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Friday (Firing Dusty Baker akin to firing Gardy in 2010) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional baseball, Twins fans Updated: October 4, 2013 - 8:47 AM

 

Sentimentality and continuity apparently are not prized things in Cincinnati -- at least not the way they are in Minnesota. On the flip side, one could say there is a higher standard for success there than here.

 

We say that because the Reds reportedly have fired Dusty Baker, a manager who has taken them to the playoffs in three of the past four seasons (including this year, albeit a one-game Wild Card playoff they lost to Pittsburgh).

Baker managed six seasons in Cincy, so the parallel we are about to make isn't perfect. But in a lot of ways, this move is similar to if the Twins would have fired Ron Gardenhire in 2010 -- at the height of his regular-season success.

In 2010, Baker led the Reds to the postseason for the first time since 1995. Once there, they were swept in the NLDS by the Phillies. In 2012, the Reds won 97 games and had a 2-0 NLDS lead on the Giants in the NLDS before losing the last three games -- all of them at home. And this season, the Reds lost that one-game playoff to Pittsburgh.

So Baker's postseason record sits at 2 wins, 7 losses.

Ron Gardenhire led the Twins to the AL Central title six times from 2002-2010. They advanced past the ALDS once, that very first year. His overall postseason record is 6 wins, 21 losses -- including 2-19 in his past 21.

In a more narrow comparison to Baker's last four seasons, let's take Gardenhire from 2007-2010. He took the Twins to the ALDS twice and had one near-miss in a Game 163 loss to the White Sox in 2008, which we will say is akin to the Reds losing in a one-game playoff this year. If we count Gardy's Game 163 loss in 2008 and win in 2009, he is 1-7 in Game 163s or playoff games in that span.

Baker is out in Cincinnati. Again, there could be a number of factors playing into that decision, but he is still out. Gardenhire survived in 2010, had three more seasons afterwards with 96 or more losses, and survived again.

We're not talking right or wrong on either side here. Just a different approach, to be sure.

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