dusty baker classyThe Cubs are looking for a new manager, and a top name just came on the market. That’s because this morning the AP reported, and John Fay confirmed, that Reds manager Dusty Baker would not be returning to the team in 2014. The Reds lost in the NL Wild Card Game to the Pirates earlier this week.

Perfect timing, right!? Baker was the Cubs’ manager for their 2003 playoff run, and is clearly the right guy to bring back and put this rebuild over the top.

Be advised: in this post, the sarcasm font looks the same as the regular font.

  • Nedskid

    Thanks for the “Be Advised” section. I could feel my blood boiling as I read this. I don’t know about other Cubs fans, but I put the blame for the destruction of both Wood and Prior’s careers squarely on Dusty’s back.

    He may be a “good” manager, but keep him out of Chicago.

  • Austin

    Was this a mutual parting or did Baker get fired? Any idea?

    • Dave

      If my memory serves me, Dusty’s contract expired and he was not asked to return. He neither resigned nor was he let go, he left via free agency.

      • iowacubs

        Dusty had 1 year left. So he was either fired or resigned

    • macpete22

      Rosenthal just reported he might be stepping down

      • TheRiot2

        Rosenthal should step down as well but he should be careful not to fall off his step stool : (

        I did get a chuckle over Dusty’s availability.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      He had one year left on his deal. Not known yet who made the decision, but I’m guessing it was the Reds … and it will be framed as mutual.

  • Die hard

    Damaged goods return to sender— meanwhile has Theo called Kessinger to see if interested in one yr deal for $1 million ? Wouldn’t it be great to see him introduced at Cubs Convention ? Memo to Theo– Make the call

    • Jon

      Stfu about Don Kessinger already

      • MichiganGoat

        Don have you met die hard?

      • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

        With Jon on this one. It was old a few days ago.

      • Die hard

        Have u a better idea? Zzz. Thought so

    • Edwin

      That’s not even how you make a memo.

    • CubsFaninMS

      Don’t worry Die Hard, the urn with the ashes of Cap Anson will slot right in at manager next year.

  • Cubbie Blues

    I guess sending Cueto out on short rest put the finial nail in the coffin? Not to mention complaining about Votto’s approach (which may be the oddest thing he’s ever said).

    • CubChymyst

      My guess is the Votto thing got him fired as much as anything else. Complaining about the approach of one of the better hitters in baseball shows he isn’t up to date with current methods.

  • rich

    Please no , the dust has settled leave it that way ! He wrecked our 2 top pitchers in 2003!

    • brickhouse

      Dusty did not ruin Prior / Wood in 2003. Prior has said he was not overused that season. His injuries were flipping over a 2b running the bases and a line drive off his elbow. Wood had poor mechanics from day 1 and was always an injury waiting to happen.

      • Eric


      • bbmoney

        There is no way to say anything definitive about this. But….throwing your 22 year old ace pitching in his first full MLB season 6 times in September averaging 126 pitches a start.

        That at least leaves Dusty open for serious criticism and makes him the kind of manager I wouldn’t want around young arms. Considering there were also a lot of complaints about how he handled his starters in Cincy, and I’m sure throwing a 21 year old Carlos Zambrano 210+ innings in 2003 couldn’t have helped his longevity.

        • CubFan Paul

          Zambrano got lazy, fat, & too comfortable in the end. His struggles were his own and it was quite obvious when he consistently struggled in the 1st inning during his last couple years.

          • bbmoney

            And I think it’s quite obvious he and Prior were abused in 2003 which I think it’s quite obvious had negative impacts on their careers and the Cubs franchise after that season.

            But there is no proof for any of our obvious assertions, well no real proof, just anecdotal evidence.

            So I guess I’ll just say I wouldn’t want Dusty Baker anywhere near any young arms in my organization, which I don’t think anyone is suggesting anyway, and leave it at that.

          • C. Steadman

            dont you know though…fat pitchers have great durability! thats why no analysts like CJ Edwards…they want to see him Zambrano size before you label him a stud! (yes Sheldon Cooper, this is sarcasm)

            • Stevie B


      • ETS

        what’s the pitcher abuse points look like for woody and prior that season? Bare in mind their respective ages.

