CINCINNATI – 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 straight losses including the wild-card playoff game. Not after they failed to get past the opening round of the playoffs for the third straight time. Not with all the booing at Great American Ball Park.
Instead of keeping Baker around for one more try, the Reds fired him 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. “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.
METS: More than five weeks after getting the shocking diagnosis of a torn elbow ligament, pitcher Matt Harvey gave in and agreed to have surgery that will sideline him for the entire 2014 season.
Harvey, a 24-year-old right-hander and the National League starter in the All-Star game, had stubbornly said he could rehabilitate the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow and avoid surgery. But when Harvey met with General Manager Sandy Alderson, he agreed to be operated on this month.
YANKEES: A person familiar with the negotiations said New York made a contract offer to Manager Joe Girardi.
Girardi’s contract expires at the end of the month. General Manager Brian Cashman met Monday with Girardi and with the manager’s agent, Steve Mandell, on Wednesday.
ANGELS: Albert Pujols sued Jack Clark over comments on a local radio show accusing Pujols of using steroids.
The lawsuit between former Cardinals stars was filed in Circuit Court in St. Louis County, where Clark lives. It seeks unspecified damages that would be donated to charity, and asks for a determination and declaration that Clark’s statements are false.
MARINERS: The process of finding a new manager probably won’t get rolling for another week to 10 days, General Manager Jack Zduriencik said.
It will be the third time in his short tenure as the Mariners’ GM that Zduriencik will be searching for a new manager. Zduriencik said he’s still in the process of gathering the names of those who have reached out and shown interest, and those whom the Mariners want to speak with, and teams in the playoffs also could affect his timeline.
BLUE JAYS: Toronto sent catcher Mike Nickeas and left-hander Ricky Romero outright to Triple-A Buffalo.
Both players were called up in early September for the last few weeks of the regular season.
CARDINALS: St. Louis chose Michael Wacha over fellow rookie Shelby Miller to start a potential Game 4 of the NL division series.
Miller led major league rookies with 15 wins but Wacha (4-1, 2.78) is fresher and gets the nod Sunday against Pittsburgh’s Charlie Morton (7-4, 3.26). Manager Mike Matheny said it was hard to ignore Wacha’s near no-hitter against the Nationals last week. Wacha fell one out short of the no-no in his final regular-season start.