Okay, we’ve all had a bit of time to digest the news that Dusty Baker has been hired as the manager of the Cincinnati Reds for the next three years. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the reaction to the move around the internets and in the print media.
I think it’s obvious that the intense criticism of Baker’s hiring has been heard by the Reds because the mainstream Reds media has already gone into full damage-control mode. Take a look at this defense by John Fay, and this one by Mark Sheldon, and this one by Paul Daugherty. And broadcaster Jeff Brantley “never had a problem with the way (Baker) handled pitchers. He got the blame for what happened to Kerry Wood and Mark Prior, but I don’t think that was his fault.”
Pray tell, Brantley…whose fault was it? (For more on this, check out this post by doug on yesterday’s comment thread.)
Why such a need to defend the move less than a day after it was announced? Could the Reds be feeling the heat already?
Okay, so what have people been saying on the internets?
–Justin has all kinds of great stuff about Baker at his blog, including reasons to like the hiring.
–Daedalus thinks we’re overreacting. She probably has a point, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is the worst signing in the history of the world. (Tongue-in-cheek, folks.)
–Here is Shawn’s take.
–B Misc. isn’t excited, but isn’t opposed either.
–My alma mater is ranked 19th in the initial BCS rankings. No, that doesn’t have anything to do with Dusty Baker or the Reds, but as bad as UVa looked early in the year, I’m amazed and I needed some good news and I just wanted to point to it. Plus, the Buckeyes are number one.
–Cub fans are having a great time with this news. Chris posted this last night, but check out this hilarious post by Cub Reporter. If you read one non-Red blog post today, make it this one. It’s a brilliant “2008 Cincinnati Reds Year In Review.” My favorite part:
10-1-08 – The Reds play the Cubs at Wrigley in a one-game playoff to determine the sole NL Central representative in the playoffs. After 9 innings, the score is tied at 2, the RedsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ infield is 0-14 with 2 sacrifice bunts. Dunn, playing in game 163, hits his 100th and 101st home runs of the regular season, but strikes out four times on four efforts to intentionally walk him, bringing his strikeout total to 372. In the bottom of the tenth, Aramis Ramirez, noticing that Homer BaileyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s arm appears to be visibily throbbing and glowing a strange orange, smartly bunts a ball back towards BaileyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s right. Bailey grabs it, fires to first, with his arm detaching from its socket. With arm and ball alike traveling towards Hatteberg, Ramirez is able to beat the throw.
Baker calls in Estes from the pen, who procedes to walk Cubs right fielder Alex Rodriguez and then Jacque Jones. The game ends when Mark Derosa hits a high pop fly along the left field line. With Adam Dunn playing with two torn rotator cuffs, not-really-ex-cub Alex Gonzalez and actual-ex-cub Augie Ojeda race out from third and short to chase after the popup. Gonzalez leaps towards the left field foul wall padding, when a pair of hands extend over the wall, into fair territory, to make a grab at the ball. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s really-ex-cub Alex Gonzalez, who foolishly tries to interfere with a live ball! Gonzalez whiffs on his effort to catch the ball, but distracts the other Gonzalez from the catch, causing the ball to fall in, just fair. Ramirez high-hurdles Darren Baker, who got lost on his way to deliver a new set of baseballs to the home plate umpire, and slides in for the winning run.
–This is an old post, but take a look at a Cubs fan’s examination of Dusty Baker’s handling of young players. Jay Bruce, Josh Hamilton, Edwin Encarnacion, Homer Bailey, Joey Votto, and Johnny Cueto have much to fear, it appears.
Now, more from the mainstream media:
–Dusty Baker should fit right in. Seems he has a history with Marty Brennaman, stemming from some criticism by Marty in years past.
–I was never a big Pete Mackanin fan, but they didn’t even give the guy an interview after telling him that they would. That’s bush league. Mackanin seems to be taking it in stride. I hope the guy catches on with another organization soon.
–Oh yeah, and one more thing….the season is long over and, by the way, no one with the Reds has even spoken to Adam Dunn about his contract option. Too occupied with hiring Dusty Baker, I guess, to concern themselves with moves that might actually help the Reds win games on the field.
Okay, 24 hours later…have any of you changed your mind about the hiring, or at least softened your stance?