There is that age old saying that “hindsight is 20-20,” and I think that is fitting here.
There are fans out there who think they could make better decisions than a guy who has been a manager for 20 seasons and is a three-time winner (1993, 1997, 2000) and three-time runner up for the NL Manager of the Year award.
The difference is, fans make the call after the fact and Baker makes the call during the game and over the course of a season.
Now, I understand that fan criticism of coaches and players is natural, but it has reached the point of silliness when it comes to Reds fans throwing fits about Baker’s decisions regarding pitchers.
Would it be crazy to give Baker the benefit of the doubt sometimes? Would it be crazy to think that he has reasons for the decisions he makes and that he knows things that we don’t?
You know, maybe from his 20 seasons of experience as a manager and 19 as a player.
I think it’s silly to question a guy with that amount of experience every time a pitcher has been left in for “too long.”
Not only does he have all of that experience, but this is baseball and there are 162 games in a season. It’s the ultimate game for the law of averages and in the end, the stats will tell the story for each player.
Baker seems to understand this and it’s why he has lasted so long in this game.
He obviously has reasons for leaving a pitcher in for whatever amount of time he decides, sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. In the end, everything will even out and the Reds will have a record that they deserve, be it good or bad.
Before the Reds hired Baker prior to the 2008 season, they hadn’t made the playoffs since 1995. Since they hired him, they have won the NL Central and made the playoffs two out of five seasons, including two in the last three.
Right now, the Reds are tied for the fourth best record in the majors at 45-33, 3.5 games behind in arguably the toughest division in baseball this season.
We aren’t even at the halfway point of the season yet.
Why criticize him every time it is perceived he leaves a pitcher in for a few batters too long?
He has to make those decisions every game, and he’s not always going to make the right decision, but over the course of a season, I think Baker knows what he is doing.