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Dusty Baker: “I’ve been getting hate mail, racial mail … all sorts of references to Barack Obama”

Oct 4, 2013, 1:13 PM EDT

Reds' manager Dusty Baker watches from the dugout as his team plays the Giants in Game 5 of their MLB NLDS playoff baseball series in Cincinnati Reuters

Regardless of what you think of Dusty Baker as a baseball manager and whether or not you agree with the Reds’ decision to fire him today, this report from Jon Heyman of is sad/depressing:

Baker quite likely started to sense that maybe his time was up in Cincinnati. Maybe that’s why he said what he said. “The last couple weeks, I’ve been getting a rash of hate mail, racial mail,” he said. “Maybe it is time to go.”

“This is really ugly,” he said. “There are all sorts of references to Barack Obama. So now I know where they are coming from. I don’t know, maybe people are mad at him, so they don’t like the idea of blacks in authority.”

Ultimately the Reds fired Baker because his teams didn’t have enough playoff success and he clashed with upper management on some key topics, which Heyman details in his article. However, setting aside all the baseball stuff and focusing more on the human being stuff … man, that’s really discouraging.

  1. jarathen - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    That’s awful. I don’t think he’s the best in-game manager, but there’s no need for such hatred and vitriol.

  2. stlouis1baseball - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Discouraging? Nope.

    Disgusting. Like him or not as a Manager/person/former player, etc…
    This is absolutely disgusting.
    I bet not one of the cowardly ass ingrates included a return address either.

  3. padraighansen - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Unfortunately, this isn’t surprising. There’s a lot of ignorant people in this country whose family trees have never really evolved.

    • seitz26 - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:24 PM

      I think the idea that people still write letters is pretty surprising.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:30 PM

        I write letters!

      • jarathen - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:40 PM

        There’s still a Letters to the Editor section in my local paper. Sometimes, it’s surprisingly normal. Often, it’s a whole bag of crazy equating Syria to abortion.

      • blackandbluedivision - Oct 4, 2013 at 2:41 PM

        I find the fact that people still read letter pretty surprising. You’d have to think that someone who still writes letters is from a certain era.

    • amaninwhite - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      It’s because the branches kept knotting up with each other.

      • charminultra - Oct 4, 2013 at 2:55 PM

        Kept implies that at some point the branches stopped growing.

  4. 18thstreet - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:27 PM


  5. chiadam - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    He said the same thing when Chicago fired him. And let’s be honest: racists did not cause the Reds to choke. Again. The Reds and their manager did that all on their own, and I fail to see what one has to do with the other. Racist letters have nothing to do with this. But it worked, because now the focus shifted from his team gagging to racism.

    • moonlandingwasfaked - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:40 PM

      Who gave this a thumbs up? Nobody said racists caused the Reds to choke, and yes, the focus has rightly shifted from baseball to racism because this is clearly a bigger deal than a poorly played baseball game. There’s no excuse for this kind of ignorance anymore.

      • jeffbbf - Oct 4, 2013 at 3:07 PM

        The reason for the thumbs up is because it smacks of BS. He said the same thing when he was fired from the Cubs – after he was fired. Why is Dusty just now announcing this? Especially since this supposedly happened to him before? Has he been turning these letters over to MLB or the Secret Service since they seem to be full of negative references to Obama? And what qualifies as “hate mail”. Dear Dusty, you suck and I’m tired of watching the Reds choke under your leadership? Were these emails? If so, publish them and the alleged letters so we can be more informed about what is really going on out there. And you know what? Publish them when they are received, not after something else breaks bad.

        I guess today I’m a little sensative to these claims because just yesterday I was volunteering at a Church event and was called a racist because I made a person wait 30 seconds to pull out of the parking lot because a car in front of them was having trouble backing out.

  6. moseskkim - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    He doesn’t seem to be a great manager. ok. well this is sports. no need to hate and threaten someone because of sports. because your team lost. players playing sports lost. goodness.. perspective! I mean if you hate him so much, you got what you wanted. hes gone from the team. sports is entertainment, not more not less.

