Dusty Baker has signed a new, two year agreement to keep managing the Reds. There are some people out there who may question the agreement because of the fact that the Reds have not been able to have a lot of deep playoff runs. But it does not make sense to fire a manager who has just won their division unless there is a serious personality conflict. Dusty Baker’s heart is still on the West Coast, make no mistake about that.
Fans of the Cincinnati Reds may wonder whether his entire focus is truly on their ball club, but in my personal view there is no doubt that Baker’s focus is on the Reds.
Dusty Baker does have some health problems that could scare some Reds fans, but I still largely believe that the Reds are headed in the right direction. Walt Jocketty has been able to make the proper moves in order to make sure the Reds are able to stay in playoff contention.
Baker has not been afraid to make a few changes to his staff when necessary. The team fired Dick Pole close to the end of the 2009 season and he was replaced by former Arizona Diamondbacks pitching coach Bryan Price. Price has largely been applauded for his working with Johnny Cueto.
The Reds may have some of their postseasons troubles may be attributed to a lack of timely hitting, Joey Votto could have come up with more clutch hits during the postseason that would have made a huge difference. Votto is a consistent player who just needs more playoff experience in order to find the right amount of success that is truly necessary.
The Reds need to make sure that they can fill the gaps that are out there in their bullpen. The team did not really enjoy not having their closer coming directly out of Spring Training. Baker may also have trouble at the third base position if Scott Rolen decides to retire or move on. The Reds would be giving more opportunities to a guy like Todd Frazier. Sean Marshall was fairly effective coming out of the bullpen, but they may not be able to lean on a guy like Marshall again.
People may also not be happy with Dusty Baker’s relaxed style, but there are a lot of people who do not like the idea of letting adults be adults. A baseball player who wants to work for millions of dollars should not need extra motivation to have success.