Dusty Baker Newsbeat
Monday, April 25, 2016
Sunday’s game had everything a game could offer, from dramatic highs to head-shaking oddities. Bench coach Chris Speier, first base coach Davey Lopes and Baker, in his 21st season as a manager, have seen thousands of games combined, and the three agreed this was the wildest game they had been a part of.
It was definitely not the cleanest game ever played, but there were so many uncommon events that this one will be remembered for quite some time.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
This is just a tweet, but I couldn’t not link it.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Saturday, February 13, 2016
He seems like a likable guy. He shouldn’t talk about things which he doesn’t know much about, however.
“He’s like everybody ought to be,” said Bishop, the songwriter and blues guitarist who befriended Baker after they met years ago at John Lee Hooker’s house. “He treats everybody with respect and an open mind. He’s just a beautiful person. If the Martians ever land here, this is the guy I want to send to go talk to them — to represent the human race.”
“My biggest [role] was to tear down the negativity people have about him,” Miller says. “He was very open to ideas from the front office [in Cincinnati] — as much as we wanted him to be. He’s still an old-school guy, and he’s still going to go by his gut and listen to his players.
“But he believes in sabermetrics more than the sabermetrics people believe that these are humans playing the game and that some things can’t be measured.”
Posted: February 13, 2016 at 08:18 AM | 196 comment(s)
Friday, December 11, 2015
Next, let’s ask Dusty his thoughts on the Redskins name.
Perhaps Baker is a bit delirious with joy at returning to the game as a manager. At his first news conference in Washington, he charmed many with non-stop stories and quips. It was an “I’m-back” star turn.
But he didn’t just put a foot in his mouth Tuesday. He inserted both of ’em.
“Who’s to say the allegations are true, number one?” Baker said. “And who’s to say what you would have done or what caused the problem?”
Yes, that will make blame-the-victim bells go off. A manager or coach in pro sports needs to understand the whole culture of which his team is a part. Baker has always been attuned to issue of race in baseball — to buzzwords and catchphrases that tip off someone’s true beliefs. Now he should look hard at his own words. To speak judiciously on serious subjects, or else stay silent, is a core managerial competence. Smoking-a-joint-with-Jimi Hendrix stories are amusing, but optional.
Unfortunately, Baker didn’t limit himself Tuesday. For no reason, he tossed himself into another age-old controversy.
“The number-one thing that’s missing in the game is speed,” he said. “With the number of minorities, you can help yourself — you’ve got a better chance of getting some speed with Latin- and African-Americans. I’m not being racist. That’s just how it is.”
Here’s how it really is: Don’t put a “Kick Me” sign on yourself. Baker’s blundering on Chapman now can’t be called a one-off accident.
The day Baker was introduced as manager, he said, “I’d like to think I transcend different generations, like some musicians. I mean, Stevie Wonder still sounds good. And The Doors might sound even better.”
After Tuesday, transcending generations isn’t his issue. Baker, all on his own, now has raised the issue of whether he’s sufficiently in touch with this generation.
Posted: December 11, 2015 at 01:56 AM | 4 comment(s)
Wednesday, December 09, 2015
this is as weird as it seems, right?
“...I got a buddy at home that’s being abused by his wife. So I think this policy needs to go further than the player. I think the policy should go to whoever’s involved. Sometimes abusers don’t always have pants on.
“You’re always in need of left-handed pitching, left-handed hitting, and in need of speed. I think that’s the No. 1 thing that’s missing, I think, in the game is speed. You know, with the need for minorities, you can help yourself. You’ve got a better chance of getting some speed with Latin and African-Americans. I’m not being racist. That’s just how it is.”
what rhymes with STIGGLES
Posted: December 09, 2015 at 05:57 AM | 19 comment(s)
Friday, November 06, 2015
Ok, it’s true the Nats made something of a hash of the hiring process. A week before the club announced that Dusty had the job, news leaked that they were going to name Bud Black, a former big league pitcher who managed the San Diego Padres for eight years until he was fired midway through the 2015 campaign. Reportedly, the sticking point was that Black felt Nationals’ owner Ted Lerner low-balled him, with an initial offer of $1.6 million for one year. Eventually, Lerner offered Black three years at a much higher salary—according to one report, “well above the average major league managing salary, perhaps in the top 10.” But Black, say insiders, was so “deeply offended” by the initial tender that negotiations never got back on track.
