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Did you know Tracy played on 5 major league teams?
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MO' Favorite Links
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My favorite site. Not for those easily offended.
This is a great NBA blog. The NBA (National Basketball Association) is a professional men's basketball league, consisting of 29 American teams, and one Canadian team. It was founded in 1946. Cincinnati used to have a team. I wish it did now.
Better Off Red
Jamie Ramsey is the Assistant Media Relations Director of the Reds. He takes you behind the scenes of a Major League team. And he writes funny captions for his photos.
Plenty of scenery and funny stuff on Big Smudge. I'll be honest, these guys told me they were fans of my show, and even if they didn't mean it, that gets them linked.
Bugs and Cranks
If it's about baseball, these guys usually have something to say about it. And it's usually funny.
Booze, Ladies, and Football.
Calling It Like It Is
A guy from Cincinnati, who uh, well he calls it like it is.
Chris Sabo's Goggles
A Reds fan stuck in Chicago does a blog. He says the purpose of the blog is to inform people of the Reds without the geeky stuff, like facts for example. My kind of guy.
You're probably thinking this website is about me. Actually, it's not.
Local college basketball blog by two guys...one a UC fan, the other an XU fan.
The Godfather of sports blogs.
My favorite baseball blog. I thought I loved the game, then I read these guys.
Stuff guys like. At least stuff normal guys like.
Hugging Harold Reynolds
Very funny sports blog with one of my favorite names.
John Clay's Sidelines
John is an outstanding writer who covers everything and anything UK-related.
Larry Brown Sports
The other Larry Brown, not the guy who's coached half the teams in the NBA.
Look At Me Shirts
Be the guy in the ironic shirt. Take credit for someone else's joke.
Mo Egger's Blog
Did you really think my blog wouldn't be on a list of "favorites?"
Do you like mind-numbing statistical analysis of the Reds? Do you treat every game like the fate of the world rests on it? This site is probably not for you.
Most negative man in America. And I usually agree with him.
Pro Football Talk
Not daily, but almost hourly reading for NFL fans.
Everything and anything Reds...and more, by Reds fans.
Rush The Court
The Ubiquitous college basketblog.
A little UK, a little Louisville. A lot of funny.
Anything and everything hoops.
A Cincinnati guy based in Vegas. What I'd write if I could write.
Because some things can't be taught.
I admit, I'm a geek.
Who Dey Revolution
No site better captures the frustration of being a Bengals fan better than this one. Fan empowerment at its best.
I guess you're never really not surprised when a manager or coach gets whacked. When you you find out that a change has been made, even if you wanted it, even if you expected it, it's always a little jarring.
Dusty is gone. And that's fine. As much as I hate scapegoating, if no one paid the price for what happened last season, then someone was probably going to have to fall on his sword after what's happened in the last week. The guy is usually the manager, and again, that's fine. If you drew up a list of problems that plagued the 2013 Reds, Dusty's name wouldn't be at the top of it, but he would certainly be on it.
This team, we've said often, never really came together. There was a staleness to this club, a sense that they were stuck in the mud all season. The lifelessness and lack of energy during the team's final week really wasn't exclusive to the final six or so games. Those things were problems all season. Exactly how much of that falls on the manager, I don't know. But some of it does.
And so given how sports work, this probably had to happen.
A few things stand out when you look back. Dusty's reluctance to pull Johnny Cueto on Tuesday night is the freshest in my mind. But the image that typified the season was the one of Dusty looking helpless as Brandon Phillips barged into his office to yell at a reporter.
Dusty looked helpless.
And I think that sentence sums up his work with this year's team. Dusty looked helpless. Maybe any other manager would have looked the same. Maybe any other manager would have gotten exactly what Dusty got from this team. But for all of his good qualities, for all of his good work with the Reds, this season, Dusty just looked helpless.
My hope is that with a dismissal that felt more and more like it had to happen as the season came spiraling toward an end, that even some of Dusty's harshest critics look back at his time in Cincinnati with fondness. Dusty Baker was the Reds most successful manager since Lou Piniella. Players came to the Major Leagues under his watch and blossomed into stars. And maybe most important, while Dusty Baker was the manager, the Reds mattered again.
The playoff failures stand out. The goofy lineups stand out. The shaky decisions stand out. But none of that should obscure something very significant....
While Dusty Baker was manager, the Reds became relevant. They mattered. And they hadn't in a while. That's not to say that Dusty made them matter, a lot of work from a lot of people went into that. But during Dusty's tenure, people who hadn't been to the ballpark in years went back, a team that no one beyond a two-hour radius of GABP ever talked about became a national household name. People watched. People listened. People went.
People cared about the Reds again.
I hope people remember that when they think about Dusty Baker.
The need for Dusty's blood has been satisfied today. I'm sure the loudest fringe of the #FireDusty crowd are roaring in delight. But the Reds' problems went way beyond their manager. This team simply wasn't good enough, and a club with glaring flaws was never improved upon, even as the floundered through the summer. They have too much of the same guy both on the field and in the clubhouse, and their potentially large hole in leadoff and center could be filled by a guy who reached base 30% of the time at AAA.
A new manager might create that sense of urgency we've all been dying for. He might embrace newer statistics that Dusty really had no use for. He might be a genius when it comes to concocting lineups. He might hate bunting. He might "change the culture of the clubhouse" and make incredible pregame speeches. He might "hold players accountable" and do all those things we've beaten Dusty up for not doing.
But he's not going to improve talent. And more than anything, for the Reds to get that much better in 2014, improving the talent is more important than improving the manager.
I'll avoid speculation on who the new guy is, because the immediate moments after a manager is replaced is pure silliness. I'll venture a guess that the big names being thrown out there either aren't realistic (a quick look at Twitter offered up LaRussa, Rose, Larkin, Morgan, and Johnny Bench) or make no sense. Who the Reds hire to replace Dusty Baker matters, but not as much as how much they improve the team he'll manage.
And if the new guy takes the old guy's players, combines them with new ones and wins big, I hope people remember that Dusty Baker had at least a little to do with it.