Baker is the choice, I'll spend my money elsewhere. I will buy the season tickets I have loyally purchased for Reds games for the last 20 years for myself and my employees to go see the Cleveland Indians instead next season. My employees and the Reds fans deserve better. Maybe they (Castellini) can afford to lose another large group of season tickets, after all the price of vegetables is rising.Can you say another losing season and a nearly empty stadium by the middle of next season? It is where things are headed if this bonehead hiring comes to pass. If Baker is the alternative PLEASE bring back Pete!

at 4:01 PM Anonymous Brendan T. said...

Just what the Reds need, a manager known for babying his stars and overworking his pitchers! I mean watching Griffey and Dunn not hustling for years hasn't been enough, let's throw some trips to the DL for Harang and Arroyo on top of it.

Seriously, this is the management group that was supposed to save the franchise???????????

at 4:07 PM Blogger DOUGLAS said...

When Dusty Baker was manager of the Cubs he once sent 2 guys out to CF without knowing it. Dusty Baker would be a dumber, more laid back version of Boone/Miley. Please God Lord no Dusty Baker.

Then again since our LF hardly ever knows where he is actually playing having Dusty might be fitting.

at 4:13 PM Blogger tom dunne said...

What has people so hung up on Joe Girardi? He managed for one season, guiding the Marlins to a losing record, and then was fired because he couldn't get along with his front office. He was given an award for getting a very talented team to suck a little less than they might have otherwise (but still worse than their 'Pythagorean' expected wins-losses), which might as easily have been pure dumb luck.

He's not a "big name", not a "proven winner", and he's almost certainly not interested in cashing in his current street cred for a gig with the woe-begotten Cincinnati Reds when he can possibly step into the same position with the Yankees.

On the other hand, he's almost certainly better than Dusty "Bad Arm" Baker...

at 4:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe the ignorance of these comments. Baker has a successful proven track record as a major league manager. Whether he's the right fit for this young team is certainly a question mark, but he's more than capable of handling the job. If they hire him, the onus is on ownership to get him the PITCHING this team needs.
Jason in Charlotte, NC

at 4:20 PM Anonymous johnnybenchhands said...

Baker would be a bad choice, in my opinion. He had problems coaching even as a Giants manager. I think he tends to gamble alot in his coaching decisions. I will admit though - I'd take Baker before I'd take Pete Jr. BTW, is Pinella getting ousted in Chicago yet? Maybe Lou would come back...

at 4:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a good thing we have Mike Brainless Brown in town else the Reds would really look insanely stupid.

Why the hell can't the idiots in the front office wait to see whether Torre will become available?

And why Dusty Baker? He's crap. I'd rather have Macknarron back.

at 4:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this because idiot Krivsky pissed off Bucky Dent!

Wayne the loser + Dusty the moron = more losing seasons for the Reds.


at 4:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dusty Baker is a waste of time and money.

at 4:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Redlegs thinks it is a good idea. Why am I not surprised! Anything that Castellini and Krivsky do are just fine with him. Could he actually work for the Reds or even be the long lost son of Mr. Castellini? Makes one wonder. And lets face it anyone who has a different idea than Mr. Redlegs is ALWAYS wrong. Baker as the Reds next manager is a terrible idea and anyone who thinks different is not using their gray matter. Please, NO DUSTY BAKER!

at 4:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Reds hire ANYONE before they find out about Joe Torre's availability that would be further proof of Castellini's and Krivsky's utter and total incompetence.

at 4:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously, whoever is lobbying for "Kurt" Gibson.

Don't you mean Kirk Gibson??????

at 4:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dusty Baker has a successful track record as an overpaid mediocre big-league manager with zero world series rings.

Joe Torre is 1,000 times better than Baker.

Baker will be 10 times more expensive than Mackanin.

Stupid Reds (if they hire Baker for any reason but especially before Torre re-ups with the Yanks or becomes available).

If Torre becomes available, the Reds need to pay anything to get him.

at 4:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Baker's track record includes 103 wins in 1993, 90 in 1997, 89 in 1998, 97 wins in 2000, 90 in 2001, 95 in 2002, 88 wins his 1st year with the Cubs - and only Steve Bartman away from the World Series, and 89 wins his 2nd year there.

He was named NL manager of the year 3 times, I believe it is.

Is there a reason that this track record allegedly stinks????

at 4:47 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

at 1:54 PM Mr. Redlegs said...
If you think Griffey and Baker will clash, then you know nothing about Dusty Baker. Zero.
-----------------------------------Wasn't it Baker that allowed Bonds to bring in his own furniture, entourage & "flaxseed"? It's a star player's dream come true !

at 4:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It "could" be anyone at this point - this smells of the "we don't know what's happening but say something anyway" school of thought.
Also - Dusty Baker is a better manager than we saw in Chicago. He didn't win there, but put some blame on the organization too - especially for those arm problems. That started in the minors.
I like the "hire a young up and comer" route, personally.

at 4:57 PM Anonymous El Teejo said...


