One very bad week clinched Dusty Baker’s fate. The Cincinnati Reds decided they weren’t going to bring him back.
Not after they ended the season with six losses in a row, including the wild-card playoff game. Not after they failed to get past the opening round of the playoffs for the third time in a row. Not with all the booing at Great American Ball Park.
Instead of keeping Baker around for one more try, the Reds fired him on Friday, parting ways with the manager who led them to their best stretch of success since the Big Red Machine but couldn’t get them deep into the postseason.
“Maybe the time is long enough because I was starting to get quite a few jeers and some hate mail and stuff,” Baker said during a conference call. “So maybe it was time for me to move on.”
The move came after the Reds lost the wild-card playoff in Pittsburgh 6-2 on Tuesday night, their sixth straight loss. The final-week fade was a major factor in the decision, General Manager Walt Jocketty said in a phone interview.
“Just the way we played lately was a factor,” Jocketty said. “But I think the way the season ended was kind of the final decision.
“The last six games certainly played a big part in this,” he added.
Harvey to have operation
New York Mets ace Matt Harvey will have surgery on a partially torn ligament in his right elbow, sidelining him for the 2014 season.
The 24-year-old right-hander will be operated on this month by Dr. James Andrews, the team said Friday. Projected recuperation for elbow ligament operations is about a year.
Harvey, the National League starter in the All-Star game, was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament on Aug. 26. He said at the time he wanted to try rehab and avoid surgery. The Mets said he did not plan to talk about his decision publicly until after the operation.
Doubront heads to bullpen
Left-hander Felix Doubront was put on the Boston Red Sox’s roster for the AL division series as a long reliever.
Doubront started 27 of his 29 games this season but was left out of the rotation for the best-of-five series against the Tampa Bay Rays. He was 11-6 with a 4.32 ERA.
Rodriguez sues MLB, Selig
Alex Rodriguez sued Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig, accusing them of pursuing “vigilante justice” as part of a “witch hunt” designed to smear the character of the Yankees star and cost him tens of millions of dollars.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in New York State Supreme Court, seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for what it alleges was a relentless campaign by the league and Selig to “destroy the reputation and career of Alex Rodriguez.”
The suit was filed during the first week of hearings in the grievance by the Major League Baseball Players Association to overturn the 211-game suspension of Rodriguez imposed by MLB on Aug. 5 for alleged violations of baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract. The suspension stemmed from baseball’s investigation of the Biogenesis of America clinic.