The player personnel decisions are likely to elicit a little more fan angst. And some decisions have to be made quickly. The Reds hold options on Eddie Guardado, Scott Hatteberg, Adam Dunn and Javier Valentin. Brandon Phillips, Matt Belisle and Jorge Cantu are eligible for arbitration.
The calls on those players ultimately go to general manager Wayne Krivsky. But Baker's going to have a say . . ."Most of that is Wayne [Krivsky's] department. But I'm there as an adviser."
Poor Krivsky. He's getting squeezed from the top by the hiring of Castellini and squeezed from the bottom by Dusty. Maybe they'll let him pick what toppings to order on the pizza every other week.
One of the things Baker said upon getting the job was that players had called him about coming to play in Cincinnati.
Reds fans, get ready for the Neifi Perez and Shawon Dunston experience!
One of Baker's first moves as manager will be to assess and try to improve the physical conditioning of the club . . ."It's very important what kind of shape we're in."
That sound you just heard was Adam Dunn dropping a pork chop and calling his agent to yell at him for allowing the Reds to have that team option.
[Chris] Speier also will serve as the bench coach, a position Baker relies on quite a bit. "I rely on him to see things I may overlook during the game: Is this guy guarding the line? Is this guy out of position?" Baker said. "I'll run things by him.
I'm having trouble finding it this morning, but I recall a dustup as Dusty was leaving the Cubs in which people accused him of indifference in the dugout because he was unable to see home plate from his favorite seat on the bench and didn't seem to care all that much. If that's true, Speier may be the single most important bench coach in the game.
OK, I'll admit that nothing in this article is really a cause of concern for Reds fans. It's the offseason, though, and I have to hone my Dusty Baker alarmism now so it is sharp once games resume.