  7. ayes81 - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    He said the same thing when he was fired in Chicago. There’s enough idiotic meatheads around that I don’t doubt he’s gotten some despicable messages, and some of them probably have been of a racial manner. But I think Dusty also likes to divert blame from his own shortcomings as a manager on “racial matters”.

    Barack Obama’s skin color hasn’t changed since he won the popular vote twice to be President of the United States of America so clearly the mass majority doesn’t have a problem with “blacks in authority”. If a growing number of people are angry with the President, I think it’s more because they don’t like the job he’s doing, something Dusty & Barack might have in common.

    • jarathen - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      In no way does “don’t like the job he’s doing” justify hate mail or racially charged letters.

      • ayes81 - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:53 PM

        I agree with you 100%, it’s unjustifiable for anyone to use race/sexual orientation/religion, etc., as an insult. It’s disgusting that anyone would stoop to that level for any reason, much less the outcome of a baseball season.

        Dusty Baker has been fired by the last two ball clubs he managed for his performance. And both times he’s made comments that seem to indicate he was let go for reasons related to the color of his skin which couldn’t be further from the truth.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 4, 2013 at 2:05 PM

        And both times he’s made comments that seem to indicate he was let go for reasons related to the color of his skin which couldn’t be further from the truth.

        I can’t speak to the reasons for leaving the Cubs, but he’s not saying this at all in regards to the Reds. Let me repeat, in no way is he blaming the color of his skin for being fired. He’s saying that he started to get the feeling that he wasn’t wanted because he was receiving hate mail. Aka, if these people liked me they wouldn’t send me racist mail.

    • chiadam - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:42 PM

      That’s all I was trying to say. He was deflecting, period. Lots of athletes face this every day, but we never hear about it because they do not tell us about it. Let me ask something of everyone blindly giving me thumbs down: would we have heard about this if he was not fired? Or if it was so bad, why didn’t he resign?

    • moonlandingwasfaked - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      Come on. “…Dusty also likes to divert blame from his own shortcomings as a manager on ‘racial matters'”? This doesn’t have anything to do with whether or not the “mass majority” of Americans have a problem with African-Americans in authority, it has to do with a vocal minority of small-minded lemmings who seem to think that a black man making some managerial mistakes made those mistakes BECAUSE he is a black man in a managerial position. I highly doubt Sveum got this sort of treatment after this season with the Cubs, a season far less successful than the Reds’ and littered with managerial errors.

  8. lew24 - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    This is all President Obama’s fault! If he wasn’t President, Dusty would still have a job!

    • skids003 - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      AT least it isn’t Bush’s fault.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 4, 2013 at 2:14 PM

        Hey, you found something that can’t be blamed on Bushie!

  9. seattlenative57 - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Haters hate …. always have, always will.

  10. beavertonsteve - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Every manager/coach of a professional sports team gets hate mail and a lot of it is much worse then this. So sorry Dusty, as much as you’d like to think this is something unique to “blacks in authority” it’s not. It’s just the run of the mill stupidity shown by sports fans in every league.

    • jarathen - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      He said “hate mail, racial mail”. He specifically called out mail of a racial nature. Unfortunately, many people think that people in positions of power owe them their ear, and it is up to these bastions of truth to share their vile filth with them.

      It’s not.

      • beavertonsteve - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:58 PM

        Oh god no, RACIAL hate mail! It can’t get any worse than that. Managers get letters calling them all sorts of horrible things, threatening them with physical harm, threatening their lives, threatening their families. It’s stupid and assinine, but nonetheless poeple send them. Whatever race you are you are going to get this crap, there’s no need for Baker to try to make this about Barack Obama and blacks in authority, it’s not. It about getting fired for doing your job poorly.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 4, 2013 at 2:17 PM

        You are not going to get that kind of racial crap if you’re white. Show me a white manager who gets racial hate mail. It is NOT the same as regular hate mail. It’s another level and completely unwarranted.

      • beavertonsteve - Oct 4, 2013 at 3:32 PM

        Yeah, racial hate mail is WAY worse than having threats of violenece against your family.