BRILLIANT!!!!!!! I have been saying that all week to anyone who can listen. Kirk Gibson would be a great choice.

It's obvious, and I am so glad someone else was thinking that.

at 4:58 PM Blogger VikingCountry said...

You can not just name available managers and say the Reds should hire them without factoring if they would ever want to come to Cincinnati. Joe Torre was paid $7 million this season! There is no way he would take less, and no way the Reds would pay that. So forget about Joe Torre. If the yankee job opens up, Girardi I am sure would much rather go to NY if he could.

at 5:07 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Dusty Baker: 10 years with the Giants, three playoff trips, 1st or second six times, 3-time NL Maanger of the Year, players love playing for him, even revere him.

But all some of you can do is look at the Cubs years, and how he used Wood and Prior in Sept. of 2003 as they were driving toward the pennant. Without them the Cubs are no where near the playoffs.

Funny, no one wascomplaining about that postseason berth at the time.

And I don't recall either pitcher refusing to take the ball. They could have said no at any time, like Arroyo did several times this year.

Wood was broken down before Baker and the Cubs did an awful job with his rehab and recovery. He had elbow problems at the end of '98, didn't shut down, then blew out his arm in spring training of '99.

Where was Baker? With the Giants.

Then, he came back in 2000 and way too early. Worst, he never corrected his violent delivery, which scouts and doctors had been warning about before he was drafted.

Where was Baker? With the Giants.

But hey, don't let the facts get in the way of your rant.

at 5:09 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Hey Anon 3:28, anyone who doesn't look up the facts and/or know the backdrop of their rant aren't using their gray matter.

at 5:19 PM Blogger unblogger said...

The only draw back to Dusty is that he blew out Woods and Prior's arms. To me that seems like a plus, since he is a very intelligent man, and I assume has learned from this.
That is what most posters don't understand, that managers can learn from their mistakes and get better.
Dusty was three time manager of the year, and he wins everywhere he goes.
C.Trent broke down the two most important skills a mangager must have, I agree with him.
1) manage the game, pitch by pitch
2) manage the players and the clubhouse.

Dusty gets and A in my book on both counts and probably an A+ on the second.
I would love to see him as the next Reds manager.

at 5:22 PM Blogger Patrick said...

Please god not Dusty Baker.

at 5:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

To add insult to pitching injury, remember that Dick Pole was Baker's bench coach with the Cubs.

at 5:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dusty? that's means we will see Neifi Perez as our opening day shortstop.

at 5:30 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Did Bonds perform for Baker? Uh, yeah. Big time even before steroids. So what else matters? The man played at some of the highest levels in history. Can you objectively say Bonds ever loafed under Baker?

Players LOVE working for Baker, just as they do Torre. That's because Baker respects them, he nurtures them and they always know where they stand with him. He doesn't need the papers or dugout explosions or public spats to make his points to the players. He takes care of in his office.

Here's another small detail: 14 years managing, only four losing seasons, having won 2,204 games, a .527 percentage.

Look at those numbers again. Some of the Giants teams had no business at the top of the division.

But some of you want a Girardi-type because he's a yelling and screamer. See where it got him, right? And where it will get him 2-3 years into his next job.

at 5:31 PM Blogger rls said...

I agree that Dusty would be a disaster. He is not a thinking
manager. He not good at strategy and constantly makes questionable moves.Steve Stone exposed him as such on an almost daily basis.

at 5:34 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Opps, sorry. Baker has won 1,162 games. He's managed 2,204 games. I should really use bifocals when looking at small stats on the screen. Gray matter issue and being old, fat and bald, et al.

Even though I have all my hair.

at 5:41 PM Blogger rls said...

I agree that Dusty would be a complete disaster. He definitely
was in Chicago. He is a terrible strategically as pointed out almost daily by Steve Stone. This would be a huge mistake.

at 5:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


at 6:02 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sporting News (May 20, 2006)

"The Cubs have had key injuries that nobody can deny; it's not easy to deal with the two most brittle pitchers of this era, Mark Prior and Kerry Wood. What happened to D-Lee was more enormous bad luck.

However, they have had something even more than bad luck, and that is bad leadership, bad fundamentals, and a ridiculously laissez-faire attitude about everything that goes on with this team.

Dusty gets abused to no end in Chicago, and a lot of times, criticism of the manager is completely unjustified. Sometimes, though, it's warranted. This is one of those times.

The Cubs play with very little energy, according to just about everyone outside of their locker room. Of course, Dusty Baker would disagree with that notion. Go figure!

Worse, the Cubs play what I call "dummy down baseball." They are about the only team that would bunt down 5-3 on Thursday with two outs in the ninth inning, and runners on 1st and 3rd. Of course, if Neifi Perez was on my team, maybe I would do the same thing. Then again, I wouldn't have Neifi Perez anywhere near my bat rack at that time of the game, at least not this year.

