We do a lot of carping about Dusty Baker’s managerial moves, particularly his in-game moves (mostly since that’s what we see). Understanding that Dusty’s recognized strength is managing the personalities in the clubhouse, and not intending to be scientific at all, I wanted to try to keep a running assessment of Dusty’s key, or unusual moves. Thus, the Dusty-O-Meter.

Not the obvious stuff that any manager would do (Cordero in to pitch the ninth in a tie game at home; or starting Hanigan the day after a night game), but choices. I’m not pretending to be scientific, but I am trying to be objective, and to focus on the decision, and not the outcome. At least in spirit, I want to be true to Marty Brennaman’s longtime refusal to second-guess (but willingness to “first guess”).

This may not show us anything (other than the fact that we like to bitch). It definitely won’t measure Dusty’s true value, as we’ll never know how his pep talk leads to a Votto hot streak, or how he noticed an opposing reliever tipping his pitches. We’ll probably wrongly subtract points for Dusty “benching” a guy who’s laid up with Montezuma’s revenge. To balance that to some degree, I’ll try to give extra credit when seemingly-wrong moves work out well (like pushing Arroyo back so that he would start a day game today). And hopefully, this will give us some clue about whether Dusty is as bad as we think. At the least, it will make us watch the games closer, and with a more open mind.

I’m not sure where the Dusty-O-Meter will live on the site – in the Titanic Struggle Recaps, in a daily post, or somewhere else. And when I’m around in the Game Threads, I’ll try to keep score “live.” (BTW: The numbers don’t mean anything. It’s just a play on the old +/- internet meme, and an effort to measure moves relative to each other.)

But to catch us up, here’s my scoring for the first series. Feel free to disagree in the comments. I’m more than willing to consider revisions.

Game 1
Using Miguel Cairo as your first PH off the bench -0.25
Using Mike Lincoln as your first reliever out of the pen -0.25
Sending Lincoln out for a second inning -1.0
Letting Hererra stay in the game to face RH Ludwick and Molina +0.25
PH Stubbs for Nix, to set up Stubbs/Motte (instead of Nix/Reyes) +0.25
PH Francisco in a close game to get the experience and evaluate him +0.25
Getting Ondrusek a non-pressure debut inning, down 6-3 +0.25
GAME SCORE: -0.5 (Season Score -0.5)

Game 2
Starting Gomes against a RHP. +0.25
Not walking Ludwick after Rasmus’ 2b -0.25
Letting Cueto throw 109 pitches in his first start. -0.5
Bringing in Ondrusek to face the heart of the order with the game on the line. -1.0
Getting Masset an inning to clear his head after Monday’s beating. +0.25
Using Cordero in the 9th, down 6-3 and with a “must win” game in 16 hours. -0.25
GAME SCORE: -1.50 (Season Score -2.0)

Game 3
Holding Arroyo back for the day game (4.88 day ERA last year vs. 3.46 at night) -1.0*
Sticking with Arroyo after the Holiday HR and Rasmus walk. +0.25
*Holding Arroyo back for the day game +1.5 (benefit of the doubt that Dusty knew something)
Letting Gomes face Motte (rather than bringing in Nix or Francisco) +0.25
GAME SCORE: +2 (Season Score -0.0)