The move came after the Reds lost the wild-card playoff in Pittsburgh, 6-2, on Tuesday night, ending the season with their sixth consecutive loss. He had a year left on his two-year deal.
The final-week fade was a major factor in the decision, General Manager
"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."
The Reds are the fourth team with an opening at manager. Davey Johnson retired after the
Baker took over a rebuilding team in 2008 and led it to three 90-win seasons and three playoff appearances in the last four years, the Reds' best run since Sparky Anderson managed the Big Red Machine to two
Baker had expected to return for the second year on his deal. The firing surprised him.
"Maybe it's something I said, maybe something I didn't say along the way," Baker said. "I know I had a conversation with Walt that they were going to look to replace [hitting coach] Brook Jacoby, and I was like, 'Oh, no, Brook's not doing anything as one of my coaches that deserved that.' It wasn't an ultimatum, but I just said, 'Hey, man, if we get rid of Brook, you might as well get rid of me too.'
"The next thing I was called up to the office," Baker continued. "I thought I was going to discuss Brook's future and the rest of the coaches' future, and I was told my services were no longer needed."
Baker went 509-463 in his six seasons with Cincinnati, finishing third on the Reds' list for wins by a manager behind Anderson (863) and Bill McKechnie (744). His 1,671 career wins ran 16th on the career list.
His health is good and he hopes to manage again.
"I've got a lot to offer somebody," he said. "I know it, and I think they know it too."
New York Mets ace
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.