Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Ray Ratto Defends Dusty Baker. Hilarity Ensues.

Ray Ratto writes for the San Francisco Chronical and CBS Sportline, and is apparently a defender of MLB's worst manager, Dusty Baker.

Ray was just on AM 670, The Score here in Chicago pimping tonight's Cubs/Giants matchup and the hosts put him in the position of having to defend Dusty. Ray stated that Dusty's strategy of overworking pitchers to the point of destroying them was:

1. A myth, and

2. A good strategy considering his current bullpen. After all, if you have a shitty buillpen, shouldn't you stick with your starters?

While these two explanations are wildly inconsistent, and the first is easily debunked with the words "Kerry Wood and Mark Prior," (Note: He defended Baker's use of Prior and Wood by stating that they were hurt BEFORE Dusty got to Chicago. As stupid as it is to throw young arms out there for 130 pitches, it's even dumber to throw young, INJURY PRONE arms out there for 130 pitches. That is not a defense Ray, it's an indictment.) the second can be debunked by checking out the ERA+s of the Reds pitchers.

Bullpen:

Cordero - 184
Affeldt - 108
Burton - 196
Lincoln - 107
Weathers - 115
Bray - 168

If you don't like newfangled stats, only Lincoln and Affeldt have ERAs over 4.00, and everone else except for Stormy (3.89) is under 3.00. In short, the Reds' bullpen is awesome.

How about those starters?

Arroyo - 77
Cueto - 97
Volquez - 190
Harang - 100
Belisle - 62

Why wouldn't you want to stick with those guys? Of course, Volquez has been awesome, but Baker is burning through him like a southerner at a Harry Potter release party. (111 innings so far, second on the team to...)

And it's not really fair to blame Harang for being mediocre. He hasn't been the same since Baker used him on two days rest in an extra inning game and then brought him back on three days rest for his regular start. (Which is the only reason he has thrown more inning than Volquez.)

A few BP writers generally claim that Baker costs the Reds 4 wins a year. Frankly, I think he's done far more damage. I actually think the Reds could be pretty good, if only they had a decent manager.

Almost makes you appreciate Ned Yost.

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