I don’t think it will happen during the season (most of you don’t think so, either, judging by those recent poll results), but a discussion in the comments under the most recent Titanic Struggle Recap leads to an interesting question:

How poorly do the Reds have to play for Dusty Baker to get fired during the season?

I have always thought Baker would be gone after the season, unless the Reds made the playoffs. I still believe that. Some people are suggesting that the Dusty Watch is on, but I just don’t think it’s going to happen.

Frankly, we all have a tendency to overreact during the bad times. Yes, the Reds have lost four straight. Yes, the Reds are poised on the brink of getting swept by the Pirates. Yes, the team doesn’t do the little things well, and they can’t hit right now.

The cliche continues to apply, though: it’s still early. It really is. Yes, there are disturbing signs that this is the same old Reds of the last nine years, but the fact is that the Reds could win four straight games starting today and we’d all be happy again. It’s hard to urge patience during these rough times, but they’ve only been playing for two weeks. I keep telling myself that.

Anyway, answer the question: what will it take for Dusty to be fired mid-season?

28 Responses

  1. vanwilder8

    I’m pretty sure he’d have to literally take a dump in the dugout.

    JockeRty hasn’t indicated in the past that Dusty’s poor lineup construction, abuse of our starting pitchers, or general ineptitude will get him fired. Plus he’s getting paid a bunch of money, and we’ve shown an unwillingness in the past to dump salary.

    The problem is that Dusty is going to blow out the arms of our young pitchers trying to keep the team competitive so that he can keep his job, while the rest of the organization is (realistically) aiming for next year.

  2. Dust Ball

    The Dusty watch has been on since he got to town for me. Thought it was a dumb hire then and even more so now. When is he going to take some guys to task for their play? Some of the stuff this team does is inexcusable and Dusty just sits there like nothing happened. I want to see some emotion from him that he cares about winning … argue a close play, sit a guy that’s not performing etc.

  3. Furniture City Red

    @vanwilder8: I don’t think Jocketty is the type that would publicly question Dusty’s poor lineup construction, abuse of our starting pitchers, or general ineptitude. From what I’ve read and seen from walt this spring He thinks he has put together a team that is ready to compete. Dusty is not ‘Walt’s guy’ – Walt didn’t hire him . As for Dusty being paid a buch of money, He’s gonna get his money whether he’s here or not, so give him his money along with a ticket out of town and see how Sweet does the rest of the season as manager of the Reds.

    to answer the question – If the Reds arent playing good baseball and competing in the NL central by june 1st Dusty is gone.

    • Bill Lack

      @vanwilder8: He’s gonna get his money whether he’s here or not, so give him his money along with a ticket out of town and see how Sweet does the rest of the season as manager of the Reds.to answer the question – If the Reds arent playing good baseball and competing in the NL central by june 1st Dusty is gone.

      IF they do fire Baker, it won’t be Sweet. This organization tried that with Dave Miley, they won’t do it again anytime soon.

  4. Dan

    I think Dusty is here for the year, regardless… and then gone for sure… unless we do something miraculous like winning, let’s say, 86 or more games.

  5. Furniture City Red

    @Dan: I hope your wrong, ’cause if your right I gotta hope the Reds dont win 86 games.

    ‘Between a rock and a hars place’; definition > Being a Reds fan and wanting your team to win , but wanting Dusty gone.

  6. Greg Dafler

    Any manager in the last year of their contract cannot survive a prolonged losing streak. That includes Baker.

    I try not to pile onto Baker too much, but I think his handling of the starters and closed-door meeting with the starters is not the way to handle the situation. It is April, starters tend not to go as deep into games this first month, and he’s got a 7-man bullpen. How can the man not manage a 7-man bullpen in April?

    So now we’ve got starters who are pitching in the 1st inning worried about how many pitches they throw and how rested the bullpen is instead of worried about pitching the first inning?

  7. Furniture City Red

    dang! ‘hard’ not ‘hars’ 😳

  8. 18to88

    It depends on the Pinella watch in Chicago.

    That’s who ownership wants.

  9. 18to88

    Castellini had originally offered a job to his good friend Sweet Lou, but the stars have never quite aligned. If Lou became available, Dusty would be gone. That Cubs team is a mess (not Lou’s fault…the talent there is crap).


