Joey Votto says he’s ready. The ball is in the Reds’ court now. Keep those fingers crossed.

–Mark Sheldon says it’s the same ol’ story with the Reds. He also says “Dusty Baker was a bit edgy after the game and wore the look of disdain.” Surprise, surprise. The Almighty Dusty is tired of being questioned about his decisions. The Almighty Dusty has never made a mistake.

–Beyond the Boxscore says to “Free Willy, as in cut his butt loose.” Indeed.

Is this a joke?

–John Erardi says no assumption is safe. Good read.

–Sorry for the absence of the Titanic Struggle Recap the last two nights. I’ve been out of town, and apparently none of the other editors could pick me up for a couple of nights.

36 Responses

  1. Glenn

    Dusty’s upset about this team’s lack of production and his frustration’s just boiling to the top. I don’t think its any more than that.

  2. Shawn

    Oh, that silly Steve Gartner: “When Willy Taveras was struggling at the plate, Baker inserted Dickerson in the lineup, and he didn’t disappoint. ” Let me edit that sentence for you, Steve. “After an interminable three weeks when Willy Taveras only got one hit, and no walks, Dusty Baker finally inserted Chris Dickerson into his place for one game, and thought himself clever.”

    There. Gotta help out the mlb.com guys.

  3. jason1972

    That is awesome news about Joey Votto. I hope that he is feeling good now and is back to stay.

  4. Travis G.

    That’s great news about Votto. It’s not so much the lack of offense and the resulting swoon; I just miss watching the guy play. (But, man oh man, I do hate the losing.)

  5. RiverCity Redleg

    When is EE eligable to come off the 60 day DL?

  6. GRF

    “apparently none of the other editors could pick me up for a couple of nights.”

    Editor catfight! Somebody break out the popcorn.

    It is amzaing that Baker can get so much right, and yet manages to get so many of us to hate him by his constant “disdain” for fans and anyone else who suggests that continuing to play a guy with a double digit OBP might be mistake. Disdain right back at you Dusty.

  7. pinson343

    The Almighty Dusty has made it clear that EE won’t be back with the Reds any time soon. Not that it’s his decision, but that’s his position.

    Steve Gartner’s silly article mentions that CD is 7-9 over his last 5 games. The most astonishing thing about that is a guy who’s that hot only getting 9 ABs in 5 games.

    CD’s pinch hitting for Taveras gives some hope that he’ll now be the starter in CF against RH pitching, but I just had a scary thought. What if Dusty decides to show the world that he was right and everyone else was wrong all along, and makes CD his everyday LFer again, putting Nix back on the bench ?

  8. Sultan of Swaff

    I don’t see any way Stubbs gets called up before September. You’d have to DFA Willy, and there’s no way that will happen this season.
    We gotta bring Votto back now so he can play in his hometown. I guarantee he’ll go off like he did in the WBC.
    With EdE on rehab and Voltron healing, help is on the way.

  9. Chris

    Sorry, Chad. I couldn’t bring myself to watch the games on Saturday or Sunday.

  10. Sultan of Swaff

    Does anyone doubt that the only difference between our record and the Cardinal’s right now is that they have Pujols the last 3 weeks and we didn’t have Votto?
    I still think we’re gonna have a say in this division.

  11. Sultan of Swaff

    Not exactly the venom we were expecting Chris. What are we paying you guys for?

  12. Bill Lack

    I didn’t watch Saturday or Sunday’s games either…I like this blog and everything, but it’s not my ENTIRE life. :p

  13. AnnapolisRed

    Anybody see this gem?

    Reds manager Dusty Baker was asked Sunday how his club was remaining in contention despite the rash of injuries.

    “Sometimes I don’t know how it’s going on at this point,” Baker said. “The thing about going on is, you don’t think about not going on. It’s like my surfer friend. If you’re riding a wave, you don’t think about falling off. It’s just like when you’re on a hot streak. You don’t think about when it’s going to end.”

  14. Chris

    At some point, Dusty needs to figure out that he isn’t a ballplayer anymore, but instead is a professional manager, paid to think about his team.

