I think we will be able to judge to the quality of manager that Dusty Baker is based on what happens with the Reds over the next couple of weeks. Regardless of where you think the Reds will finish the year, I think it is hard to argue that they are not playing well below their potential so far this year. They were listless in yesterday's game and the results were just as you would expect. It's hard to quantify what a manager does for his team, but I believe the attitude of the team on the field is a reflection of their manager, or at least their respect for their manager. They've lost three of the last four, and in all three losses they looked progressively worse. Now they are in last place. If we see a continued string of sloppy and careless play, I wouldn't expect to see Baker managing the Reds for much longer.
All that being said, I still think the Reds are going to go on a good stretch here soon. I don't believe the pitching is as bad as it has been and sooner or later we'll start to see some quality out of the rotation. All I've got to go on right now is blind optimism though. It'd be nice if Homer Bailey throws us a bone and gives us seven strong innings this afternoon. I want to believe in this team, but damnit if they don't make it hard.