    The new owner also showed a fondness for former Reds manager Lou Piniella, who is out of baseball at the moment. Tampa Bay bought out the final year of his contract at the end of last season, and Piniella is doing television work this year.

    Castellini met with Piniella and asked him to become a special adviser with the Reds. Castellini said Piniella turned down the offer because he wants to take a year off.

    “I wanted Lou to come up here in the worst way as a special adviser,” Castellini said. “He promised me if I asked him to, he’d come down to spring training. He’s just a terrific guy. He’ll not be with us this year.”

  10. Furniture City Red

    @[email protected]: Thanks for the link. I’m not sure that because thats who ownership wanted in 2006 that that’s who they still want now, but we’ll see.

    I especially like this quote from Castellini on ’06;
    “The Reds have put together five consecutive losing seasons, their longest such streak in 50 years. Castellini said that will change.

    “I want to make a promise today to Reds fans wherever you are, a promise from one fan to another: We will bring championship baseball to Cincinnati,” he said emphatically.”

    …STILL WAITING Bob. 😥 😐 🙄

  11. justcorbly

    I think the team is quite capable of firing Baker, possibly in late May if the team is still floundering.

    That said, I don’t think a new manager would make that much difference. It is not the manager who makes the offense suck. It is not the manager who made Harang a has-been and Arroyo unreliable.

    If you want the Reds to have a winning season, here;s what you need to hope for before you hope for a new manager: That Votto and Bruce both finish above .300 with at least 25 homers each, that Harang can be dispensed with in the next month or so without great cost to the club, that Arroyo wins at least 17 games, that Chapman comes up to the big club by All-Star break and scares the bejeebus out of the league, that Volquez returns and acts like he never had surgery, that the Cueto and Leake start to take charge, and the Wood pitches his way out of Lousiville.

    Frankly, I think the team sees this year as the last year they are willinging to accept losses while they are building personnel. I think they are right.

  12. Y-City Jim

    If the Reds don’t improve real soon, he could be a late May – early June casualty.

  13. Sultan of Swaff

    In that poll I voted that he wouldn’t be back under any circumstances and I’m holding to it. If this team tanks in the first half, what’s the point of keeping this guy? At that stage we’d clearly be going with the kids, and Dusty is the last guy on Earth to be leading that effort. The drumbeat for his dismissal will be loud and constant by mid June. And really, give me one good reason he shouldn’t fall on his sword? Last in the league in pitches thrown, most walks, terrible OBP, the lineup’s a mess, etc. Sure you can blame Walt for acquiring a couple of these losers, but it’s Dusty’s job to ensure these guys show plate discipline and that the pitchers pitch to contact—that’s a top to bottom failing, and who’s the common denominator? Dusty and Jacoby. Heck, Jacoby might be the canary in the coal mine and get canned first. Price is the only who has any job security at this point.
    Like we’ve all said around this site, July is going to be a very telling month for the direction of this franchise.

  14. eastcoast redsfan

    The Marlins fired Torborg in 2003 when the team was 16 – 22. They went on to win the World Series. It is possible to turn around a season if the right person is managing. Dusty isn’t it. For me, I would hope Dusty would be gone on the off day tomorrow. At least get rid of Jacoby tomorrow. Some kind of shake-up is necessary. I think if the team isnt above .500 in a month, Dusty will be gone. I don’t think Castellini wants another ‘summer of dispair’ in Cincinnati.

  15. earl

    I think if they struggle into mid-May, Dusty is toast. I’d think the management will not want the fans to give up early in the season. If management has already made up their mind not to re-sign Dusty to an extension, why wait? I think they will give the job to someone in an interim basis and see how things play out.

  16. pinson343

    If (and only if) the team tanks badly in the first half, Dusty could get canned. There was an interesting segment on mlbnetwork about a number of managers being in the final year of their contract, and teams not wanting not wanting to anty up big money for a manager. No doubt Castellini has his eye on what’s happening with Lou in Chicago. But it would make sense – money-wise and otherwise – to see how Rick Sweet would do in the second half.