There are countless wild pitches, errors, missed assignments and mystifying decisions. One such decision: On a team starved for offense, Baker sat one of his "better" hitters in Jacque Jones on Friday. I know the Cubs were going against Mark Buehrle, but Jones has always hit the White Sox well. And even though it's a lefty-lefty match up, Baker desperately needed another bat in your lineup, not in the dugout.

These are just a couple of recent examples of what "Cub-dumb" has had to deal with over the last three years. I know Baker was the most popular manager in the world in San Francisco, but remember who he had to build his team around.

I think his name is Barry Bonds. Baker completely screwed up Game 6 and 7 of the World Series in Anaheim by yanking Russ Ortiz way too early for a tired reliever. There were a couple of bad decisions with the lineup in the deciding game.

Not to mention a huge bullpen mistake or three when the Cubs were choking away a World Series appearance on that fateful night while trying to put away the Marlins."

at 6:05 PM Blogger jtneuge said...

I never understand why people are always wanting a manager thats gonna yell and scream at the players. These players are grown men. They don't need people getting up in their face screaming at them. They aren't kids. How would you respond if your boss at work screamed at you and made a fool of you every time you messed up? Exactly, most of us would think the guys is a moron.

A head coach screaming at players, to me, seems like it would alienate the players. Now a coach that respects the players, thats a coach that works. All the animosity towards Baker doesn't make sense, all the guy does is when. But if the Reds win, what would you all have to complain about?

at 6:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. RedLegs, why don't you stay in your basement with your mother and just shut up! Alot of people are really tired of your ranting and raving and talking out of your butt as if you know baseball when it is clear you know nothing at all. You were probably the little fat kid in little league who never got into the game and now you want to prove to everyone how smart you are. Your post prove you know less than most of the people posting on this site. What are you some stat geek? The fact is BAKER would be a TERRIBLE choice. If you are too slow to understand that, I really feel sorry for you. Don't let the facts get in YOUR way. Some of us actually played the game. It is one thing to disagree with others but you don't have to be such an ass about it!

at 6:11 PM Blogger yermyboyblue said...


at 6:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

JOHN FAY!!!!!!!!!!!

I know you have connections to Wayne Krivsky and Bob Castellini.........

get in touch with them and warn them of the FAN UPROAR if they hire Dusty Baker.... This team is at a crossroads, and the LAST THING THEY WOULD WANT TO DO IS GET THE FANS AGAINST THEM AFTER THIS PAST SEASON.

and bring up the Homer, Cueto, Maloney blown out arms....

cus theres no way around it...

and why would we want someone worse than DAVE MILEY WHEN IT COMES TO BABYING THE LIKES OF DUNN AND GRIFFEY.


there is a reason why Dusty Baker is on ESPN. He belongs there.

at 6:18 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Redlegs would never question a move his boys Wayne and Bob make. Mr. Redlegs is right about everything and everyone else is wrong about everything. Mr. Redlegs is sooooo annoying and completely out of touch .

at 6:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you crying, Anon 5:07? Are you crying? There's no crying when blogging about baseball!

at 6:25 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

The aforementioned Sporting News article is not an article written by a sports writer or an objective viewpoint, but a fan's blog post on TSN.com. The follow-up to the blog writer:

DFH, you're a knucklehead

at 6:26 PM Anonymous jc said...

i find it baffling and hard to believe that dusty baker would be the next manager of the reds. his abuse of young arms in chicago is well documented. the fact that it seems so unlikely.... and would be something that would make me sick to my stomach means that there is a great chance that it will happen.

at 6:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could not think of a worse fit for this team right now than toothpick chompin' Dusty. No!

at 6:33 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I don't know Baker. I was impressed by his record when I looked it up. Also talked Rich Aurilia today. He raved about Baker. '"any team would be lucky to have him."

at 6:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


It sounds like you are being asked to "pave the road" for Dusty's arrival ? Is this a done deal ?

at 6:40 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Yes, I'm really out of touch having been a sports writer on the national level for almost 30 years and a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America since 1985.

Fact is, I make my points, I use facts, history and personal experiences. I'm in the clubhouse, at BP, at spring training, in fairly close contact with MLB assignments until NFL training camp opens.

And all some of you can do, behind your veils of extreme anonymity, is say, "Oooo, ooo, you agree with everything Wayne and Bob do. Oooo-oooo."

Hey, call it crazy, but what makes so many fans the self-inflicted experts?

They get their sports information each day from the very people who write it for them for a living. Ironic.

at 6:46 PM Blogger Patrick said...

This city is so racist. RACIST I TELL YOU.

at 6:57 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Asked by whom? I don't think it's a done deal.

at 7:01 PM Anonymous rickNmd said...

I think it's hilarious some of you supposedly diehard fans are saying you'd give up your tickets or never attend another game if Dusty Baker is hired.

That might be a historical first because I can't recall a team ever having attendance decline because of the manager nor has has attendance ever increased because of the manager.

at 7:08 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I don't think race is an issue here. People on this blog hate managers regardless of race Girardi, Torre, Brenly would get ripped too.

Mr. R do I know you?

at 7:10 PM Blogger Patrick said...