  • TheRiot2

    Leave it to Dusty,he really knows how to rectum.

    • hogie

      Rectum? Darn near killed ’em!

      • Trips

        This just made my day.

  • Eric

    I’m far from being a Dusty fan whatsoever, but to say he is responsible for Wood’s or Prior’s arm troubles is just ridiculous.

    • CubFan Paul

      Wood said he felt something pop or go during his 20K game. And he’s been avoiding surgery ever since.

      • Eric

        And how is that not a problem with Wood’s personal conditioning?

        • CubFan Paul

          Who said it was?

    • Jon

      He’s partially responsible and that’s not ubsurd at all
      Just look at Priors game by game pitch counts in 03

      • Hansman1982

        Prior took a line drive off the elbow. While dusty didn’t do him any favors Id say pitch counts were less stressful than a 100 MPH fastball bouncing off his elbow.

        Also, Dusty was doing what was the norm back then.

        • bbmoney

          No it wasn’t.

          • bbmoney

            Again this doesn’t mean that Dusty was the for sure the reason Prior/Wood/Zambrano all got hurt or had shorter careers than expected. But it is a reason to not want him around young pitching because it’s a question mark:

            2003 among the top 40 ERA qualifiers for SPers:

            Mark Prior: 113.4 pitchers per start, most of any top 40 SPs (age 22 season)
            Kerry Wood: 110.75 pitchers per start, 2nd most of any top 40 SPs (26)
            Carlos Zambrano: 106.6 pitches per start, 11th most (22)

            Add in the fact that Prior and Zambrano were the youngest of the top 40 qualifiers and it’s hard to argue that this was the league norm. Again, it’s not proof this was the reason they got hurt or are largely out of baseball by the age of 32, but it’s enough of a flag to have issues with the guy.

            • hansman1982

              I don’t doubt that Dusty was the worst offender, I wasn’t saying that but high pitch counts weren’t nearly as frowned upon 10 years ago as they are today. Heck, Fangraphs doesn’t even have pitch count data from before 2002.

              Dusty was still an idiot for doing it, but to still have as much angst as some folks do over “ruining Wood and Prior” is kinda silly.

              Something that is interesting, Starters today throw 15.9 pitches per inning vs. 15.7 in 2003.

        • jon

          Nothing really normal, or sensible, about having a pitcher in his first full season in the big leagues throw 130+ pitches over a span of 3 starts in a month.

          • jon

            Not the elbow injury, but didn’t he also send Prior back out there to pitch after the collision with Giles? Another idiotic move.

            “Gotta ride the horses, dude”

      • dsgn1

        neffi perez??

    • mjhurdle

      Wood’s arm was an injury waiting to happen before he even got to the pros. His HS manager used the heck out of him, including having him start both games of a double-header once i believe.

  • ssckelley

    Wow, this was unexpected. The Reds were pretty bad before Dusty got there.

    • CubFan Paul

      The Reds upped their payroll in recent years to retain & surround their core. Smart move since the biggest market in the division starting cutting payroll and caring less about the major league product.

      • MichaelD

        At the time the second biggest market (Houston) was also cutting payroll.

  • ClevelandCubsFan

    how happy are Geico customers about being able to save 10% percent or more on car insurance? Happier than to Dusty Baker at a rib joint.

    cut a shot of Dusty Baker with a full slab of ribs finished in front of him with an enormous box of toothpicks on the table and him satisfactorily going to town to on his teeth.

    Not sure why that came to mind…

    • http://Bleachernation Jay

      Pretty solid right there!

  • MichiganGoat

    Only Dusty could get fired after making the playoff.

    • TWC

      Well, he did get fired after losing the World Series.

      • ssckelley

        ah yes, the time his grandson almost got steamrolled

  • Stevie B

    Even though I’m an intelligent person, just seeing his photo and readng Brett’s initial suggestion that he was ” available”, made my BP soar.

  • ETS

    we dont have enough young arms for him to ruin.

  • Spoda17

    Awesome… Let’s also bring back Wood and Prior… WE’RE GETTING THE BAND BACK TOGETHER!!!

    • Cubbie Blues

      Well, Dusty was Prior’s Manager this year.

