Dusty Baker Should Not Be Managing a Major League Baseball Team

Because of this.

Runners on first and second, down by a run, bottom of the ninth, one out.

The question of whether to bunt in this situation is probably subject to debate (not really, see below)

Keep in mind, however, that when the batter is Adam Dunn, there really ought not be any debate.  Adam Dunn.  Big guy (6’6″ 240 lbs), slugger type (.518 career slg).  This guy:

Adam Dunn

That’s who manager Dusty asked to lay down a sacrifice bunt.  The man who has two sacrifices his entire career; who’s leading the team in home runs and RBI.  Yeah, that’s a good call, Dusty.  Luckily for the Reds, Dusty’s managing didn’t get in the way.

After two unsuccessful sacrifice attempts, a frustrated Dunn chose to swing away.

Dunn’s backup plan sailed 449 feet into the right-field Sun Deck for a three-run walk-off home run, lifting the Reds to a dramatic 4-2 victory over the Indians before a standing-room-only crowd of 42,023, the 11th largest at Great American Ball Park.

How does someone who manages like this have a job? 

This is not the first time this has happened, by the way, Dusty calls for a bunt from someone who shouldn’t be bunting, and that person hit’s a walk-off homer instead.  It happened another time this season (to Edwin Encarnacion).

On bunting generally:  With me on first and second and one out, the run expectancy is .971.  With men on second and third and two out (the presumed outcome from a sac bunt), the run expectancy is .634.  Dusty chose to cause one of his best hitters to attempt to reduce the probability his team would score a run by 32%.  In the bottom of the ninth, outs and baserunners are more valuable than bases.  Why anyone would be bunting in that situation, let alone Adam Dunn, boggles my mind.

Hattip: FJM (I and II)


9 responses to “Dusty Baker Should Not Be Managing a Major League Baseball Team

  1. the reds have one of the best pitching prospects toiling away in the minors while matt belisle starts. that’s bad. but what’s worse is that jay bruce, probably one of the three best hitting prospects in baseball, is also in louisville while corey patterson (career OBP below .300, only good in the parallel universe where you’re able to steal first base) starts pretty much every day.

    not sure whether these decisions are dusty’s or the new GM’s but it’s just weird.

  2. oh, and jay bruce is destroying AAA pitching.


  3. Just to play devils advocate, Dunn is hitting .176 with 12 strikeouts in 34 ABs with runners in scoring position this year. And that’s including that home run.

  4. Adam: Just to respond to the devil…

    First of all, you know how selective stats can be twisted, so just to respond to the numbers w/ RISP: he’s also hitting .333 with an OBP of .500 and a SLG of .778 with runners on first and second.

    But if you take your numbers at face value, then isn’t the chance that he’ll get on base (he’s OBPing at .373 overall this year) combined with the chance that if he does make it out it might be productive (or if it’s a K, at least not a DP) worth it over taking the sure out? Adam Dunn is a classic “three outcome” guy: in something like 53% of his plate appearances he’ll either walk, homer or strike-out.

    It’s not like we’re talking about ending up with a situation where you can tie the game with an out, either. We’re talking about having second and third with two out. You can’t get a SF, so what’s the point. You still need a hit, the only possibly benefit is that a hit may score two and win. But you only need one. So what good does bunting do you?

    Especially with Adam Dunn?

  5. I think it’s time to get Dusty a copy of ‘Moneyball’

  6. adam,

    im assuming you are just playing devil’s advocate, bc u know as well as i do that 15 at-bats is hardly a statistically significant sample size.

    if you want to look at dunn’s RISP, his career OBP with RISP (above .410) and last year’s (140 at-bats, OBP of about .400) are both much more significant – and prove the point that baker’s a horrible manager even more.

    and if you want to use the more limited stats of this year, consider:

    1) dunn had hit 2 homers in his previous 7 at-bats when he stepped up to the plate in the 9th. that means there was a 28.5% chance that he was going to hit another dinger, no? 🙂

    2) kobayashi, the reliever dunn was facing, has allowed opposing lefties to hit .314 with 1.64 WHIP in 7 innings this season.

    dunn bunting is simply idiotic.

  7. Dusty Baker should not be managing a McD’s, let alone a proffesional baseball team.

    This is a man who would probably instruct his employees never to ask “you want fries with that” because it clogs up the ordering process.

  8. jay bruce unleashed!

  9. 4 good games = hof entrance assured, no?

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