    The manager needs to think beyond things like jinxes, lucky undershirts, and stepping on the baselines.

  15. Matt WI

    I believe the byline on the Gartner story should read: “As told by Dusty Baker”

  16. preach

    Notice how Dusty brings up examples from every sport except baseball?

    Oh, well, what do I know? I never played with Hank Aaron.

  17. Glenn

    Dusty Baker was not my first choice as manager of the Reds, but of course no of us had any say in that process. Yeah he says stupid stuff sometimes and he makes moves that we all disagree with, but come on guys, we’ve got to believe that Dusty has been an improvement over the Knight’s, Boone’s, Miley’s and Narron’s that proceeded him. Those teams were in such disarray that they were lucky to find their way to the ballpark.

    Whether its Dusty, Mr. C, WJ or all working in concert, this team is vastly more organized and professionally run then it has been in the recent past. Because of that, I’m willing to cut Dusty some slack. Despite all the injuries, players not performing and general bad luck, the team is still in contention and I think Dusty deserves at least some credit for that.
    The fact that he lashes out with a general “get off my back” comment, in my mind means he cares. Remember Jerry Narron. That man’s face would crack and fall off if ever an expression was to appear on it. I’d much rather have a manager who lets his emotions get the better of him from time to time than some of the stiffs we’d had in the past.

  18. Josh

    Can we try reverse psychology or something with this guy? Maybe if he sits Willy T in favor of Dickerson we should clamor for Willy T to be in the starting lineup all the time. Then, he would stick with CD because he ain’t no front runner.

  19. brublejr

    BTB hit the nail on the head, that piece on Dickerson had to been a joke, and hopefully Joey’s coming back on Tuesday.

  20. brublejr

    Oh and Hal asked Baker if moving Ramon to 3rd was a possibility, his response was that “We have to get Hernandez back behind the plate.” Why?? Hanigan gets on base and is significantly better defensively. His reasoning is because of Hanigan’s BA with runners in scoring position. Ok, it does stink, but he wants to run Willy out there everyday despite being one of the worst hitters in the league. He wants to bench a guy who is batting over .300, plays great defense, and gets on base a ton. However, he want to stick with his “leadoff” man who can’t get on base at all, is not as good defensively as Dickerson, and cannot hit the ball out of the infield. Dusty is always contradicting himself, and it is sickening.

  21. Jason

    Random-Useless-Whatever…

    The Reds have lost the finale of a series 10 out of the last 11 times, exception being the Astros sweep on May 25-27. This is what I do in my office when bored, I stare at my Reds schedule on filing cabinet and break it down til i find random-useless-whatever information to share with te rest of RN. Ok, back to work..(meaning work for 20min and then re-check Fay blog on new Votto news, repeat, repeat…)

  22. Jason

    Oops, shouldve been 9 of 11, I forgot the Indians series. They have lost 7 series finales in a row, whatever.

  23. Jason

    Random-Useless-Whatever…

    The Reds are 2-9 on Saturdays. Which explains my 0-6 seeing them live this year, bc 5 of 6 have been on said day. ugh.

  24. Jason

    They are 7-3 on Wednesdays, this is me mulling my remaining vacation days for the summer.

  25. RiverCity Redleg

    Jason, I’m going to have to ask you to stop going to games on Saturdays.

  26. GregD

    The Almighty Dusty has made it clear that EE won’t be back with the Reds any time soon. Not that it’s his decision, but that’s his position.

    I think this is another case of him protecting the player with respect to the media & the fans. For some reason, Encarnacion is only 2nd to A*** D*** in polarization of fan opinion. And when he went on the DL with a .127 average in only 19 games there are fans who still think he shouldn’t be starting at 3B when he comes off the DL.

    My guess is that if he is hitting right away and can play back-to-back days without soreness or reinjury, he’ll be back sooner than expected. If that happens, Edwin can get reinstated with a positive story about how quickly he was able to rehab and return to action. If he needs 3-4 weeks, then it went “according to plan.”

