By hiring Dusty Baker as their next manager, the Cincinnati Reds have made a pronounced change in philosophy, turning to an outsider to run the team for the first time in 18 years.
The last time they did it, they won a championship.
The Reds confirmed yesterday that Baker will become their next manager. Baker, who has a three-year deal, will be introduced at a news conference today in Cincinnati.
"Dusty is extremely excited to join the Cincinnati Reds with its rich history, and looks forward to helping reestablish the legacy of the Big Red Machine," said his agent, Greg Genske.
Instead of promoting from within, the Reds went for someone with no ties to the organization. During his 14 seasons as manager, Baker, 58, led San Francisco to the World Series and the Chicago Cubs to the playoffs.
The last time the Reds hired a manager with no ties to the organization was 1990, when Lou Piniella took over and led the team to a World Series championship. Every manager since has either come from the minors, the coaching staff, or from a scouting/advisory role.
Baker replaces interim manager Pete Mackanin, who was considered for the full-time job. Mackanin was the team's advance scout when Jerry Narron was fired in July, and led the Reds to a 41-39 record the rest of the way.
"I'm very disappointed with the news, but I only wish the best for the Reds and the future," Mackanin said by phone.
Baker was fired by the Cubs after they finished an NL-worst 66-96 in 2006.
Torre fate debate
Yankees officials will convene at their complex in Tampa starting tomorrow morning to debate the future of Joe Torre. Torre has led New York to the playoffs in all 12 of his seasons, but owner George Steinbrenner told The Bergin County Record Oct. 6 he didn't think he would bring Torre back if the Yankees failed to advance to the ALCS. Cleveland then eliminated New York in four games.
Steinbrenner will hear advice from sons Hal and Hank; son-in-law Felix Lopez; team president Randy Levine; chief operating officer Lonn Trost; and general manager Brian Cashman.
Levine said yesterday that the final decision remains with the 77-year-old owner. "He's still the boss," Levine said.