Reds: Time to Dump the Player's Manager
I have no idea what the antonym of "player's manager" is, but I do know them when I see them. They are the one's making speeches and holding trophies over their heads after World Series wins.
Johnnie B. "Dusty" Baker, the Cincinnati Reds' manager, is a quintessential player's manager. He coddles, he hugs, and he loses.
Player's managers are the kind of guys who want to be your buddy. Sort of like that one friend's ex-hippy dad who would let you drink beer under the condition that you hang out with him.
Those dads were annoying, but to a 15-year-old the mystery of beer far outweighed hanging out with an old guy lying about his trip to Woodstock.
I am sick of my team being managed by a toothpick-chewing, good old boy.
A non-player's manager would not let his horse of starting pitcher talk him into staying in the game after lengthy rain delays—twice.
All pitchers want more numbers in the win column.
But if rain starts and you have to sit for nearly two-hours a non-player's manager would not even entertain the idea of sending the starter back out to get his five in and be eligible for the win.
This season, Baker has done this twice with Aaron Harang. Both times Harang escaped unscathed, and did end up winning the games. To what cost though?
Since May 28, the last time Harang was able to weasel Dusty into letting him back in the ballgame, he has not won. And in that span, he has lost four games.
He also did the same earlier this year with their $11 million reliever, Coco Cordero.
Coco blew the save and the Reds did end up winning, but the risk-reward factor is way too high. Sending the team's most expensive player back out after sitting for two-plus hours is just plain player-manager dumb, especially for small market teams like the Reds. There is no way a non-player's manager would risk putting $11 million back on the mound so he can possibly record a save.
A non-player's manager does not play favorites. He does not have players described as "his boys." Last season, Corey Patterson was one of Dusty's boys. After being booed out of Great American Ball Park, he was quietly sent packing.
A non-player's manager does not insult the team's fans. Earlier in the season, Laynce Nix was hot, and Chris Dickerson was cold.
Dusty continued playing Dickerson in left. A reporter asked a casual question concerning the Nix/Dickerson situation, and how some fans were clamoring for Nix's power bat.
"The fans don't make out the lineup," Dusty said. He went on to further open-mouth-insert-foot when he said, "The fans didn't even know who Nix was when we got him. A year ago Dickerson was in a similar spot as 'the fair-haired boy.'"
Dusty obviously does not respect the baseball intelligence of even the casual fan. I would guess that 30 percent of fans who attend games, buy merchandise, and are pretty much responsible for paying his salary knew who Nix was before the season started.
So to lump all "fans" together is more than ignorant.
"The fair-haired boy"? I am not even going to speculate what that comment means. I think I know, but in the small case that I am wrong, I'll leave it up to the five or six of you who read this to make your own interpretation.
At the Reds' AAA affiliate, Louisville, they have one of the best managerial prospects just waiting for a big league call.
Rick Sweet will get that call from someone—soon. Ted Power is the Louisville Bats' pitching coach. From all accounts, he is superb. And I really don't care who their hitting coach is—he has to be better than current coach, Brook Jacoby.
It's time to dump Dusty before he does any more damage to the organization. Baker should never have been hired. If a player wants to talk to a friend, they should call one.
And, with all the players over 21 now, I guarantee that friend would not be the ex-hippy dad who used to buy the booze.
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