Tag:Dusty Baker
Posted on: October 4, 2010 12:04 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2010 12:35 pm

Reds, Baker agree to extension

Dusty Baker The Reds and Dusty Baker have agreed to a contract extension, the Associated Press is reporting .

The team has a 12:30 p.m. press conference today before its workout at Great American Ball Park.

Baker's initial three-year deal expired after the season and the deal is expected to be a two-year extension. The Reds approached him with the extension during the season and last week Baker said the two sides were getting close on the extension.

The Reds are the third team Baker has led to the National League playoffs, along with the Giants and Cubs.

UPDATE: The Reds have made it official, sending out a press release on Baker's new, two-year deal.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The team has also offered two-year extensions to his coaching staff.

"With the success we had this year and really the last couple of years have been building to where we are today under Dusty Baker and his coaching staff, I think we got here a lot sooner than people thought and a lot of that is due to Dusty Baker and his leadership," Reds GM Walt Jocketty said.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Category: MLB
Tags: Dusty Baker, Reds
Posted on: September 30, 2010 1:10 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2010 5:51 pm

Dusty Baker expected to return to Reds

Manager Dusty Baker has put the Reds in the postseason for the first time since 1995, and seems to be on the verge of receiving a contract extension as a reward.

Baker is one of the more higher-paid managers in the game at $3.5 million per year, a problem the Reds were running into while trying to extend Baker. However, it seems these problems have been assuaged.

"It's not completely done," general manager Walt Jocketty told the Cincinnati Enquirer 's John Fay . "But we hope to announce it in the next few days."

Baker's success in Cincy comes off his reputation taking a dent after a failed attempt to bring a World Series to Chicago when he was in the dugout from 2003-06. Of course, everyone knows that the 2003 Cubs were one Steve Bartman-flubbed catch from the Series. Baker also appeared in the 2002 series with the Giants, losing to the Angels.

Across 10 years and including his current mark with the Reds, Baker has a career 2,686-1,402 record. He is above .500 for his 10-year Giants career and a hair below .500 with the Cubs (322-326). Currently 240-242 with the Reds, Baker's winning-percentage mark in Cincinnati may see .500 even before the regular season ends, but almost certainly will break through in 2011.

The Reds had offered Baker a multi-year deal in July.

UPDATE: Baker tells Fay he is "very close" to signing a two-year extension.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Category: MLB
Tags: Dusty Baker, Reds
Posted on: September 29, 2010 3:01 am
Edited on: September 29, 2010 6:45 am

Video: Reds celebrate NL Central title

Edions Volquez It was a rookie mistake, I realized. I'd remembered to wear my rain jacket in the Reds clubhouse after Jay Bruce's homer clinched the team's first division title in 15 years, but I forgot to put my hood up.

I heard Homer Bailey before I saw him, and he doused me with champagne -- the hood would have served as protection and camouflage. Instead, it was useless and I was drenched.

Any baseball writer worth his salt knows to prepare for the celebration. It looks fun -- and it kinda is -- but it makes the usual game-writing impossible. It's tough to talk to players, who are more interested in dousing teammates with alcoholic beverages than talking to reporters. And when they do talk, they're constantly interrupted by liquid being poured over their heads. Still, it's pretty fun to see.

It was nice to see Aaron Harang, who is having a terrible season and is unlikely to be a part of the postseason roster, enjoying himself. It's a team game, and it's more noticeable than anywhere as Harang celebrates as much as the hero, Bruce.

You could see the joy the players got in dousing manager Dusty Baker, who despite his critics, rarely has any in his own clubhouse. Brandon Phillips had never tasted alcohol until he had beer and champagne poured over him -- and at one point you could tell he didn't feel like he'd be tasting another Budweiser anytime soon as he spit out what got into his mouth.

After finishing off the champagne, veteran reliever Arthur Rhodes led the troops out onto the field to celebrate with the thousands that stayed in the stadium to celebrate. Jonny Gomes -- who celebrated with the 2008 Rays -- sprayed fans with champagne as he wore his ski goggles.