    I only see this happening if the team has a terrible first half – if we’re muddling along close to .500, Dusty will stay until the end of 2010. Then he’s gone, unless the team has shown real improvement – 85 or more wins.

    • mike

      I only see this happening if the team has a terrible first half – if we’re muddling along close to .500, Dusty will stay until the end of 2010.

      Current wpct: .385
      Projected losses with that wpct: 100

      can’t get much worse than that.

      a little prediction.
      after the Dodger series the Reds play SD and Houston for 6 games. If we aren’t near .500 after those easy 6 games, let him go. To be honest if I was GM I’d let him go 6 months ago…but that’s different.

  17. earl

    I think Dusty is gone as soon as they decide not to sign him to an extension. That might be the Allstar break or it could be when they get back from the road trip going against the AL or maybe on Monday (hint, hint). Once the upper guys catch up and realize Baker is not going to be able to get these kids to the next level, I think they cut bait and then bring in someone from either the ML or minor league coaching staff to evaluate and go straight to the kids.

    I’d say Cairo and some of the vets would be soon to follow.

  18. xumuskiefan

    Hi, I’m a newbie here, but a long time Reds fan. With that out of the way…

    Dusty is a horrible horrible manager. The lineups make no sense, letting pitcher throw too many pitches, and makes decisions that almost always backfire. The fact that he has Brandon hitting fourth just shows how bad he is. We have to remember that Dusty was a Jim O’Brien hire and not Walt’s. You can say what you want about Lou, but I might bet the farm that Tony La Russa will be our manager next season. Bottom Line: Fire Dusty now and try to make something of the season! Please!!! For the love of God!!!!

    Oh, and Brook Jacoby can pack his bags too… and we all know why!

  19. Furniture City Red

    The Reds looked just awful in the Pirates series. Pitchers are gonna have bad starts and batters are gonna have slumps – I understand that, but it’s all ‘the little things’ that Reds players DON”T do that really bothers me. This team is playing some ugly baseball right now. They don’t play good-solid fundamental baseball. Whether it’s their approach at the plate, defense, baserunning, or lack of hustle – it’s (for the most part) just ugly. I blame the manager and coaching staff – They gotta go.

  20. TC

    I am disappointed and deeply saddened by some of the posts in this thread. Even though we disagree with many of his decisions as manager, I think we can all agree he is a good and decent person who has done well in his personal life and as both a player and manager. No matter how angry he makes me some times, I will not hope for nor celebrate after a person’s life gets turned upside down by being fired. I feel there is something morally wrong about that. What will happen will happen, but I’m going to hold out hope he can get this turned around in time.

  21. Furniture City Red

    @TC: I have nothing personal against Dusty Baker, from everything I’ve read and heard he is a good guy. He would probably be fun to be around – I’m sure he has some great baseball stories to tell, BUT he is not a good manager – at least not for this team(ie..young players) – The sooner he is gone the better. He has a guaranteed contract, so even if he is fired today he will still get his 3.5 mil for this year…I don’t think his life is gonna be turned upside down by being fired.

  22. pinson343

    @TC: From my understanding, Dusty Baker is an intelligent man with a wide range of interests, music, wine, etc., a great family life and a lot of friends. And the great majority of us are rooting for him to succeed, not fail, this year.

    It’s the same situation as with calling for a player to be demoted or traded, or calling for a coach to be fired. This can in some cases can turn someone’s life upside down, at least temporarily. But this blog is about the Reds, and who’s helping them and who isn’t. These are not personal attacks. When a Red who’s been with the team for a while leaves, members of this blog sincerely wish him future success and recall some favorite memories. I don’t know of another sports blog like this one in that and other respects.

    And when it comes to the pain of losing a job, members of this blog have certainly had that experience, no doubt within the last couple of years for some of us.

  23. John

    I wish my life got turned upside down with a guaranteed $3.5 million. If I lose my job today, my last check is in 2 weeks and I can’t make next month’s mortgage. Dusty would probably not be able to make his yacht payment, but I’m pretty sure he’d be okay. ESPN will bring him back or something. They hired Bowden once. They’ll hire Dusty twice.

    I’m not looking for Dusty or his family to suffer. I don’t wish him pain or injury. But he is the wrong manager for the wrong team at the wrong time. They need to make a move.