MLB Rumors has it that Dusty Baker and the Cincinnati Reds have put their talks on a contract extension for Baker on a hiatus. Neither side is in any hurry to wrap up negotiations.
Dusty Baker has been a very successful manager since coming over to the Reds. Overall he has a record of 393-372. That doesn’t sound so great, but when you consider that two years ago the Reds were divisional champions and this season they are poised to win the division again as they presently lead the Pittsburgh Pirates by 7 and a half games. If Baker does lead the Reds to another divisional title he would be the first manager of the Reds to lead them to two championships since Sparky Anderson. Anytime you are mentioned in the same sentence with Anderson, that is a good thing.
MLB Rumors suspects that since talks have not occurred between the two sides that the Reds are in no hurry and Baker is a little perturbed by the lack of movement. However, Baker has done very little talking about the extension. When asked about the contract situation in the winter meetings prior to the season, Reds owner Bob Castellini said, “I would like to see Dusty Baker as a member of our organization for many years to come. That’s it.”
When Baker heard about this statement, he responded, “It was nice to hear. But, in meantime, I’ve got work to do. The same work I had to do five months ago.”
As for this season, Baker has clearly done his best work as a manager. The Reds reached 70 wins faster than anytime since 1976 and are in the process of running away from the competition as the season plays out. When you consider that they have been without their best player, former MVP, Joey Votto since July 15th, it is remarkable. He deserves the extension – sooner rather than later.
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