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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 15, 2007

More from Baker

Dusty Baker talked about a lot of things in Monday. Some of the more interesting things he addressed:

On questions about the way he handled Mark Prior and Kerry Wood: “I think it is (unfair). You’ve got to look at my total history, my 14 years. There’s always questions about anyone. I did what I thought was best at the time for team, the city, the organization and the players. You look back on my history – I really don’t feel the need or desire to defend myself – but you look back at total record and not look at that one year. The one thing I pride myself on is keeping my players on the field and keeping them healthy as long as possible. If you keep your front line players on the field you give yourself the best chance to win.”

On his alleged aversion to playing young players: “They’ve got a mixture of veterans and youth. This is what I’ve always yearned for – a team with young players who you teach how to play and play winning baseball. We’re a few parts away. But, like I said, I can attract players here. Hopefully, we can develop some players in the minor leagues."

On toothpicks and wrist bands: "I've worn wristbands since I was a young kid. I started chewing tooth picks to try to stop dipping (tobacco)." How'd that go? "It works until bases are loaded in the seventh inning."

On the coaching staff: He will probably retain some of the current staff. "The players have already had too many coaches in a short period. It's like in football always changing offensive coordinators."

On being a players' manager: "I've been able to figure what that means. What's the opposite of a players' manager?"


24 Comments:

at 3:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This hire is one of the worst things that could happen to our city. I believe Baker is a sub-par manager that needs to retire, because he can't do television either. He managed arguably the greatest player that ever played and could out manage Mike Sciosia in the World Series. Also, who throws their four year old kid out their in the NLCS for cannon fodder. Cincinnati Reds really tried hard to make a good PR move here (is he our first African American Manager?), but I think we'll be stuck with a guy that has no buisness managing baseball anymore.

 
at 3:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John,
Did he have any thoughts on current players? Have you spoken to any of the players to get their reaction?

 
at 3:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John,
Did he have any thoughts on current players? Have you spoken to any of the players to get their reaction?

 
at 3:14 PM Anonymous Sam said...

John, was Marty Brennaman at the press conference? He has been very silent the last few days, and I wonder if it there is more to it than than him not being the biggest Dusty supporter in the past?

 
at 3:18 PM Blogger John Fay said...

He didn't go into specifics on any players. Other than saying he'd like to have Dunn back. Castellini said that will almost certainly happen. He mentioned Edwin Encarnacion in passing. He said he know Griffey from talking on the field.

I haven't talked to any players other than Harang about Baker.

 
at 3:21 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Marty wasn't there. I talked to him yesterday. He likes the hire.

 
at 3:36 PM Blogger Ron said...

The hiring of Dusty Baker or any manager is not going to make a difference. The Reds have to be able to put their best team on the field and that is not going to happen unless they unclog the outfield or unless Dusty can work wonders with Junior. As long as Junior considers himself an everyday outfielder and #3 hitter, the Reds are stuck. Hopper, Keppinger, Phillips have to be the top three hitters in the line-up for the Reds to contend. Encarnacion and Votto need to be in the top six. Hamilton has to be considered in the mix as well. That leaves little room for Griffey. I love Junior as a Hall of Famer but this is another part of the history of the Reds that has to be changed - staying with senior players too long.

 
at 3:42 PM Blogger Chris at Redleg Nation said...

"We’re a few parts away. But, like I said, I can attract players here. Hopefully, we can develop some players in the minor leagues."

To me, that sounds an awful lot like, "If a guy doesn't produce right away, I'd prefer he be in the minors. Until he does produce, I'd prefer to have play of the veterans I've managed before."

That would seem to fit with Baker's prior track record, which may mean I'm reading too much into his choice of words.

If that IS his philosophy, (to me) it's exactly the wrong philosophy for this particular organization (particularly since Baker's normal veteran cronies are (1) getting even older; and (2) aren't good at baseball).

John, you were at the press conference -- am I reading too much into that quote, or did you get a similar impression about/from Baker?

 
at 3:49 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I think you're reading too much into it. He was really high on working with the young players.

 
at 3:58 PM Blogger steve said...

John
what coaches do you think dusty will keep? Also could you ask wayne about the front office jobs open? He might talk about those jobs now that the season is over. I wish he would hire more baseball guys for the front office and the minors.

 
at 4:07 PM Blogger Rob Dicken said...

That leaves little room for Griffey. I love Junior as a Hall of Famer but this is another part of the history of the Reds that has to be changed - staying with senior players too long.

Will everyone please SHUT UP about Griffey? The guy played 140 games this season and nearly had 100 RBIs. he put up plenty of offense, and played RF just as good as anyone in the majors (aside from Vladimir Guerrero).

This hire has nothing to do with Griffey. Whether it was Baker or Joe Girardi, if Griffey is healthy he will play 140+ games every season and produce.

This argument is moot, and he's not the problem with the team. Get off the subject, please.

 
at 4:13 PM Blogger tom dunne said...

"As long as Junior considers himself an everyday outfielder and #3 hitter, the Reds are stuck. Hopper, Keppinger, Phillips have to be the top three hitters in the line-up for the Reds to contend."

Ridiculous. Norris Hopper is a spare part. He hit .329, but Griffey STILL got on base more often. Hopper doesn't walk much, doesn't steal much and has absolutely no power whatsoever.

It's 2007, folks. Stop looking at batting average.

 
at 4:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can fans of an organization like the Reds criticize Baker?

He should have a bronze statue in centerfield for taking this minor-league job. Give the guy a chance. He took a bigger gamble on the Reds than he took on them.