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

    No, we DO have enough young arms to ruin…

  • Greg

    Does he come in a package deal with Brandon Phillips?

  • Dustin S

    Not to forget him standing by and doing nothing with a smirk as a player rudely insulted the media. There aren’t many things in this category, but the Cubs and Baker again would be one of the few that would make me question my lifelong Cub fandom.

  • Blublud

    Why is this sarcasm. He took us further then any other manager. I don’t understand the hatred for the guy. He hasn’t done anything to anyone. Blaming him for Pryor or Wood’s careers is idiotic. If it means getting within a few outs of the World Series, I would happily take him.

    • bbmoney

      It doesn’t mean that.

      Dusty is a terrible tactical manager, with a record of overusing young pitchers who thinks the most important stat is “teh RBIs”. And he criticized the offensive performance of Joey Votto of all people (with his .430+ OBP and all).

      so, pass.

    • Randy

      Agree with you. I wouldn’t mind seeing him back. Who the hell else has came closer than Baker. He didn’t ruin Wood or Prior. That is old BS and if you believe it you are baseball retarded as Boers would say.

      • jon

        If you think Dusty is a solid manger, you are the one that is baseball retarded. Forget his pitcher abuse, (bury your head in the sand if you will), have we forget the whole “clogging bases” offensive philosophy?

        I could give two fn’ shits if he got us to game 6 of the NLCS. Did he win us a world series? No. A good fucking manager would got off his ass and got Prior out of the game before his meltdown in game 6 and actually got us to the WS.

        I can’t believe this is even debated.

        • ssckelley

          Yeah, everyone should sit down and stfu! We should all have the same opinion on Dusty Baker. Never mind that the guy has been a MLB manager for 20 seasons, has won Manager of the Year 3 times, and has been voted for it 10 times. Who cares that he has gotten the Cubs the closest to the World Series since 1984. The guy is a horrible baseball manager and it should not be debated.

          Damn, I cannot believe all the stupid people on this board and the ones in baseball who keep voting for Dusty and giving him jobs.

          • jon

            “I think walks are overrated unless you can run… If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps. But the guy who walks and can’t run, most of the time they’re clogging up the bases for somebody who can run.”

            “Who’s been the champions the last seven, eight years? …Have you ever heard the Yankees talk about on-base percentage and walks? Walks help. But you ain’t going to walk across the plate. You’re going to hit across the plate. That’s the school I come from.”

            “It’s called hitting, and it ain’t called walking. Do you ever see the top 10 walking? You see top 10 batting average. A lot of those top 10 do walk. But the name of the game is to hit.”

            • ssckelley

              Yeah, that is great. I don’t expect Theo or Hoyer to ever give Baker an interview to manage the Cubs. But to tell everyone on a blog/forum to stfu and not have a different opinion is like going to a bar on a Saturday night with a book expecting everyone to be quiet.

        • Randy

          Sooo it was his fault he had less than stellar speed on the team. It was his fault A Gon couldn’t field a frickn ground ball to end the inning. Come on Jon . Shit happens and it wasnt his fault. Ws it his fault Wood sucked in game 7, of course it was.

          • Kyle

            Yes, it was his fault that Wood and Prior, who averaged the two highest pitch-counts per game in the regular season, ran out of gas before other teams’ pitchers did. 100% his fault.

            • Randy

              That is a statement that you have no idea whether its true. BOTH Prior and Wood said before and would tell you again that they were fine. You can make excuses all over the board because you don’t like Baker. You cant always blame the manager for shit performance in the playoffs.

              • Kyle

                Players aren’t very good at admitting when they are tired.

                I said it at the time, it happened, I’m going with it. Short of the God-like omniscience I so richly deserve, I can never flat-out prove that riding those two harder than any other pitchers in baseball were ridden caused them to perform badly at the end of the season. But it’s true.

                • Randy

                  OK Kyle. I see you have presented your facts well. NOT

                • DarthHater



      • mjhurdle

        The interesting thing about Dusty Baker is that we finished worse in the division every year under his tenure.
        The last 2 years of Dusty were horrible, including a 96 loss team in 06.

