Frequent commenter “hoosierdad” directed my attention to the following piece at The Hardball Times. It’s an excerpt from Chris Jaffe’s book, “Evaluating Baseball Managers,” dealing with our own intrepid manager, Dusty Baker:
Much of the commentary on managers (including, admittedly, much of this book) presents a reductionist view of their job, portraying a skipper as someone who has the same impact on all environments at all times. In reality, managers are better at some parts of the job than at others. Place a man in a situation that fits his strengths, and he will look like a savant. Put that same individual on a team that highlights his weaknesses and people will call him a dullard. Dusty BakerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s experiences with the Giants and Cubs provided ample evidence of this phenomenon.
Read the entire excerpt, especially the parts about Dusty’s time in Chicago. Surely I’m not the only one who sees many similarities with the current version of Baker with the guy who failed so miserably with the Cubs.
I’m afraid the Reds, as currently constructed, are a team that highlights Baker’s weaknesses as a manager, rather than accentuating his strengths. Of course, if Walt Jocketty keeps stockpiling 35-year-olds, Baker is going to feel right at home.