The news Black was going to get the job shouldn’t have been leaked until everything was in order. But it’s pretty clear that the Nats dodged a bullet here. Bud Black was “deeply offended”? Excuse, but is that a former big-league pitcher whining?—because it sounded an awful lot like the Iranian foreign minister. Is Black “deeply offended” when ballplayers spit sunflower seeds in the dugout? What about when a hitter doesn’t get a runner over, pitchers leave an 0-2 pitch out over the plate, or infielders bungle a double play? How does a guy with a .477 winning percentage as manager get to be “deeply offended” when a club that has proven it is serious about winning a World Series opens the bidding with more than a million and a half dollars for a year’s worth of work. ...
Why are baseball writers effectively defending the professional etiquette of a guy who clearly needs to find out how the rest of the world works, outside of Major League Baseball? Or maybe the Post works like that, too—in which case Jeff Bezos has probably already offended his employees, deeply. A number of Post staffers, along with other Washington baseball reporters, seem intent on drawing a picture of a dysfunctional baseball franchise that keeps embarrassing itself. The fact is that all professional sports franchises are by definition dysfunctional because their billionaire owners keep them as luxurious pets, to be coddled, humored, and scolded when they make a mess of the furniture. What owners know, and the talent and the media don’t understand, is that the so-called big business of sports isn’t big business at all. If you want to make money, you go into something like finance, or real estate, like the Lerners, whose wealth is estimated around $4 billion. You don’t go into an industry that depends on the whims of spring and summer weather and an even more capricious customer base, fans. In real business, you are surrounded by real business people, like executives who know their worth and seek to leverage their advantage when it comes time to negotiate compensation. In baseball, [mid-level] management is former athletes, who don’t know any better but to pout to the press when things don’t go their way.
Boswell says he likes the Nats’ owners. “The Lerners are good people,” he writes. “Their hearts are in the right place: dreaming of a title for their home town. The problem is with their ears. They don’t listen.” Ok, I’ll bite—who is it the Lerners should listen to?
Boswell is perhaps the gold standard of baseball writing, but it’s hard not to read him sometimes as just another Washington beat reporter willing to cash in common sense for the sake of a story. And luckily for Boswell, the Nats’ front office leaks against its internal rivals as much as the State Department. So what if the substance of the story is patently silly? It advances my relationship with a highly placed source, and besides, it’s a scoop—with my byline. Who is Boswell’s source in this article critical of the Lerners? I don’t know, but the Nats GM sure comes out of this looking good.
“As for Mike Rizzo,” writes Boswell, “a general manager who has built a team that has averaged 91 wins the past four seasons, [the Bud Black] episode doesn’t seem like how he does business.” Ok, maybe Rizzo didn’t leak the details of the Black story to Boswell, and frame it to make himself look like an innocent bystander watching a train wreck. And maybe Rizzo screamed at the Post reporter on the phone for jeopardizing his job by daring to suggest in print that there is any difference between how he and the people who sign his paycheck operate. But I doubt it.
We don’t know what really happened here, but given that Nats’ officials are leaking against ownership in typical bureaucratic Washington fashion through the Washington press corps, it’s not hard to surmise the intent of this CYA campaign. How about this: let’s say there were two final candidates for the manager’s job. The GM wanted Black but saw it was close so he needed to tip the scales. By leaking that Black had the job, he’d back Lerner into a corner so that if Black wasn’t picked the boss would look like an incompetent, if well-intentioned, baseball outsider who doesn’t understand how the business of the game works. Lerner called Rizzo’s bluff and picked Baker. He preferred Dusty, and perhaps wanted to remind Rizzo how he got to call the shots—you don’t become rich in the real business world without a pretty good sense of character. To save face in front of the professional community where he will someday have to go looking for a new job, Rizzo concocted an absurd story about a baseball lifer with nerves as fragile as a geisha’s.
In short, the Black episode really does highlight a problem in NatsWorld, but the clown show isn’t the Lerners.
Thursday, November 05, 2015
The quotable Dusty Baker.
Dusty Baker on existential voids
“I had a burning desire to succeed in my heart that wasn’t filled in my life [without baseball]. You’re going to have voids in your life. I mean, you can live without them. But I’d rather not.”
Posted: November 05, 2015 at 03:58 PM | 41 comment(s)
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
Executive summary: teh Lerners are CHEEEEEEEP!
The Lerners already had shown, in their dealing with previous managers, that they don’t put much value in the position. They have never paid a premium for a manager, even as they developed a roster that was good enough to win a World Series. This, people familiar with the franchise’s structure said, is typical of how the club operates.
for his generous support.
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