        The Cubs were a very talented team that Dusty came to, and managed to get worse every year he was here. Obviously a lot of that was due to the talent level of the team, but if the talent level dropping is what we blame Dusty’s losses on, then the success he had should be credited to the talent of the team, and not him.

        • ssckelley

          Yeah, especially that 2nd season. Everyone was predicting the Cubs as far and away the best team in the NL, with all that offensive firepower they could not even make the playoffs. That 2004 team was one of the biggest disappointing seasons I can remember.

        • arta

          ditto. agree,

    • OlderStyle

      I don’t hate Baker but I certainly wouln’t want him back. I was happy when they hired him. For the first time in my life as a Cub fan it seemed ownership cared about winning to hire a guy like Baker that had had a successful mgr. career.
      Baker isn’t a terrible manager but he has a lot of warts. He is old school and has good people skills. The game seems to have passed him by a bit. He still thinks it’s 1978. That happens, I mean, he was an outfielder and he understands position players well but is pretty clueless on managing a pitching staff.
      His tactical skills are poor and his overall leadership leaves a bit to be desired. He also never understood the whole curse of the Cubs or how to deal with the pressure. I have good memories of him but like a high school girlfriend, I wouldn’t want to plan a long term relationship with her again.

    • C. Steadman

      the front office and Dusty Baker have totally different strategies when it comes to baseball…I dont mind Dusty and his managerial strategy but it wouldnt fit the new “Cubbie Way” and our FO and him would clash from game 1…I would never want to see dusty manage under Theo and Jed

    • hansman1982

      How is it surprising to anyone that Blublud has an opinion about baseball that flies in the face of the majority.

      • mjhurdle

        Im holding off judgement of his post until i hear how high of a level he has managed at.

        • TWC


        • ssckelley

          Never mind that he has compared Almora to Barney and thinks Ozzie Smith should not be in the HoF. You got to have power in order to play MLB baseball, being good defensively is over rated.

      • Blublud

        This is not my first time defending Baker. I’m more into his style of managing then most. There is reason he has been successful everywhere he has been. Say what you want, if the saberhectic way of managing wins more chips then old school, then please show me.

        • terencemann

          Joe Maddon

        • ssckelley

          That makes sense as your opinion of good baseball players matches up perfectly with Dusty’s managing style.

        • jon

          He’s successful, because for some reason, he gets the keys to extremely talented clubs.

          • Randy

            Maybe also because he does a good job.

  • Cheryl

    What best describes Dusty’s availability? Heartburn or Poison Pill.

  • http://permalink papad1945

    Breaking news flash. Dusty goes to the dodgers, Mattingly to the yankees, and Giradi to the cubs. I must be dreaming or having a senior moment.

    • Jono

      Cubs win the world series!!!!

      (type it out, it feels so good)

  • arta

    no dusty please.

  • Jono

    Brett, why don’t you do stand up?

  • CubbieBubba

    I think my favorite dustyism: “walks clog the bases”

    • mjhurdle

      i agree, i always laugh when i remember him saying that.
      Somehow im not sure that Theo would be on board with a manager that out of touch with how baseball is played.

    • cas-castro

      yes, i do remember that coming from Dusty. OBP was the devil. Slugging was god in Dusty’s eyes. As long as he had his sluggers (Barry Bonds, etc) he was happy

  • Cubbie in NC

    Can you imagine how many times we could see Russell coming out of the pen if Dusty comes back??

  • Voice of Reason

    It’s just silly to say Baker ruined Wood and Prior.

    Dusty will always be remembered as the man who couldn’t win the big games! He won games in San Francisco, Chicago and Cincy, but he could never win the big game!

  • Leroy K

    So Girardi is going to the Reds? LOL…

  • The Dude

    Hire Dusty Baker!!!

    Fire Dusty Baker!!!

  • Patrick W.

    Interestingly (or perhaps not) the person who has managed the Chicago Cubs for more games than any other manager over the past 40 years: Jim Riggleman. He’s available, right?

  • Molly

    In Dusty We Trusty, right guys?!?!?!?!?!?

  • Rich

    Tell me another manager that was closer to the World Series
    I trusty

  • Rich

    Riggs maybe top dog with Reds