Created on Friday, 19 October 2012 Written by MATT HAMMOND
Dusty Baker drew heat for the Reds’ collapse against the Giants in the National League Division Series, but I was glad that team management took the big picture into account when it decided to extend Baker’s contract this week.
Baker has been both loved and hated by the fans in Cincinnati during his five seasons in the Queen City. Some disagree with his laid-back approach, believing he gives his players too much leeway. He also has been heavily criticized for his struggles getting over the hump in the postseason, an issue he had in San Francisco and Chicago as well.
But as easy as it is to blame Baker for the Reds’ meltdown against San Francisco, it cannot be overlooked that the Reds won the second-most games in baseball this season. A team that did not have a closer coming out of spring training won 97 games. That is impressive in its own right.
Baker led the Reds to the playoffs for the second time in three years after the franchise missed the postseason for 14 straight years.
Dusty may not be the best fit for some teams, but his approach with the current Reds squad fits well. This team has a lot of professional types that can motivate themselves. They don’t need a rah-rah fireplug that is going to kick over water coolers and throw bats on the field.
It is popular to find a scapegoat when something goes wrong. However, it was refreshing to see the Reds look at Baker’s complete body of work when making the decision to keep him in the Cincinnati dugout.
Now on to some football and this week’s picks:
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