      • jarathen - Oct 4, 2013 at 3:47 PM

        Steve, they’re both bad, and no one’s saying it’s not. But he’s getting both regular good old-fashioned hate mail as well as mail about his race. Both are crazy, but we’d like to think one is a crazy relic.

        Obviously, it’s not.

    • asimonetti88 - Oct 4, 2013 at 3:36 PM

      Just because other people have received hate mail doesn’t make it ok.

      • beavertonsteve - Oct 4, 2013 at 3:45 PM

        Who the hell said it was OK? I just said all managers get hate mail. The extreme stuff is garbage and unnecesary. Baker is the one who turned this into some kind of racism problem with his comments.

  11. coltzfan166 - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    We’ll take you back in Chicago, Dusty. Had some solid years with you.

    • tfbuckfutter - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:48 PM


      Theo Epstein would love his philosophies.

  12. tfbuckfutter - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    I find it hard to believe that people whose politics are the opposite of our current president also happen to skew toward racist attitudes.

    I never would have guessed that.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 4, 2013 at 2:01 PM

      But the whites love him!

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Oct 4, 2013 at 4:18 PM

      On a more positive note, I just read that one result of the GOP government shutdown is that a KKK rally scheduled to pollute the sacred grounds at Gettysburg has been postponed.

      • tfbuckfutter - Oct 4, 2013 at 5:44 PM

        Well yeah…. because most of their membership is busy with their jobs in the House of Representatives.

  13. vincentbojackson - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    A black manager getting racial hate mail in Cincinnati, one of the most ultra conservative cities in the entire country?


  14. knowmewell85 - Oct 4, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Not surprised @ all. I’m a white male and live in Cincinnati and I’m awed at the way white people talk about blacks here! It’s unreal – Cincinnati is an up and coming city but would be so much better without the racial tension.

    • skids003 - Oct 4, 2013 at 2:04 PM

      I thought this only went on in the South?

      • tfbuckfutter - Oct 4, 2013 at 2:42 PM

        Ohio is the midwest. And most of the midwest hold the same views as the southern states, but they at least try to hide it and smile kindly while doing so.

        Also, Cincinnatti is practically in Kentucky.

    • knowmewell85 - Oct 5, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      I’m confused how someone can “thumbs down” my post. For coming out and speaking the truth as a white male? It happens I’m not from Cincinnati but I know for a FACT there are several racist there, I hear the convos weekly. Most of these racist bastards will end up with black son and laws HAHA #CantWait. I’d love anyone who loves my daughter but wonder how the conservatives from here will act.

  15. joewilliesshnoz - Oct 4, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    Who cares if he’s black, white, or blue ? I’m glad that they fired the bum .

  16. Florio_Jr. - Oct 4, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    Reading that as a cardinals fan is embarrassing. Stay classy, Cincinnati.

  17. miketreedy - Oct 4, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    This is awful and unfortunately it isn’t that surprising. People get so angry at managers and coaches when their team is losing. It’s really kind of crazy. What other job has people screaming and chanting to fire you.

    I think he’s using the race card here though as well. He is a grown man and knows there are idiots out there. He should just ignore them and doesn’t need to broadcast it for sympathy. He was supported by lots of Reds fans over his time there. Most of the fans are probably white. Focus on that as you leave not the few idiots that write stupid letters to you.

  18. aceshigh11 - Oct 4, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    This is just a false flag operation orchestrated by Barak Hussein Odinga Muhammed Carrot Top Soetoro’s negro thug army in conjunction with George Soros’ Stalinist Media Matters goons.

    Typical liberal Alinskyite tactics. All right-thinking Americans know that racism no long exists.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 4, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      Have you thought about decaf, honey?

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 7, 2013 at 9:38 AM

      Motherphuq Aces. Give it a damn break. You sound like a broken record. Your shit is skipping. Skipping to the point of people tuning your ass out. Over and over and over and over and sonofabitchin’ over. Unfortunately, that is something I am un able to do. Sadly.

      • aceshigh11 - Oct 7, 2013 at 4:50 PM

        And yet you continue to scour days-old threads and manage to ALWAYS find anything I post that’s even slightly political in nature, and comment on it.

