If you are an avid reader of either baseball blogs or the Dayton Daily News, you've likely seen this gem of an anecdote from Hal McCoy's story about the Reds' loss to the Astros last night:
As Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker talked to the media after Tuesday's 8-3 loss to the Houston Astros, a member of the media relations department laid a copy of the stat pack on his desk - a box score, play-by-play and up-to-date statistics.
Without looking at it, Baker wadded it into the size of an official baseball and fired it hard into his trash basket.
For some reason, McCoy's designation of the wad of paper being not just the size of a baseball, but the size of "an official" baseball cracks me up. But really, this post is about Dusty Baker. More after the jump.
Now, in all likelihood, this was done in response to the Reds' ugly play of late. Ed noted this morning that the Astros have won 11 straight in Cincy and the Reds have only scored 75 runs in 20 games this year. The manager of a team playing that poorly should not need a stat sheet. When any other manager does something like this, it's a throwaway line. When Dusty Baker does it, it's a cataclysmic event.
So instead of being logical, I'm going to keep on pretending that Dusty Baker is a mad alchemist who just threw away the EXACT formula needed to recombine his crappy baseball team into a contender! Luckily, I got a glance at the sheet before it hit the trash can (Author's note: No, I didn't).
-- Begin with one part Darnell McDonald, distilled through an 11-year minor league career.
-- Slowly mix in one part Ramon Hernandez, cuz that dude's a gamer. You must use a bronze spoon for this step. Wooden spoons take too many pitches to be successful in this league.
-- Add two parts of the speed of Willy Taveras, then leave in the light of a waxing gibbous moon.
-- REMOVE ALL TRACES OF ADAM DUNN FROM YOUR ORGANIZATION. THERE IS NO ROOM FOR BASE CLOGGING IN BASEBALL ALCHEMY!!!
-- This final part is important. Take the resulting mixture and sprinkle in the sunshine extract from the sideburns of George Wright. Then, place in an air-tight titanium box, and drop it to the bottom of the Ohio River, where it must stay for exactly a fortnight.
Only when these steps are completed in full will your baseball team be competitive.
Hey, if that's the formula, maybe the Reds are closer to competition then we all think!