Sep 13, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker (12) looks on during the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Underachieving Cincinnati Reds finally stopped playing for Dusty Baker

The Cincinnati Reds have fired Manager Dusty Baker after he led the team into the playoffs three of the last four years after not making the playoffs since 1995.

Cincinnati went 90-72 this season and finished third in the NL Central behind St. Louis and the Pirates. The Reds lost their final five games of the regular season and cost themselves a chance to host the wild-card playoff, which they dropped 6-2 at Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.

But the downfall of Baker’s tenure in Cincinnati began in the playoffs last year after the Reds took a 2-0 lead against San Francisco in the National League Division Series, only to lose three straight games at home as the Giants rallied to win the best-of-five series on their way to winning the World Series.

Since then, the team’s talent and overall play have deteriorated, and in a year in which the NL was lacking quality teams outside of the Pirates, Cardinals, Dodgers and Braves, the Reds were able to sleep-walk into the final Wild Card spot, only to be handled by the Pirates in an elimination game.

According to FOX Sport’s Ken Rosenthal, the Reds players simply had stopped playing for their manager:

Baker never was a favorite of the sabermetrically inclined, who harped on his many questionable strategic decisions. But he always excelled in a more important aspect of managing – motivation, getting the most out of his club.

For whatever reason, this team stopped playing for him.

Reds management no longer could say, “Dusty is the guy to take us to the next level.” Quite the contrary – it became clear that he wasn’t the guy.


Tags: Cincinnati Reds Dusty Baker MLB

  • metalhead65

    I have no use for saber metrics but his decisions were just stupid and made no sense but he kept making the same stupid ones over and over again with the same losing results. no sane person would keep putting cozart in the 2 spot when he proved he could not hit there. he did the same thing when they had stubbs and he stuck him in the lead off spot for 2 years with worse results in each one of them. and the only reason he did it was because they were fast. when Phillips had finally seen enough and told baker to move cozart down and put him the 2 spot they actually looked like they might make a run. cozart immediately started hitting in the 7 spot but then baker realized that meant votto and bruce were batting back to back and in dusty’s world you can’t have 2 left handed batters do that. so he comes up with the brilliant idea of putting ludwick in the 2 spot and moving Phillips back to cleanup. the results? losing the last 5 games of the season and the w.c. game to the pirates. he had to go if the reds were going to move forward.