  27. GregD

    we’ve got to believe that Dusty has been an improvement over the Knight’s, Boone’s, Miley’s and Narron’s that proceeded him. Those teams were in such disarray that they were lucky to find their way to the ballpark.

    I want to believe that, but it is always difficult to compare managers with teams of vastly different talent. Who knows how any of those past Reds teams would have performed if they weren’t staffed with three #5 starters in the #1-2-3 spot of the rotation.

    Want to know how Dusty managed with poor pitching? See the 2006 Cubs.

    The bolded part – the team was in such disarray – I’d say the organization & front office was in disarray which led to the product on the field that we saw in those years.

    A strong front office with an effective plan, and a little luck with some of the prospects and overall team health, goes a long way to making the manager look smart.

  28. GregD

    According to the Boston Globe:

    Bronson Arroyo, RHP, Reds: One of the hot rumors among the scouting community is that the Reds are dangling one of their veteran pitchers in an effort to get younger and reduce payroll. Arroyo, whose name has come up in the past, is earning $9.5 million this season as part of a two-year, $25 million deal. He will earn $11 million next season and has a $2 million buyout on an $11 million option in 2011. With starting pitching hard to find, the Reds could get a decent return.

  29. Glenn

    Greg #31, my point exactly. It’s a joint effort and Dusty’s has to be given some credit for being a key cog in that wheel.

  30. GregD

    I’m not not giving Dusty credit. I’m just not certain what this current team’s record would be with other past managers.

    Narron, most recently, outperformed with the rosters he had in 2005 & 2006.

    The 2005 team was 1st in the NL in batting (5.03 R/G) and last in pitching (5.45 RA/G). Despite the negative run differential, he finished the season 46-46.

    The 2006 team was 10th in the NL in batting & pitching (4.62 R/G) and (4.94 RA/G). Despite the negative run differential, he finished the season 80-82.

    2007 was not a good year. 4.83 R/G was 7th best in the NL in batting, their R/G was above league average and only bested in the NL Central by the Brewers. Pitching? 5.27 RA/G was 15th in the league. Narron was 31-51 when he was let go.

    Imagine the 2007 offense (4.83 R/G) with today’s pitching staff (4.34 RA/G). I have a hard time picturing either manager having a better or worse record than the other.

  31. Glenn

    So Dusty get’s no credit at all? Sorry to disagree (not being disagreeable) but IMO Dusty’s a top tier manager whose done a heck of a job with all these injuries and still to be only 3.5 games out.

    With Votto back and Volquez appearing to be on his way, I think the Reds are sitting pretty good right now. No doubt they could be better but the person who doesn’t see room for improvement isn’t trying or doesn’t care.

    Now, I DON’T agree with every move Dusty’s made (read any post I’ve made about Taveras this year or CP the year before) but in total I have to say he’s done a very serviceable job.

  32. GregD

    There’s a big gap between giving some credit and top tier manager. IMHO Dusty is a good manager, but I wouldn’t classify him as “top tier”. One of his strongest suits is player/clubhouse/media relations. He doesn’t throw his players under the bus to the media, and seems to have a generally content clubhouse.

    That they are only 3.5 games back speaks as much to the rest of the teams in the divison as the Reds current record. They would be 2.5 GB in the East and 11 GB in the West. They have to pass 3 teams to take over the divison and 5 teams are ahead of them for the wild card.

    I’m just exploring the age-old question of the impact a manager has on the team’s record. Does the manager add a significant number of wins (or losses) to a team’s record or is the team’s result mostly (solely?) an indicator of the roster talent?

    With the Reds in 2009, they’ve scored about as many runs as they’ve allowed and they have a .500 record. All other things being equal, that’s what you’d expect.

    Narron’s clubs allowed (a lot) more runs than they scored, yet until the year he was fired he had the team around .500. (I’m not saying Narron is a better manager than Baker.)

    Obviously, with Votto, Edwin & Volquez coming back, all other players remaining healthy, I think this team definitely has room for improvement.