GOODYEAR, Ariz -- Dusty Baker has been here before. It’s not the first time he’s heard people say he and his general manager don’t see eye to eye on a particular issue. As manager of the Chicago Cubs, Baker was accused of playing over-the-hill veterans instead of prospects despite the wishes of the front office.
The veterans gave him the best chance to win, he’d say to the media.
Now at the helm of the Cincinnati Reds, Baker is convinced leaving flame-throwing left-hander Aroldis Chapman as his closer gives him the best chance to win. Most of the players and staff think Chapman should close, too.
However, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty is convinced his team is better with Chapman starting. Pitching coach Bryan Price agrees.
Normally the manager makes the call on a player’s role. And understand, Baker will ultimately do what the organization wants. But it’s clear there’s something of a schism pertaining to Chapman’s role. Could this be the start of another Stephen Strasburg/innings limit-type controversy we witnessed last season?