Catching up with Dusty Baker

Earlier today, I had a conversation with former Reds manager Dusty Baker and we got to catch up for a few minutes on the phone. Click here for the story.

Since his dismissal in October, Baker has been traveling a lot and staying busy with numerous enterprises. He also has his home winery in Sacramento. Of course, he’d like to be back in baseball but was not successful in landing a managing job when the other vacancies came open in Detroit, Washington and Seattle. But he’s found other things to do to fill some of the void. This will be only the second time in 21 years he does not have a Spring Training to oversee as a manager.

“Hey, life goes on,” Baker said. “I’m spending time with my son [14-year-old Darren]. It’s been nice watching him play basketball and now he’s getting ready for baseball. I’ve had eight months worth of honey-dos to make up. I’m trying not to think about baseball. It still hurts some. You find other avenues for the time.”

This quote wasn’t in the story, but I also asked Baker if he had been keeping up with the Reds activities, or any their players, this winter.

“Somewhat. You follow the guys and some of the signings,” Baker said. “I’m not glued to the TV watching MLB [Network] like I’d be doing if I were still managing and it was the off-season or during the season. It doesn’t do much good now. You have to go on with your life.”


Dusty: Some of us realize what a gigantic mistake this has been and already miss your steadiness, continuity, and wide-ranging intellect on matters beyond just a silly game. Many others don’t, but many of those will soon come to miss you when the losses mount for our diminished 2014 Reds. Not the least among those diminish-ments will be your absence.

Dusty’s a good man but it was not a gigantic mistake letting him go. It was time.

Check with me when the Reds are floundering in fourth place come September.

Mark, relating to the last bit in your message today: speaking to Lance McAlister on WLW this week, Joey Votto said Dusty had got in touch with him this off season and wished him luck this year.

I’d be happy to talk in September Denny. The talent on the roster is the biggest reason the Reds have been winning the last few years – not Baker. In his past he has won with good teams and lost with bad teams. The best manager still needs the right roster or he’s a nobody (see Baker’s last year with the Cubs).

Denny doesn’t like anything or anyone from ’60’s to now. I agree. Dusty is a good man , but his managerial style is what cost the Reds beyond the regular season. That and the lack of a leader.

Have no idea what your opening line refers to…

Dusty being let go wont be the main reason for any potential failure in 2014…it will be, failure of the team to achieve on the field along with the inability of the ownership to afford to acquire players that would fill the needs for that success. When the organization has financial obligations…like paying Junior Griffey $6.4 million a year (plus interest) until 2024 on deferred contract payments…a smaller market team like the Reds can’t compete in the “pay for play” market! All the blame doesn’t fall on Baker. Numerous injuries…poor player performance and, indeed, improvement by the other teams all go together to make what we got last season. Will this all repeat itself this season?…Hey!…Its baseball….It’s just a pitch…a hit…a run…a bad play or bad call away! Ain’t it GREAT!!!

Those were givens whether Dusty remained or not. But these shortcomings will be amplified by the loss of Baker’s ability to prepare for the long haul of a season with less-0than-stunning talent and replaced by a novice who has never managed anything at any level.

Ditto !

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