Players took a lap, high-fiving fans anywhere near the fence. One woman stole Bruce's hat before he pulled it back.

Phillips thanked the fans on the microphone, then passed it to Joey Votto as fans chanted "M-V-P" for  the first baseman, who hugged the night's hero before passing Bruce the mic. Bruce then addressed the crowd.

Owner Bob Castellini, wearing a Reds pullover and track pants over his regular clothes to keep from stinking of champagne and beer, handed Orlando Cabrera a box of cigars. Weeks ago, Castellini told Cabrera he'd give him a box of the "best legal cigars in the U.S." -- and he paid off with a box of Liga Privada No. 9 cigars. Cabrera then handed out the cigars to anyone close and also used a torch to light them for anyone who wanted one.

Finally, as TV cameras continued to interview just about anyone in uniform, Castellini saw general manager Walt Jocketty and gave him a hug. Castellini promised to bring Cincinnati a winner four years ago when he bought the team, and he finally had.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: September 28, 2010 7:55 pm

Playoffs bring memories of father for Reds' Baker

Dusty Baker CINCINNATI -- For every postseason game of Dusty Baker's career, Johnnie B. Baker Sr., had been in the stands. That streak will end this season, as Baker is on the verge of leading the Reds to the National League Central title, nearly a year after his father passed away.

"It's really special for me this year because I think about my dad," Baker said before Tuesday's game with the Astros. "Last year was very difficult because every midnight call, I thought was going to be about my dad. He wasn't supposed to live past the All-Star break, then he wasn't supposed to August, then he wasn't supposed to live until September. He lasted until I got home, so I just knew when the season started, my dad was with me."

Baker's father passed away in November at his home in California.

While Baker's father was at every playoff game, it's World Series or bust for his mother. Either way, they're with him every day at Great American Ball Park, where in his office he has a picture of his mother above his desk, several inches from a picture of Johnnie B. Baker Sr. and Johnnie B. Baker Jr.

"Most moms give you love and understanding," Baker said. "Dads give you discipline and direction. At least he called discipline. I called it the belt."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Category: MLB
Tags: Dusty Baker, Reds
Posted on: September 7, 2010 4:49 pm

Looking at Manager of the Year candidates

One thing that always gets me about the Manager of the Year Award is that it's usually the "guy-whose-team-did better-than-we-thought" award.

Joe Girardi won his Manager of the Year Award when he was with the Marlins -- because they won 78 games with a young team. He won 103 games and the World Series last season, but didn't win the award. The last Manager of the Year winner to win the World Series was Ozzie Guillen in 2005 and the only other to achieve that feat this decade was the Angels' Mike Scioscia in 2002.

In his run with the Yankees, Joe Torre won the award once, and split it once. The split came in his first season, while the second was only when he won 114 games and it was hard to give it to anyone else.

In his role as the Red Sox manager, Terry Francona has never won the award, despite doing a great job year after year. The reason, he's expected to win every year with the team he has.

So, there's two things we can do here -- handicap the race or work in deep, dark corners to find out what the award should mean and by that criteria, who should win it. That sounds extremely difficult -- and there's no way to prove it.

Instead, I'll go with handicapping the actual race, because it'll be a better chance for me to sound smart when I'm right (if I'm wrong, well, sure I'm dumb, but I knew that already.)

American League

Ron Washington Ron Washington
Texas Rangers (75-62)

The Rangers skipper is the favorite. Not only has his team exceeded expectations (check), will likely make the playoffs (check), but he's also got a built-in story. Remember spring training when many were shocked that he didn't get canned following his admission he did cocaine? Now you do, but it's not the first thing anyone thinks about when they hear Washington's name anymore.

Terry Francona
Boston Red Sox (77-61)

Francona has never won the award, and this season the Red Sox will miss the playoffs for just the second time in Francona's tenure, but he's possibly done his best managing job ever (and this comes from a fan of his managing) juggling the Red Sox's roster. Here's how impressive the Red Sox have been -- Darnell McDonald will be appearing in his 102nd game tonight, the same number of games Kevin Youkilis has played in this year.

