Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dusty Baker, Destroyer of Dreams


You know that I'm a big fan of one of baseball's great ruffians, Jonny Gomes (as an aside, his BB Ref page is now brought to you by everyone's favorite bridge dweller, Collective Troll!!!) and that I've been ceaselessly querying the ether as to why Gomes hasn't been a mainstay in the Reds lineup. But I digress...

Now, I caught this Dusty quote today on the Reds Yahoo teampage:

"When I played, at this time of the year and you were not in the pennant race, it was called a salary drive, a time for players to show they deserved a raise or a chance next spring training, a chance to make those numbers on your bubblegum card look better."

—Manager Dusty Baker, on what's left to play for after a team is eliminated.

OK, fine. I get it. But this roughly translates as: "Every man for himself! Maybe I'll see you in March!"

First, that's not exactly what I want to hear from my manager. Ever. No matter how true it may be.

Second, who's out there trying to prove they deserve a roster spot/spring invite/raise this evening? Again, I'm not a pointing fingers type, but...Gomes lead MLB in homers in the spring and wasn't on the team at the beginning of the year. Apparently these was something else to prove, but what the heck do I know?

Third, and related the #2, Dusty really needs to catch some lightening in a bottle here in terms of managing/talent spotting. People already associate him more with blowing up Wood/Prior, and he's two surgeries in to blowing up Volquez/Cueto. All that needs to happen now is for Dusty to shove Homer Bailey head first into a dugout urinal, breaking his neck, and Dusty'll have successfully managed a full staff of prospects who were all at one time assumed to be "the next Roger Clemens."

So, Dusty, we love you, man, but keep these thoughts to yourself. You need to start managing again like you know how to win, which is done by scoring more runs than the other team. Over a season, teams with the most wins go to the playoffs, which are a crap shoot, but still. Even if you're looking to next year, you can't burn out your promising young pitchers and you gotta figure out what hitters will help you score runs and which ones won't. Seem to be having some problems with that...

Have a good one folks!

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