This is a chance for him to look like a total stooge for taking the job. The Reds already looked like stooges for keeping everything inbred. You aren't the Yankees, Cowboys or Lakers people. Be glad a previously successful coach would take the mess you handed him.

 
at 4:27 PM Blogger kingseyeland said...

Hopper is a Herm Winningham type -- a spare part, a strong defensive backup outfielder who can bunt and get the occasional clutch hit, but pretty much anything else at the plate is asking too much. He's not a #1 center fielder. I don't mind a situation in which Hopper spells Hamilton in CF once a week or so, but that's it.

One positive thing -- if you look back at Dusty's favoring the vets over young players, there's really no way he can do that here. The Reds only have a few players in their 30s, and Hatteberg is about to walk.

 
at 5:43 PM Blogger Ron said...

What Hopper can do that no one else on the Reds can do is hit in the lead off position and place pressure on the opposing pitcher. He's the best option the Reds have for that role at this time. The point with Griffey is not batting average or fielding or games played, it has to do with being 38 and holding up the transition to a younger team that's going to play together for more than one year. It's time to make the change.

 
at 6:08 PM Blogger Chad Yoshikawa said...

Why the negative reaction? This boggles my mind -- we finally have a manager who has had success in the past (Cubs, Giants), and who can attract big-name players.

What is wrong with Dusty Baker? He didn't win a World Series? At least he got the team there. He overworked Kerry Wood? Is that really going to be a problem with a workhorse like Harang?

The guy wants to win and knows how to win. Period.

 
at 6:24 PM Blogger Rob Dicken said...

The point with Griffey is not batting average or fielding or games played, it has to do with being 38 and holding up the transition to a younger team that's going to play together for more than one year. It's time to make the change.

It's not holding up anything. Outfielders are a dime a dozen...but outfielders that hit 30+ homers and drive in 100RBIs per season are rare. Griffey does that. Who cares how old he is? If he can produce and be out there everyday, then the argument is moot.

He's 38, so he shouldn't start everyday? That's a crap excuse for someone that just doesn't like Griffey. Again, the problems with this team are in the bullpen, not with Griffey, Dunn, Hopper, etc...

 
at 7:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

While he wasn't my first choice as manager, I'm willing to give Dusty a chance. From everything I've heard and read over the last few days, it sounds like he may be getting a bad rap on the Wood/Prior injuries.

 
at 8:00 PM Blogger hugh said...

Agree with the comments about Griffey. Let's lay off him. He was very productive this year. Hopper is NOT a good choice for lead off due to not walking enough even though he has a high average. He is a great backup though. Hard to believe the amount of animosity toward Baker. He's been successful, players like and respect him. I have to wonder if race is involved.

 
at 8:34 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know I'm repeating myself, but I'm just hoping someone who makes decisions will get the message. Get rid of Dick Pole! This might be more difficult, given his past with Baker. But look at the facts. Pole coached the pitchers into the worst ERA in team history. Arroyo, Coffey and Belisle all saw their ERAs skyrocket from 06. Some pitchers mentioned not being able to prepare for their starts properly. It's also been mentioned that during Baker's tenure with the Cubs, that they had serious bullpen problems. Guess who was their bullpen coach? Pole!
Baker could choose to make Pole his dugout coach, as he was in 06. It's likely Pat Kelly will be named the Reds minor league coordinator. Pole could coach from the bench and they get a better pitching coach (Ted Power, for one)

 
at 12:30 AM Blogger DrOptimism said...

Griffey had a great year offensively, one of the top RF is VORP, etc.

But - an unmitigated disaster in the field. OK, maybe not as bad as Derek Jeter as SS, lol.

Jeter is the worst defensive starting SS in MLB, yet he'll probably get another Gold Glove... Junior's best days as an OF are long past. He offers minus-defense to go with plus-plus offense.

And Dunn is no gazelle in the OF and with Hamilton being a bit below par, we need a good defender in RF (or a defensive stud in CF with Josh in right)-- will that be Jay Bruce?

Still, Ryan Braun was equally dreadful at 3B & I suspect the Brewers will keep him, lol. (And the Yanks will keep Jeter.)

The question with Griffey is how do we improve the OF, especially defensively, if he stays in the OF?

 
at 4:24 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

DrOptimism, you are an idiot.

Jeter worst defensive SS?

Hamilton below par as a CF? - Yeah, if you consider great range, great reads, and helluva cannon below par.

 
at 9:42 AM Anonymous Dan said...

Pick up Dunn's option, then trade trade him, and then go sign Tori Hunter as a FA, put Hamilton in right, groom Bruce for year after next when Griffey's contract is up. That's how you fill CF.

 
at 8:54 PM Blogger DrOptimism said...

Anon 3:24 - LOL, the only people who rate Jeter as awful are:

1) the scouts and
2) the stats [year in, year out, Jeter scores as the worst SS, no matter which defensive stats you use.]
btw: Jeter actually agrees...

Either you're a Yankee apologist or you think the occasional highlight play compensates for the rest... Lots of travesties among the Gold Gloves. (Heck, one year a guy got one though he spent most of the year as a DH, lol.)

As for Josh - Hopper does score better on the stats (and with the scouts) in terms of range, etc. Great reads? Who says? Are you a scout -who watches him daily?

Hamilton's arm is plus-plus, but all the speed in the world doesn't help your range if you are still learning CF. (He gets to fewer balls in his range than average; he gets to fewer balls outside his range than average.) Hamilton scores as below-average in virtually all the defensive stats, confirmed by scouts.

BUT, Josh WILL get better; alas, Griff won't.

But please do your homework before posting at 3 am.... Read sites like jinaz's blog or Baseball Prospectus (for stats side) and sites like Doug Gray's (for the scout-y side).

p.s. Yup, blogger still sucks

 
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