I was being sarcastic

at 7:16 PM Blogger Ashland ATeam said...

I love the anonymous posters. I wonder who they are - seriously.

These comments are just inane. Dusty Baker has won everywhere he's gone, and the knocks on him are myths. And I love the Sporting News article - find me a manager, and I'll find you someone that didn't like him and wrote something negative.

Dusty Baker's a winner. Period. The Reds don't win. Period.

We'd be lucky to have him.

at 7:18 PM Anonymous Rob From Chicago said...

Mr. Redlegs,

Dusty has won 1162 games with a .527 winning percentage;
He has finished first 3 times. All good.

His last three years with the Cubs;
89 wins - .549
79 wins - .488
66 wins - .407

What makes you think Dusty's best days are WAY in his past?

at 7:19 PM Blogger athleticdirector05 said...

Dusty Freaking Baker.....are they serious? Now it looks as if the Reds are at a serious crossroads here. I know that Kriv doesn't really pay attention to the public opinion too much, but there will be (and already is) an outroar on this if it happens. Seriously, if they do this we can wave bye bye to Harang, Arroyo, Homer, etc..... When approached about a managerial search in the offseason when they dismissed Narron, Bob said he would be heavily involved in the managerial search and that they would pick the best candidate to manage the reds, that price would not be a factor. If they hire Baker, they are stating that he is better than LaRussa, better than Torre, better than Gerardi, and better than McKannin. Wow! But it does follow a pattern here. Last year, they decided that Narron was better than Sweet Lou as well and that the organization is better off without having Jocketty in it. It follows a very dark pattern for Reds following, and hopefully they will listen to the people who pay the bills. Dusty Freaking Baker... If they really follow through with this, I will say to the Reds Don't Freaking Bother!

at 7:19 PM Blogger Patrick said...

Mr. Redlegs

* Age: 47
* Gender: Male
* Astrological Sign: Gemini
* Zodiac Year: Rat
* Occupation: Redlegs Pontificator
* Location: Reds Country, USA!

30 years? So you started writing nationally at the age of 17 eh?

at 7:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Redlegs: Sports Writer.

(So much of one that he's posting on a blog written by a REAL sports writer...as he said, ironic.)

He mentions Mark Prior and Kerry Wood, but is his memory long enough to remember Rod Beck? Or Russ Ortiz? Or Kirk Reuter? Guess not. Baker's only defense is that he won in San Francisco with Bonds, Kent and not much else.

He drove his pitching staffs into the ground every year with no apparent concern how the effects would limit them in years to come. He left starters in too long (see the Bartman game in Chicago in '03 or Ortiz in the '02 World Series for reference), and virtually killed Rod Beck's arm trying to win the West in '93.

He's not shown the willingness to work with young players over the years, has very little patience, and seems perplexed or disinterested when his teams aren't playing well.

I'm done with the "big-name manager" talk. Bring me Terry Pendleton, Kirk Gibson, Joey Cora or anyone willing to put a plan in place, win (or lose) while building with young players, all the while being a teacher and mentor to those players. Perhaps one who has the smarts to do the little things and perform like a National League team should.

And I thought the Bengals were in trouble...

at 7:26 PM Blogger yermyboyblue said...


at 7:27 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

John, probably only by name unless you have a really good memory. McCoy introduced us a few years back. I've been writing for a national publication since The National folded. I try to see the Reds a couple of times a year (except this year) and, obviously, I've seen you around at those times. Unless I'm working on a piece I leave the beat guys to do their job.

I'm not from Cincinnati; I grew up in Washington, D.C., and became a huge Reds fan as a teenager when the Senators moved to Texas. My dad and I just couldn't become Orioles fans. Just couldn't.

I'll send you an e-mail about Baker. I've got some stuff you might be able use.

at 7:33 PM Anonymous Trev said...

I know it's not brain surgery to manage a MLB team, but I remember Baker messing up a double switch. I searched for the story on the internet and found. Follow the link, but get this. It was Jerry Narron who caught him doing it improperly. Bring back Jerry, please!!

at 7:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Race is not an issue. The way in which the team makes decisions is an issue. The Reds can afford Torre, and they would be foolish to settle for Baker instead of Torre. Once Torre is gone, then make a hiring decision. I don't want Baker and I'm sure we'll never go to the playoffs until Castellini and Krivsky are long gone but at least if these knuckleheads would try to appear as if they really want to do what's best for the team, it would be so much easier to take. There's absolutely no excuse to hire anyone at this point given Torre's possible firing by the Yanks.

at 8:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny that racism is brought up at the end. I think Baker has his own racial issues. I don't think he's a racist, but I do think he prefers black players over white players.

