CINCINNATI -- We should all have a boss as loyal and unwavering in his support as Bob Castellini. Against a growing tide of sentiment, within the Reds organization and without, Bob backed manager Dusty Baker to the hilt.
We don't know exactly what was behind the decision to sever ties. I am certain though that no one feels worse about Baker's departure than Bob Castellini.
Granted he was not happy in the least being swept by the Pirates last weekend. And his mood darkened all the more after Tuesday's season ending debacle in Pittsburgh.
But Bob had turned a deaf ear to Baker's detractors before. What was different this go round?
The Reds owner can infuse others with a passion and zest to excel like few I've ever known. Could he have instilled a sense of urgency in Dusty Baker? We don't know that he didn't try but that said, at what cost?
Consider it was just more than 11 months ago that Baker weathered a very serious medical emergency. As driven as he is, I don't see Bob Castellini brow beating someone whose health could fail at any instant.
And mindful of his near miss in Chicago, Baker might be justified in not seeing baseball as compelling as actual life and death. Come what may, I'm sure they parted friends. Not so for everyone on Pete Rose Way.
Friday morning's release crafted by General Manager Walt Jocketty announcing Baker's departure was likely drafted in his mind long ago. Certainly before Baker signed a two-year extension after the 2012 season. Being on different chapters in the same book doesn't make for a good read. Jocketty reportedly kept a journal of Baker's managerial missteps over recent seasons. Bob Castellini paid little heed.
Now the onus falls on Walt to select a manager more to his liking and aligned with his philosophies. And Dusty Baker returns to pursuits more aligned with his seeming midlife serenity, where urgency is a vice. Things like fly fishing, wine tasting and food tourism.
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