Dust(y) in the Wind

@FourWalls (15885)
United States
October 20, 2017 5:20pm CST
To no surprise whatsoever of fans of the Giants, Cubs, and Reds, the Washington Nationals have decided not to renew the contract of manager Dusty Baker for the 2018 season. Baker, who is 68, was released today (10/20), eight days after the Nationals were knocked out of the NLDS by the Cubs in a thrilling game five. (The emotional stress of that game probably had something to do with the Cubs' lackluster showing in the NLCS against the Dodgers: after that heart-stopping game seven of the World Series the Cubs had 24 weeks to recover; after game five of the NLDS they barely had 24 hours to get ready.) Nationals ownership has seen the same thing that the Reds, the Cubs, and the Giants saw before with Dusty Baker: he's great in the regular season, but he can't manage in the postseason. He couldn't manage five outs twice: with the Giants against the Angels in 2002 (when the Angels -- once owned by cowboy singing and acting star Gene Autry -- won their first and only [to date] title), and with the Cubs in the NLCS in 2003 (the infamous "Bartman game"). Yeah, it's "not fair" to blame the manager. Mike Hargrove lost his job with the Cleveland Indians despite five consecutive AL Central titles and two trips to the World Series. Earlier this month, after the Red Sox were eliminated in the playoffs, Red Sox manager John Farrell was shown the door as well; and, unlike Hargrove and Baker, he has a World Series ring (the Red Sox won in 2013 under his watch). However, right or wrong, the manager does get the blame when the team loses, just as he gets the credit when they win. But the truth of the matter is if you look at the teams that Baker has managed into the postseason -- especially the Nationals, who have been every "expert"'s pick to "win it all" over the past four years -- there's something askew when the talent on the field collapses like a house of cards in a tornado. I would imagine this will be Dusty Baker's last managerial job. He'll probably become an ESPN analyst or retire and fish. (And this again brings to my mind one of Dusty's former teams, the Cincinnati Reds, who continue to hang on to a manager with a .576 losing percentage while Baker is heading to the proverbial showers with a .593 winning percentage. All I can think is Bryan Price must have some serious dirt on someone to be able to keep a job finishing dead last every year.) Happy trails, Dusty.
6 people like this
3 responses
@JohnRoberts (65417)
• Los Angeles, California
21 Oct 17
Not only the end of Dusty, but end of old school managers. Younger managers into analytics like Dodgers and Astros but the game always gives way to the younger nudging the older out. But the Tigers hired Ron Gardenhire so go figure except he's manning the fort in what is going to be a long rebuild there. Hey. I thank Dusty for his work in helping our Angels win. No excuses for the Cubs!
3 people like this
@FourWalls (15885)
• United States
21 Oct 17
I kinda miss Lou Piniella and his explosions. I don’t think anyone will break Bobby Cox’s record for ejections, thanks to the imposition of replay.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (42070)
• Denver, Colorado
21 Oct 17
I feel kind of bad for the guy.
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (15885)
• United States
21 Oct 17
That’s because he’s never managed the Rockies. You have to deal with him, you’ll feel differently.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (42070)
• Denver, Colorado
21 Oct 17
@FourWalls - That's true. I didn't think of that.
1 person likes this
@Teep11 (7212)
• United States
20 Oct 17
Appreciate updates on baseball. There is certainly a lot to report. Keep enjoying the pitches.
1 person likes this