And granted, the Reds, thankfully, do not have anyone near as virulant as Barry Bonds (no matter what some of you think of Griffey). But looking at how much Bonds got away with under Baker's watch----how Bonds essentially separated himself from the rest of the team----you have to wonder how much Baker will be willing to get the team unified. The Reds do have a lot of strong personalities. If the manager can't get them on the same page, the season is already lost

at 8:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 5:07 is right on the money. I agree with you 100%. Just because you write about baseball does not mean you have a clue about how to PLAY the game. Oh yes as a former player and scout (40 years) I still have many contacts in the game and I can tell you that most professional people in the game don't think much of Baker as a manager regardless of his past record. I don't know where you get your information from but you might want to expand your circle of contacts. I also wondered if Anon 5:19 is Mr. Redlegs mother?
Just a thought. John, for the most part you have very intelligent folks who post on your blog, but is it not time to stop all of the cutting each others ideas down on this site and let EVERYONE express their ideas without being made to feel like they are stupid by so called professionals like Mr. Redlegs? I for one really enjoy hearing what ALL the Reds fans are thinking. It makes your blog much more interesting. Keep up the good work, I really enjoy your columns and this site for the most part. But PLEASE Mr. Castallini, do not bring Dusty Baker to Cincinnati.It is not a good fit. And just to make it extremely clear It has nothing to do with race. I happen to think like many Reds fans that there are much better choices for this young club. Mr.Redlegs, may you and everyone else on this site have a wonderful evening. Don't get so excited. There are much greater problems in this world than who the next Reds manager is going to be. Calm down, before someone has a stroke. God bless you all!

at 8:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey John - didn't you reference old demented Mr. Redlegs as being the voice of a "typical fan" in an article this past summer? Now it turns out he's some kind of "journalist" like you? Couldn't you have at least referenecd a real fan instead of your own peer masquearding as a fan when trying to make your angle/case/story? I mean there's tens of thousands of fans out there and you chose him - one of your own - to prove your point? What does that say about your own credibility?

at 9:10 PM Blogger Phill said...

John, any way you can turn off the anonymous comments? Makes it more fun to know if it's more than just one person who really really hates Dusty Baker.

I don't know a lot of about Baker personally. I know he's been a winning manager...one could say oh I dunno proven. He's been blamed for the Cubs' pitchers being made of glass.

Everyone seems to want Girardi....who had one year that wasn't good. He only got manager of the year because of who the team was and what the team had as far as being full up of rookies. He's unproven, already turned down offers from Baltimore, and was fired in part for conflicts with the front office.

I see people saying that Mr. RL is being a yes man for Krivdog and Bobbo but all he's doing is presenting facts. If you disagree with what he says then prove what he says wrong not just go "wah wah you are sticking up for them again."

I don't know who I want as a manager.I don't pay attention enough to how other managers act in certain situations except I do know I don't want La Russa. Not whatsoever.

All I see is people throwing out names without any real reasons. That is real reasons as to one why they would come and manage the Cincinnati Reds and two, what they would do for the club as opposed to the other possible 'candidates.'

Also the Gibson fan...it's KIRK Gibson...and I don't know what he did that you love so much(in coaching.) I mean really does the bench coach have any impact on the game except filling in for the manager when they can't be there or are ejected.

at 9:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John & Mr. Redlegs,

Please put an asterisk next to that 1,162 games won. He did have the biggest homerun cheater in baseball playing for him.

John I'm a big fan, and read your blog everyday......and I hope to are just messing with us.

On the bright side, if every starter threw till the 8th inning we wouldn't need a bullpen.:)

at 9:16 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

if mr. redlegs thinks the reds should hire dusty, then i'm completely sold that it's the wrong idea and they should not.

at 9:23 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Would Baker be my first choice? Probably not.

Would he be the worst choice? Absolutely not.

But if the Reds want an established manager, he's the best available. Torre and La Russa weree never factors, except only perhaps in Castellini's Christmas wishes and some knuckleheads.

at 9:24 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Patrick, if you paid attention, I was 47 this year, last year and the year before.

Ms. R has been 29 for I dunno how many years, over and over, like Groundhog Day.

at 9:38 PM Blogger Ashland ATeam said...

This whole debate, along with all these comments, goes to show how little Reds fans know about baseball. I'm actually embarrassed to be a Reds fan right now - here are some facts:

- The Reds won 72 games in 2007.

- The Reds finished in 5th place in the worst division in baseball in 2007.

- Cincinnati is more of football town than baseball town.

- The Reds are small-market, and our highest paid player is over the hill.

- The Reds have a total of four good pitchers. Four. On a staff of eleven.

Why would any good manager want to come here, let alone Hall of Famers Torre and La Russa? Dusty Baker's career speaks for itself, and he's a winner. If the Reds get him, he's more than they deserve.

at 9:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John thanks for standing up for those of us who have been accused of being racist just because we've spoken out against hiring Baker.

I'd be happy if the Reds gave Billy Hatcher a chance or how about Joe Morgan (I realize neither is likely but I'm just trying to establish some other minority candidates that would be better received by Reds fans than Baker). There are probably other minority candidates that would do well at the job too.

I realize Dusty has a winnning record, but when you look at the makeup of the Reds you can see that the majority of the players that will be with the Reds beyond 2008 are all fairly young guys (Bailey, Burton, Bruce, Cueto, Encarnacion, Hamilton, Phillips, Votto) and while he is credited with working well with established veterans his work with younger players is in question.