Joe Maddon
Tampa Bay Rays (83-54)

He's always in the conversation because he's really, really cool. And still everyone is shocked the Rays are good now. That's not to say he's done a bad job, but I think he'll get votes because of those two reasons, mainly.

National League

Bud Black Bud Black
San Diego Padres (77-59)

About 11 games ago, Black seemed to have this trophy in the bag. Nobody could quite figure out how the Padres were leading the National League West by 6 1/2 games. Apparently someone got the message that they weren't that good to the Padres, and the team promptly went on a 10-game losing streak. They now hold a one-game lead over the Giants. If the Padres don't make the playoffs, look for Black to fall out of the lead for this award. If they hold on to win, it's likely his.

Dusty Baker
Cincinnati Reds (79-58)

The Reds were a popular sleeper pick during spring training, but nobody actually believed they'd beat out the Cardinals. There's time for Cincinnati to completely collapse (see below), but it looks like the Reds will make their first playoff appearance since 1995 and with just three more wins, will notch the franchise's first winning season since 2000. It would also be fun to watch the internet explode when Baker wins his fourth Manager of the Year Award, tying Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox for the most ever (the award started in 1983 -- La Russa won the AL award that season).

Bobby Cox
Atlanta Braves (79-59)

One more for old times sake? Besides the sentimentality, the Braves have held off the Phillies (to this point).  Some will say Cox has been the beneficiary of great rosters, others will say his teams rarely got it done in the biggest games but in the end, his results in this day and age have been exceptional. This season is just another tribute to his consistency.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: August 25, 2010 2:45 am
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Posted on: August 25, 2010 2:41 am
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Posted on: August 25, 2010 2:38 am

Reds may shut down Leake

Mike Leake was one of the good stories of the early season for the Cincinnati Reds, but after being moved to the bullpen in hopes of limiting his innings, the team is now considering shutting him down for the season.

"We're addressing it now," Reds manager Dusty Baker told the Cincinnati Enquirer 's John Fay following Tuesday's 16-5 loss to the Giants. "It seemed like he was getting hurt on his slider. He's rolling it up there. It's not sharp."

Mike Leake Leake made his second relief appearance of the season in the game, allowing six hits and six runs while retiring just a single Giants batter. Leake gave up two home runs, a two-run shot to Juan Uribe and a three-run homer to fellow rookie Buster Posey.

Leake's ERA jumped from 3.85 to 4.23 with the appearance.

Leake was taken out of the rotation following his Aug. 14 start against the Marlins, when he picked up his eighth win of the season. Because he'd thrown 135 2/3 innings at that point, the Reds moved him to the bullpen to protect the 22-year old's arm.

He made his first relief appearance Saturday in Los Angeles, allowing two runs on five hits in 2 1/3 innings.

For the season, he's now thrown 138 1/3 innings.

The Reds' first-round pick in 2009, Leake skipped the minor leagues, making the rotation out of spring training. Leake won his first five decisions, netting a 2.22 ERA in his first 11 starts.

In his next 11 starts, he went 3-4 with a 5.60 ERA.

Leake threw 142 innings at Arizona State, plus 19 2/3 innings in the Arizona Fall League.

When rosters expand in September, the Reds could shut Leake down as a pitcher, but still use him as a pinch-hitter and pinch-runner. As impressive as his stats as a pitcher are for his rookie season (91 strikeouts 51 walks), Leake was even better at the plate. In 58 plate appearances, Leake hit .348/.423/.370 with three RBI and six sacrifices.

Fellow rookie Travis Wood was battered about by the Giants, allowing seven runs on seven hits in four innings. The team has Aaron Harang close to returning from a rehab assignment, although the team had been considering using him out of the bullpen. Left-hander Matt Maloney is currently in Triple-A, but is 0-2 with a 3.09 ERA in two starts for Cincinnati this season.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com