CINCINNATI -- Reds players are speaking out after their skipper, Dusty Baker, was fired on Friday.
Several of them took to the airwaves to voice their opinions about the matter.
Right fielder Jay Bruce said the firing was “obviously a bit shocking. “
“I understand that it's a business, and when teams don't accomplish what's expected of them, there are changes, but any way you slice it, Dusty was an integral part of turning the organization around,” Bruce told MLB.com. "The Cincinnati Reds became relevant again with Dusty at the helm, and that's something people should never forget.
"From a personal standpoint, I'm thankful to have had Dusty there with me from the time I was 21 years old. He taught me so many valuable things about the game of baseball, things that have helped me become the player I am today, and I'm very appreciative of that. Aside from the on-field aspect, he took an interest in myself and the other players on a personal level that far exceeded the requirements of a manager."
Some players reacted to the organization’s decision to ditch Dusty by calling into radio station 700 WLW to sound off.
Most of the players who spoke Friday backed their former leader. Some of them went as far as to take some of the blame by saying they let him down.
"I feel that way a little bit," admitted outfielder Ryan Ludwick. "It was hard on me last year when we lost. It was hard this year. I don't want to go home right now. I don't think Dusty wants to go home right now. I don't even want to watch baseball right now, I'm so disgusted."
Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo said losing Dusty is different than losing a run of the mill manager. He was one of the guys.
"Dusty was a great guy. I always say he was as close to being a player....There's usually a barrier between the managers and the players, but that wasn't the case with him. He wore spikes in the dugout. He's a 64-year-old guy who sill in his mind was 24 years old."
What are your thoughts on the decision to fire Dusty? Do you think being a “player’s coach” is a bad thing? Should the team push for someone with more of an in-your-face approach?
You can find out more about possible managerial candidates at the following link: www.wcpo.com/sports/baseball/reds/whos-next-for-the-reds-managerial-seat
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