According to multiple sources on Friday, the Cincinnati Reds fired Dusty Baker after six seasons.
Honestly, this was the right move. If the Reds ever want to win the World Series again, this had to happen. Dusty better on tightly to that World Series ring he won with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1981, because I don’t think he’ll ever win one as a manager. Kudos to him for managing his teams into the playoffs, but they always falter once they get there.
2002 World Series, game 6. The San Francisco Giants are up 5-0 going into the 7th inning. The Anaheim Angels put a dent into the game by scoring 3 in the 7th and 3 more in the 8th. The Halos erased a 5-0 lead the Giants once had. Then they erased an early 1-0 lead in game 7 to beat them 4-1.
Baker comes to Chicago to manage the Cubs. He gets them within five outs of the World Series in 2003. They had a 3-1 series lead against the Florida Marlins and a 3-0 lead in game 6. They also led in game 7 too, before that went poof.
The 2010 Reds emerged victorious as champions of the NL Central. Potential future Hall of Fame first baseman Joey Votto led the way as NL MVP as the city of Cincy got its first taste of playoff baseball since 1995.
Then they faced the Philadelphia Phillies, and became only the second team in postseason history to be no-hit when Roy Halladay threw his second no-no of the year against the Reds in game 1 of the NLDS. The Phils then went on to sweep them.
After missing the postseason in 2011, the Reds looked to bounce back in 2012. They were steamrolling. Votto looked well on his way to winning a second MVP in three years, only to go down to a knee injury in July. No worries, though, the Reds kept on rolling. They got Votto back in September. This team finished 97-65, one game behind the Washington Nationals for the best record in all of baseball.
Their pitching staff was rolling. Johnny Cueto would go on to finish 4th in NL Cy Young voting and Mat Latos had a nice first season with the Reds after they sent all but the farm to the San Diego Padres to get him.
Not to mention, they had a promising rookie in Todd Frazier, who finished 3rd in the NL Rookie of the Year balloting.
So then they get to the NLDS against Dusty’s former club, the Giants. They take a 2-0 lead and a presumable strangle hold in the series while going back to the Great American Ballpark.
However, with good old Johnnie B. Baker at the helm, did anyone ever think it was really going to be that easy? The Reds actually lost all three games and the Giants went on to win the World Series.
Show me anybody besides Baker at the helm in Cincy that year, and I would’ve showed you your 2012 World Series Champions, but Baker’s team always manage to mess things up with him as their skipper.
In fairness to him, he does get them there, but never over the hump where they win the whole thing.
This team has the potential to go all the way, and maybe they can finally do that without Baker. We can’t say with certainty who the next manager of the Reds is going to be, but I’d imagine nearly anybody would be an upgrade over Dusty.