Whether or not the Wood and Prior issues are his fault or just bad luck, it still occurred on his watch so it is not a positive for him either way.

-- Redbeard

at 9:57 PM Blogger yermyboyblue said...

Hey Phill, at some point an organization has to be ahead of the game and have some foresight. Definitely a team like the Reds. There's a reason the Twins have been good for so long. They have the foresight to see when a player, or in this case a manager, will be outstanding. You are probably like all the other sheep (including Wayne and Bob) who want the "big name" manager. K I R K will be great for whoever eventually hires him. ps -this is not his Mom.

at 9:57 PM Anonymous rickNmd said...

Anonymous 6:36 p.m., perhaps you should use Google before spouting off.

I think the more some of you keep making comments that can be traced by facts the more Mr. Redlegs proves himself right. Seriously, it's getting ridiculous.

* Rod Beck—Blew out his arm with the split-fingered fastball, pitching for the Red Sox in 2001. From 1992-97 with the Giants, he never pitched in more than 71 games (1993, his best year) and never more than 92 innings (in 1992, the year before Baker arrived.) Classic 1 inning closer.

* Russ Ortiz—Bounced between the Giants and the minors for seven years as he couldn't throw strikes, allowed a ton of homers, and went through an assortment of nagging injuries (groin, hamstring, calf, etc.). His arm didn't go until this past season, when he had to undergo Tommy Jogn Surgery.

* Kirk Reuter—Winningest lefthander in Giant history. In the 3-plus years he pitched for Baker he won 13, 16 and 15 games, pitching 190, 187 and 184 innings. Best I can find, he never went on the DL with an arm injury during the Baker years.

So this statement about Baker ruining arms is proving more and more to be a subliminal cop out for stupid Cubs fans and the anti-Baker crowd. But maybe you should some facts. Or maybe that's too much work.

at 11:50 PM Blogger Scott in NC said...

I would like to add to the small percentage of posts by here that simply wish to express their opinion on something very important to them, rather than to try to bash another poster's opinion or character.

My opinion is that Dusty seems to be a bit of a big mouth (to put it midly perhaps) and he obviously craves the spotlight. Those are two "qualities" that we don't need here.

I also believe that his handling of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior in 2003 is very questionable. Given the bullpen that the Cubs had then, any manager might have might have overused those two (as with Narron's overuse of Arroyo early this year) but Baker made statements that year that I will never forget regarding how those two - especially Wood - needed to get used to throwing more pitches and tough it out in the later innings of games.

During the first part of that year, Wood was regarded as being completely over his arm problems and was being touted as the successor to Roger Clemens. Mark Prior was right there next to him. The Cubs were going to have the best two starters in the NL for the foreseeable future.

If Wood's delivery was that flawed at that time then Baker obviously didn't know it - and if he did then why did he pressure him to push it? Either way, I would like to see the attitudes that he expressed at that time, given the results, be appropriately addressed and explained before he should even be considered as our new manager.

If Dusty Baker is a serious candidate for the job, then I'm open to the possibility that he may be the best one, given his positive accomplishments. However, I would like to see proper explanations for what happened to the Cubs under his guidance, and why they had to spend so much money to overcome it.

at 12:30 AM Blogger Phill said...


I don't care about a big name manager. I've said repeatedly I don't buy into that hype whatsoever. I want someone who will bring something positive to the team.

If that makes me a sheep then baaaaa.

at 5:07 AM Blogger Rosey Redd said...

Mr. Fay

I have really enjoyed your blog
the last couple of weeks. It is
clear that there are many very
knowledgeable bloggers on this site
including you, Mr. Redlegs, Anon 7:28 and several others. I would like to express my opinion as a loyal Reds fan and I hope I will not be chastised for it. After all it is just my opinion. My husband and I attend nearly every home game and have now for many years and we truly love our Reds. That said I don't think that Dusty Baker
is the right man to lead our young team into the future. I know he has a very good record and I am sure he is a fine man, but I believe we need a young man with fire in his belly to grow with the fine young players we have on this team. A Joe Girardi type if we are going to go outside of the organization. I personally think that Pete did enough to deserve a one year contract. If that is not going to happen then what is the hurry to name a manager. Mr. Krivsky should take his time and leave no stone unturned to get the very best man possible for the job. Of course if we do not get at least one good starter and a couple of decent relief pitchers it won't matter who the next manager is. Thank you for letting express my opinion.

at 8:39 AM Blogger Gene in WV said...


You make entirely too much sense to blog-stop it!!!

at 9:02 AM Anonymous mikec said...

Please not Dusty Baker. Mr. Castellini I hope you or one of your staff members is reading this blog. Not that I want the fans to make your decisions for you (because generally I think that the fans on this blog are shortsighted and ill-informed), but seriously...

You want a manager who is going to get people excited and make fans believe you care about winning. Dusty Baker is the last thing you want.

