When I hear that someone is “player’s manager,” my first thought is typically, “pushover.”  I don’t know why “player’s manager” is typically described as being the opposite of “harda$$,” but Dusty Baker’s quotes in today’s Columbus Dispatch show you what the term really means — a manager who understands the game from his players’ perspective.

Manager Dusty Baker preached patience, the opposite message ownership sent Wednesday when it fired general manager Wayne Krivsky 21 games into his third season.

Baker pointed to the track records of some of the team’s struggling players, particularly Griffey, Phillips, Dunn and pitcher Bronson Arroyo. He said their effort has been fine; only the execution is lacking.

“Sometimes you have to sit on your hands and let them play,” Baker said. “I mean, how small is your faith if the first bump you hit, you cry doom?”

While some around him beat the drum for minor leaguers Jay Bruce and Homer Bailey to be promoted, Baker said he believes it is in the players’ and team’s best interest to keep the roster intact.

“It’s very tempting to think only of today, instead of thinking of the long term, for us and them,” he said. “A month (of development in triple-A) can be worth years.”

Like Daedalus and Chad in the last post, Baker gets it.  This is a long season.  The Reds may, or may not be capable of winning the division, but freaking out about the first 20 games surely won’t make winning more likely.