Unfinished business. That is the feeling inside the Cincinnati Reds‘ organization after it was announced the team had given Manager Dusty Baker a two-year extension through the 2014 season. After leading the Reds to a 97-65 season, second best in baseball, Baker’s club squandered a two games to none lead in the National League Division Series and lost in five games to the San Francisco Giants. Cincy has won two out of the last three National League Central Division titles but did not advance past the NLDS in either season. Baker’s extension signals continuity within Management as GM Walt Jocketty’s contract also runs through 2014 and all coaches and trainers expect to be back as well. Expect some tinkering but no major overhauls as the Reds will enter 2013 as legitimate World Series contenders.
The Reds as an organization have unfinished business. On a personal level, so does Dusty Baker. His 1,581 victories is second (behind Jim Leyland) for career wins by an active manager, spanning 19 seasons. The one thing that has eluded Baker is a World Series title as a manager. He was five outs away in 2002 as the Giants could not hold a three games to two advantage to the Los Angles Angels, losing in seven games. His fine playing career consisted of eight seasons with the Los Angels Dodgers earning a World Series title in three appearances. He drove in over 1,000 runs and made two All-star teams. A Championship as a skipper would cap an outstanding baseball life for one of the game’s best persons.
Follow me on Twitter @ltj41 and covering the Arizona Diamondbacks at http://venomstrikes.com