I for one would rather have a no-name manager like Pete Mackanin than Dusty Baker.

at 10:06 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again from Wrigleyville, the fans and media will be so sick of his constant whining he'll be crucified.

Why do you think Chicago fired him?

The rallying cry "In Dusty we Trusty" didn't last very long.

It makes no sense at all to hire Dusty Baker.

at 10:13 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...


How much would public opinion influence the front office's decision? I mean, if Castellini and Krivsky heard how overwhelmingly against Baker the fans were, would they decide against him or hire him anyways and tell the fans, trust us, this will work?
The only thing I could imagine getting a more negative reaction to the suggestion of Baker being manager is if they said there was the chance they would hire the reanimated corpse of Josef Stalin! "Oh, sure, he is a zombie and may well eat the brains of anyone in the first row of seats----and yes, he made some mistakes in the past. But he is a proven winner!"

at 10:21 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh and by the way, Yermyboyblue----
KIRK Gibson was overrated as a player. He was a power hitter who got injured a lot, hit two very timely homers and (as someone said elsewhere about Ron Oester) napalmed his bridges when he left teams. As a manager, he has never been a manager.
Hell, Tom Lawless hit one very timely home run in his career (out of a grand total of 5, both regular season and post season combined). Lawless at least has several years experience as a minor league manager

at 10:54 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kirk Gibson Bio:
A member of two World Series championship teams, Kirk Gibson joins the Diamondbacks coaching staff as bench coach in 2007...he also served in the same capacity with the Detroit Tigers for three seasons (2003-2005)...Gibson served for five seasons (1998-2002) as an analyst on Tigers telecasts before joining Manager Alan Trammells staff for the 2003 campaign...Gibson is no stranger to his new boss, as D-backs manager Bob Melvin was Gibsons teammate with Detroit in 1985.

at 10:56 AM Blogger athleticdirector05 said...

I believe that younger teams need veteran guidance... People who have been there before. I want a proven winner that understands the game and teaches young guys about the game...Love the old school approach to baseball. Too bad Trader Jack is too old to manage! I respect what McKannin did, and I would rather see him have the team over Baker, Gerardi, Brenley, Tracey, etc.... The only people that I would accept getting the job over him would be LaRussa (although it makes me kringe) and Torre... maybe even Johnson and Valentine...
The benefits of LaRussa would be his pitching coach and getting his team to put out a good effort. But how many ego's has he dealt with in the past years? He is good with young players and pitching staffs. Downside.... not loved in redsland... kind of like our nemesis. He would be the bizarro world reds manager.
Torre has been there before like the above. He has an uncanny ability of taking a team of individual all stars and pulling them together. His teams have been shown to pull for him and circle the wagons... He also may bring with him players that draw intrest for playing for a manager like him (see comments by Jorge and their infamous closer). Although he hasn't had the challenge of a team with young kids, he shows the skills and ability to mesh old, new, and international players pretty well.
Valentine.... has been in Japan. Good winner, and is very discipline and demands the best out of his players. Could provide interesting insight and open the doors to bringing in some overseas players (a market that the Reds haven't touched.
Davey has been out of the managing game, but involved with teams like Washington since leaving the bench. Proven winner here, good with younger kids. Good motivator.

Oh and did anyone read the article from Trent's post by Todd Jones? A must read for all the "SMALL MARKET" APOLOGISTS!

at 11:20 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone who cannot spell "Girardi" or "Oester" correctly or thinks Kirk Gibson's first name is "Kurt" should be disqualified from ever posting again.

at 12:08 PM Blogger Monument01 said...

Dusty Baker as Reds Manager -- a disaster.

If Baker is hired, all starting pitchers should immediately demand to be traded -- for their own good.

Remember that Baker let Kerry Wood throw 136 pitches in Wood's second start of the season at Wrigley in cold weather, with Wood coming off of major arm surgery. The Cubs were leading 8-0 or by some such margin. Wood was ruined. Baker has the same track record with other Cubs and Giants pitchers.

Enough said!!!

at 12:29 PM Anonymous cheviot sports authority said...

John, no need for you to try talking with Castellini or Krivsky. Why don't you just go to Mr Redlegs? He knows everything about anything and is obviously far more intelligent and experienced than you or any of the posters on this blog.

at 12:39 PM Blogger Clueless Krivsky said...

Scott, Kerry Wood was never being compared to Roger Clemens after his arm surgery.

After he struck out 20 in 1998, yes, but that was the only time.

Was it Dusty's fault that Mark Prior had an achillies that was made out of jelly?? Or doesn't anybody want to talk about that injury?? Was it Dusty's fault that Prior took a line drive off his elbow?? Or doesn't anybody want to talk about that injury??

Bring on Dusty, he's got a winning track record!

at 12:55 PM Anonymous Brendan T. Indianapolis said...

Am I the only one who feels bad for Mackanin? Is it his fault that Miley and Narron didn't work out in similar situations?

That being said, I don't think the job should be handed over to him without waiting and interviewing ALL of the possible candidates.

