Thanks to rather embarrassing conclusions to the 2002 World Series (as Giants manager) and 2003 NLCS (as Cubs manager), it seems that the overwhelming majority has long since decided that Dusty Baker is worthy of mockery.
Each time his team comes up short in the postseason, it's more "evidence" that he's some kind of failure who can't get the job done and should be fired. He's unfit to manage in the postseason, they cry.
These aren't people who would give Baker credit if his teams came through. No, there's confirmation bias in place before the postseason series even begin. If his team ends up advancing, it's in spite of Baker. If they lose, though, it's see! I told you he sucked!
Why? Because he thought Game 6 in 2002 was over before it was? Because he badly botched Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS (before Kerry Wood was lit up in Game 7, mind you)?
Those examples are 15 and 14 years ago, respectively, too.
I have no doubt everyone reading this makes the correct decision every single time in his or her job and further believe you that nothing has changed in the decision-making process for you in the last 15 years. Uh huh. Sure.
What does Baker actually do?
He wins in the regular season like almost no one else. He does it with all different kinds of rosters, in different climates, in different situations. He wins over clubhouses almost immediately.
Take this Nationals job. Yeah, this team has tons of talent, but they were 83-79 the year before he took over and previous manager Matt Williams had lost control of the team. Baker came in and won 95 and 97 games in his two years, respectively, with the team.
From 1996-2007, the Reds made the playoffs zero times. They only had a winning record once. Baker took over in 2008, going through two below-.500 seasons before winning the NL Central in 2010 and 2012, also taking a wild-card spot in 2013. He was fired after losing that game. Pre-Dusty, the Reds had made the playoffs three times since 1976. He made it three times in a four-year span. Since Dusty, they've won 76, 64, 68 and 68 games, respectively.
Now, the 2012 Reds won 97 games and lost in the first round. Of course, they lost their ace, Johnny Cueto, after just one batter in Game 1. Baker ended up using another starter, Mat Latos, in relief that game and slotted him as their ace next time that turn came around. The Reds would blow a 2-0 lead in the series. I've heard many Reds fans blame Baker, but I can't help but wonder what happens if Cueto doesn't get hurt. Remember, the Giants were the team that beat the Reds, and they won the World Series.