Hard to imagine a team with the most wins in baseball can be so routinely criticized and questioned. That’s the position of the Reds. The criticism, as pointed out in a little more detail than we’ve seen as of late by Mark Sheldon, is mostly directed at Dusty Baker and his “pre-printed” lineup cards. Honestly, I doubt any Reds fan hasn’t at least questioned the manner in which Baker has filled out his lineup card. I know I have. You know you have.
Well, I know one person that hasn’t. More on that in a bit.
Then I look at the bottom line. Cincy owns baseball’s highest winning percentage (.606) and most wins (80). I completely understand that winning can hide issues. As Tyler pointed out earlier today, that’s what happened in 2010. It could be the same for 2012, but the season is not over. There are actually some changes coming. Sure, you may not like the outcome. My guess is some won’t, but, hey, we know that’s a given these days.
Here’s what gets me about all the “fuss”.
We know Dusty won’t stray. It’s not in his DNA. He holds firm to his baseball beliefs even if we believe those beliefs to be old and archaic. His book isn’t the same as ours. I believe his book has more pages, too.
(Soap box, please..)
(Oh no, he’s doing it again…)
Why do we constantly ask the likes of John Fay, Mark Sheldon and even Jamie Ramsey about Baker’s decisions?
Fay or Sheldon (or in some cases, both) receive derogatory responses whenever they offer anything that could be construed as backing Baker. Doesn’t matter if it was the intent or not. I’ve seen many a stat on Fay’s Twitter that suggests the decision made might not be so bad, yet, he is flooded with snark for offering his opinion. Same for Sheldon or he will offer a brief explanation.
Thing is, it’s hard to explain matters in such a small “land” known as a re-tweet.
Think about this. These guys don’t have to answer your questions or respond to your comments. They choose to do so under their own volition. They are not the manager, GM or even hold a position within the organization. You may not agree with how they report on the Reds. You may have hoped they asked a certain question after the game. You may have wanted a certain player to say a something about a certain play and they could not elicit the response you desired, but you should appreciate that they are willing to put themselves out there on Twitter for your convenience, game in, game out.
I’ll add one more thing here. John Fay is largely considered one of the best, if not the best, baseball beat writers to follow on Twitter. That’s not from me. Ask some national types. They’ll tell you.
As for Jamie. I doubt there’s a more positive individual on earth, especially where it concerns the Reds. Meet him once and you’ll be completely convinced of that. That’s a promise as I have had that fortune (and it is a fortune). I’m not talking about having a Twitter conversation with him either. You know how they say certain people emit a certain aura? That’s Jamie.
Jaime has a position within the organization. There are some things which he cannot offer an opinion or comment. And can we please stop expecting him to say anything negative about the team? It will not happen.
Back on point here. Dusty drives the ship and the players, his players, are more than willing to help steer it on the right course. I know he’s probably hacked off a player or two in his day as Reds manager, but when have you heard that?
Sure, I take issue with a coupe of things (one of which I will offer later today), but I try my hardest to be objective about offering any form of dissent. And respectful.
I suppose the bottom line is if the players are happy, why can’t the fans be happy?