The decision was made on Friday, after the Reds had a sour end to what had otherwise when a competitive year. They finished third in the NL Central, after batting for the division lead most of the season with St. Louis and Pittsburgh. On September 22, they were within two games of the lead, but went on to lose their final six games and settling for the Wild Card game in Pittsburgh. Reds GM Walt Jocketty briefly explained their situation and Baker's reaction.
We thought about it and it was something that we just saw the club the way it was trending and playing lately, that something wasn't right and change was necessary. We felt it was the right thing to do to talk to Dusty before he left town and not let him get home and call him or bring him back. I think he was surprised, but he handled it like a pro. We discussed a number of things and I think he handled it well.
Jocketty noted his disappointment, having won 90 games but still missing out in the end. He felt that the Pittsburgh game may have gone differently, had the Reds been able to secure homefield advantage for that game. One thing he didn't speculate on however, was the timetable on on when a new manager would be named or the future of the coaches currently on staff.
That will be determined after we hire a manager. Several of them are still under congrat. Once we hire a manager, then we'll review the coaches with a new manager. Obviously we'll recommend some, but you have to allow a new manager to hire some of his own coaches.
Two names on that list of candidates include Reds pitching coach Bryan Price and former Chicago Cubs manager Jim Riggleman.
Baker's tenure as Reds skipper ends with a 509-463 record, and is third in franchise history wins behind Sparky Anderson and Bill McKechnie. Those three are also the only managers to get the Reds to the postseason multiples times under their individual leadership. Cincinnati has reached the playoffs three times in the last four years, including two NL Central titles (2010 and 2012).