I personally think Baker would be a terrible fit for this Reds team, but if this story regarding Baker is true, I would be much more disappointed in Castellini for not taking the time to see what happens with LaRussa and Torre, than to being mad at the fact that he hired Baker. I agree that LaRussa and Torre are a stretch, but what does it hurt to wait? Nothing important happens in baseball until the winter meetings anyway. Be patient!

at 12:56 PM Blogger Hey Barry Larkin! said...

Mark Prior's pitch counts of 115+ in 2003 ...

May 12th: 124 pitches
May 28th: 123 pitches
June 3rd: 124 pitches
June 19th: 119 pitches
June 26th: 127 pitches
July 1st: 115 pitches
August 10th: 116 pitches
August 15th: 118 pitches
August 26th: 116 pitches
September 1st: 131 pitches
September 6th: 129 pitches
September 16th: 124 pitches
September 21st: 131 pitches
September 27th: 133 pitches
October 3rd: 133 pitches
October 8th: 116 pitches
October 14th: 119 pitches

Mark Prior turned 23-years-old in September of 2003

at 1:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Chicago and will officially quit watching Reds baseball if they hire this guy. I watched almost all the Cub games his last two years and he's awful.

at 2:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter who they hire. With that pathetic pitching staff they will lose close to 90 games again.

at 2:42 PM Anonymous Not Mrs. Redlegs said...

Mr. Redlegs really should post on his own blog. The guy knows his stuff and like so many of you so-called fans, he isn't a hysterical little child, stomping his feet at every move the Reds make. I would certainly read him. As of now, I have to scroll through all the uninformed moaning to get to his chestnuts of common sense.

Did he say Baker was the best choice? No, he did not. But clearly asking many of you to actually read is beyond your pay grade.

at 2:59 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bla bla bla bla bla. The Reds are required to at least interview minority candidates, which they have done. Doesn't mean he's getting the job.

at 3:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Women are dumb.


at 3:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not Ms Redlegs! I knew Mr. Redlegs mother was posting on this site. Just goes to prove that the apple does not fall far from the tree.
Note to Mr. Krivsky: Hire Crusty Dusty and soon you and Mr.Castellini can have your choice of seats in GABP because it will be EMPTY! PLEASE do not hire Dusty Baker.

at 4:12 PM Blogger athleticdirector05 said...

current OPEN major league managing positions...



at 4:24 PM Blogger athleticdirector05 said...

Oh i noticed it... but chose to ignore such a statement like that. A baseball man of that many years gets a mulligan every now and then.... clearly dusty is no better than LaRussa or Torre...

we may need a pitching coach... well Leo Mazzone was fired today by the O's....

at 4:24 PM Anonymous Not Mr. Redlegs' Daddy said...

Yo Anonymous 7:42, John did not call Mr. Redlegs the voice of a "typical fan, but instead said he was a "voice of reason."

Slightly different. By 10,000 miles.

Mr. Redlegs also made a few self-depracating smartass remarks about it in subsequent posts.

Look, I don't always agree with the guy but one thing I have found by reading him here and on Rosecrans' blog the past two years is he plays it pretty much down the middle of fact and perspective, tossing aside all the random, ranting BS of people like you who are grossly informed, bitterly skewed and too lazy to look up things.

I too would like to see him have a Reds blog but in the meantime his musings are like that of most sports columnists--sometimes you agree, sometimes you don't, sometimes they incite and sometime they use sound analysis and objective perspective to make their points.


at 5:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Redlegs - why are you now posting under "Not Mrs. Redlegs" names? Get a life, dude. Nobody falls for your games. Nobody thinks your smarter than anyone else except for you.

at 6:38 PM Blogger RickNMd said...

Anonymous 4:10, you're telling people to get a life? Under anonymity, you're complaining about anonymity?

Wow that is really stupid. That's Tracy Jones stupid.

I so happened to be a government worker living in Rockville, MD, a UC graduate and lifetime Reds fan with a wife and 2 kids and orioles season ticket holder since they moved into Camden Yards.

You couldn't be further off base. But then, it's not surprising when anonymous postings are allowed.

at 7:02 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I see ricknmd. By posting a few letters by your post, you're instantly transparent. Truth is, I just don't feel like dealing with the damn blogger to register as something other than anonymous.

Anyway, call me RicknmB. Now, I am as transparent as you are. And I guess now I can call people stupid too like you do.

I hope you stay in Baltimore mr. government worker ricknmd. And obviously I'll know if you don't as it's so clear who you are now, since you don't post as anonymous.

at 7:26 PM Blogger RickNMd said...

It takes about 30 seconds to register with Blogger. But then, laziness is what is--exampled throughout this thread by Synonymous Anonymous, the thinking man's fan.

at 3:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It takes a few seconds to state the obvious:

The Reds stink
Reds ownership stinks
Dusty Baker is a lousy disciplinarian and not the best choice available


The Reds will hire Baker

and continue to stink

Anonymous rules, named posters are fools

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