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Dusty Baker out as Cincinnati Reds manager

Oct 4, 2013, 7:52 AM EDT

Breaking: Dusty Baker is out as Reds manager. The Associated Press had the first reports, and then the always reliable John Fay confirmed:

We did not see this coming. Especially given that, just two days ago, Reds GM Walt Jocketty said that he did not think that there was any question that Baker would be back given that he was under contract through 2014. My guess: this was an ownership call.

Baker was 509-463 in six years as the Reds manager. He led them to two NL Central titles and, with this year’s wild card, he took them to the playoffs three times. But Baker’s performance in the playoffs has been harshly criticized by some in Cincinnati, and the Reds have yet to win a playoff series under him. They are 2-7 in the playoffs in that time. Of course the team had missed the playoffs for a dozen years running before he got there.

For Baker, you wonder if this is the end of the managing road. On the one hand, he obviously still knows what he’s doing, continues to maintain the confidence of his players and, based on the fact that the Reds have won 90+ games in three of the past four years, he’s obviously effective. On the other hand he’s 64 years-old and you wonder if he wants to start anew someplace else.

For everyone else: another plum manager’s job is open. Both Washington and Cincinnati are ready-made “win now” jobs that should attract a number of good candidates.

  1. markalan54 - Oct 4, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    I hope the Reds can convince Bryan Price to stay on as pitchng coach and please, somebody tell me that they’ll fire Hitting coach Jacoby and find one that can actually teach the reds how to hit.

    • bengalsucker - Oct 4, 2013 at 10:18 AM

      Brian Price is a candidate for Dusty’s job so I don’t think any convincing will need to be done to keep him on. The only convincing may be is to get him as Manager

  2. sabatimus - Oct 4, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    The ol’ Vote of Confidence rearing it’s ugly head once again.

  3. carteralan - Oct 4, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    That’s why some organization never get better. They toss away good managers, coaches just because of one “bad” season. While the good organizations stay with the managers and build on the good years while learning from the bad ones. Prayers Dusty lands in a great spot.

    • bengalsucker - Oct 4, 2013 at 11:56 AM

      Are you serious? Yeah Dusty got us to the playoffs 3 out of 4 years. Every time with a first round failure in catastrophic fashion. He was good enough to get us relevant again. Not good enough to motivate these guys to push further.

    • mortymcfearson - Oct 4, 2013 at 12:00 PM

      Tell that to the Giants.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 4, 2013 at 12:08 PM

      You gotta’ be joking Carter. I simply refuse to believe you feel that way.
      As someone else posted yesterday…
      “He’s the Marty Schottenheimer of MLB.”

    • pnw51 - Oct 4, 2013 at 12:27 PM

      This describes the Mariners – fired Bob Melvin, who went on to become Manager of the Year.

    • bigmeechy74 - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:46 PM

      Prayers? Damn the comment already sucked but then you went and made it unbearable.

  4. stlouis1baseball - Oct 4, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    “We did not see this coming.”

    Really? Walt didn’t exactly give him a vote of confidence with his answer yesterday.
    When asked if Dusty was going to be let go…didn’t he say (and I am paraphrasing)…
    “Probably not. He still has one year left on his contract.” “I think he will be back.”

    Didn’t he say this? Or something close to it?

    Either way…not a glowing endorsement to be sure.

  5. thesmedman - Oct 4, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Apparently Jim Riggleman will be a candidate. I always thought he did a good job in DC – and was unfairly portrayed when he resigned. Not sure he’s the answer in Cincinnati but nice to hear he’d be considered, if true.

    How about Charlie Manuel? Dealing with Votto would be interesting to watch.

    Whoever it is, he’s got to be less controversial than Baker, so low on the high voltage meter…

  6. sisqsage - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    Amazing how Dusty’s storyline as a manager has played out at each stop: good enough to take good teams to the postseason, but no brass ring. Seems like in each playoff series a crucial mistake was made that he was never forgiven for. But that’s what happens when you are in charge of a team that is good enough to win it all and you never do. Since he was so consistent with the key mistakes, seems like he has a stubborn streak that didn’t serve him well, either in refusing to learn from them or ignoring sound advice from his coaches that would have prevented those mistakes in the first place. People who don’t like the decision to fire him will talk about how great he was with players, but you won’t hear too much about his in-game managing ability. He just never seemed willing or the least bit interested in improving in this area. It’s always been: hey, I’m Dusty, and this is how I do it, take it or leave it. The Reds finally decided to leave it. Now the Reds have to pick the right replacement, or you will hear players privately say very quickly they miss Dusty en route to a sub-par season. The Giants and Cubs weren’t as good for several years after Dusty left.

  7. coltzfan166 - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    Please come back to Chicago!

  8. totallysirius - Oct 4, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Lou Pinella took a mediocre team and swept the world series in 1990,Dusty Baker couldn’t take a great team to win even one playoff series.

    Baker was a good manager but didn’t have any…spark, he just couldn’t get the team fired up and I don’t think he managed his pitching staff correctly..

    I hope the Reds look long and hard at giving Price a shot at managing…

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