To the chagrin of bitter Reds fans, USA Today reports that Cincinnati general manager Walt Jocketty plans to offer field manager Dusty Baker a contract extension.
Reds fans were quick to point a finger at Baker for their team's most recent playoff collapse. After a 97 win season, Twitter was filled with demands for Baker to be fired even BEFORE game five started against the Giants.
Baker fell to 1-8 in clinching games of playoff series Thursday with a third consecutive loss to the Giants at home after Cincinnati took a 2-0 series lead in San Francicso.
While Jocketty is publicly expressing interest in retaining the former Giants and Cubs skipper as manager of the Reds, some wonder if it a smokescreen.
Jocketty is said to be interested in a short-term deal, possibly for only one season. It's hard to get a veteran skipper to accept a lame duck deal, so maybe he hopes that Baker will say no and he won't have to do the dirty work of firing Baker.
But when you're 63 years old and you want to keep drawing a major league paycheck, Baker might have to swallow his pride and accept a short deal with the Reds. There don't appear to be too many field manager jobs open. And the ones that are available are probably less attractive than Cincinnati.
The Red Sox need a manager but are supposedly fixated on the field boss with the Blue Jays, their former pitching coach. Toronto would be a crummy job because not only would you have to find a way to claw past the Yankees, Red Sox and Orioles to try to contend. But you'd also be in charge of trying to motivate Colby Rasmus.
Cincinnati seems to be set to come back almost entirely intact next season. Scott Rolen has hinted at retirement. But the core is under contract. So he could have another year or two of contention before that franchise is destroyed under the weight of the mega long tem contracts passed out to Joey Votto, 29, and Brandon Phillips, 31.