        That’s a little creepy, honestly.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 7, 2013 at 6:45 PM

        “Scour?” Hardly. If you will look…I posted on this very thread previously. I (along with just about everyone else) tends to peruse back over those threads we comment on and read the other comments. I mean…isn’t this also how you work? Regardless, there are many, many, “LIBBURRAL” comments you make that I simply ignore. Be honest. What is this one? One out of the last 5 – 10 I took the time to comment on? Seriously. How often has it been lately?

      • aceshigh11 - Oct 7, 2013 at 11:58 PM

        You have responded to almost every single political post I’ve ever made on this site.

        Contrary to what you believe, I do NOT go out of my way to bring politics up out of the blue. If politics is mentioned in the article, or if someone brings it up first, then I’ll respond.

        Dusty Baker mentioned Obama, and of course there were a bunch of tired, predictable “he’s playing the race card” posts, so I mocked them by posting an exaggerated (but not by much) anti-Obama rant.

        I’ve never just brought politics up for the hell of it. I’d prefer to completely avoid it on this site…I come here to ESCAPE political bullshit, but if someone is going to post something ignorant and inflammatory, then I’m going to respond.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 8, 2013 at 9:40 AM

        You would be better served look at your “political posts.” You will find that I have absolutely not responded. In fact, it’s something that I have tried to do much better at. I stand by my previous post. I am sure you stand by your “I come here to escape politically bullshit” comment. We are going to have to agree to disagree. Which is fine. I think the world is a much better place when people can do so.

  19. metalhead65 - Oct 4, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    I wondered how long it would be before he had to throw the race card into this. look the bottom line is for most fans is he was let go because he had done all he was capable of doing as manager of this team and nothing else. why is it that if you agree with his dismissal you are tossed in the same the same category as the idiots who would do what he is complaining about? believe what you what dusty your gone and that is the important thing.

  20. bengalsucker - Oct 4, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    Sucks that he’s getting that kind of mail but don’t pin this on Cincinnati as some commentors are already doing. Not everyone in Cincinnati is sending him letters. Hell most of them may not even be from Cincinnati folks. I wanted him gone too but I’d never entertain the thought of sending him hate mail. I thank the guy for what he did here. He just isn’t the one to take us further. But he by no means deserves this kind of treatment.

  21. dremmel69 - Oct 4, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    Human beings are capable of both good and evil. We all must realize that the evil-minded among us will always be among us.

    No single race, gender or faith has a corner on bigotry. Each and every one of us is capable of such hatred. That some give into and foster hatred is sad, indeed. That many choose to rise above it should be an example for all of us.

  22. bills399 - Oct 4, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    did he produce any of these letters? Has anybody posting here see any of these letters?

    • kinggw - Oct 4, 2013 at 4:49 PM

      Yeah, he just made this stuff up. Gotta love the it didnt happen because I didn’t see it crowd.

  23. yahmule - Oct 4, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    On the positive side, Dusty still has his self proclaimed immunity to hot weather.

  24. 2qswing - Oct 4, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    Dusty is full of it. He pulls the race card like most people pull out a dollar bill to pay for their morning coffee. I like how most posters just automatically buy his crap and assume he’s this virtuous truth teller.. Here’s a clue. 1.He’s pulled this before.
    2. the next time he gets fired for being a staff bully, out of touch manager, poor handler of young talent…he will say the same thing. That is a talented team that played very poorly down the stretch…again.
    3. apparently these racist letter writers just follow him around. Ron Washington reported no such events in very similar circumstances.
    4 White, Black and Hispanic managers, coaches get fired all the time, every year, in every sport. yet you hear this from one guy and not once but twice
    5 there are no tears in the Reds clubhouse

  25. dannythebisforbeast - Oct 4, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    When you want to deflect blame or not accept responsibility the race card.
    I’m sure Dusty received hate mail and racist hate mail his entire managing career
    If your not going to make an issue of it from DAY ONE don’t do it AFTER your fired. It’s lame. FYI – Racists didnt get you fired CHOKING did.

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