Two detailed articles on Dusty Baker were posted yesterday at ESPN, offering some insight about him, his future and his relationship with players.

Journalist Jerry Crasnick’s piece deals mostly with Baker’s future with the Reds, but also sheds some light on his interaction with his players and coaches. Regarding Baker’s future, Crasnick says this among other things:

The Reds resume play Friday night against St. Louis with a 47-38 record and sit one game behind Pittsburgh in the NL Central and atop a crowded wild-card field. A playoff berth would help secure Baker’s future, but sources say there’s enough division within the Reds’ hierarchy that it might take an extended postseason run to save his job.

Overall, the piece is thorough and even-handed toward Baker.

The second article is from a former player, Doug Glanville. Glanville played part-time for Baker’s 2003 Cubs team that made the NL playoffs. Again, it’s interesting for the insight it sheds on how Baker relates to his players. Here’s the concluding paragraph:

These days Baker is finding his mojo (a word that fits Baker perfectly) again with a strong season in Cincinnati. He sticks to what he knows, and at times, that might bite him, but he is just being Dusty, managing the game the way he played it, without apology.

If you’re looking for an informed opinion on Baker, I recommend taking the time to read both. Thanks to Mike Maffie for sending me the links.