That's a photo from last year of some umps asking Dusty if he is serious about placing Willy Taveras in the leadoff slot. Here's what was going on:
Ump No. 32, was half-asking, half-shockingly pointing to Willy while saying, "THAT GUY?!?!"
Dusty was all like, "What?"
Trust me, I was there.
Taveras is gone, yet Dusty continues to find ways to disappoint fans and lose games, including Thursday afternoon's devastating, demoralizing, crippling, gut-wrenching 10-9 loss to Atlanta.
How is it possible to lose a game when your team is leading 9-3 heading in to the bottom of the ninth?
Simple: have your team managed by Dusty Baker.
The Reds were in first place by a half-game on May 20. That won't sound like a big deal to large-market clubs.
But for the Reds, it had all of us fans acting like we had just smoked crack. Stating giddy nonsensical assumptions like, "Yeah, the Yanks had better watch out!"
Considering the circumstances of the defeat, it's the toughest one to swallow in at least 10 years.
And maybe, due to the slow and torturous ending, the worst since Al Leiter and the Mets shutout the Reds in a one-game playoff for representation of the senior circuit's wild card team—way back in 1999.
Why fire Dusty?
It seems like half of the stuff I have written on this site are "Fire Dusty" articles. And I am exhausted stating my case, so to make things easier on myself I'll just quote a few comments I made on Cliff's article last night.
"Had a bad feeling when they sent Lincoln out for the ninth with no one warming (up)."
Lincoln was in his third inning of work. He is usually only good for one...at the most two innings. Not a sole was tossing in the pen.
"Dusty deserves more scrutiny. What the hell was ever wrong with Laynce Nix? I know the announcers said "back spasms", but why the hell not say so until now?
"Why wasn't (Scott) Rolen in the lineup? General soreness was the excuse I read after the game."
"Nix looked okay yesterday... Rolen's been knocking the ball all over -- I think Dusty's a bad liar."
Much was made about a week ago when Dusty sent right-handed batter, Miguel Cairo to pinch hit versus a right-handed pitcher, leaving left-handed slugger Nix on the bench in the ninth inning of a tight ballgame which the Reds lost on Cairo ground ball double play.
When asked after the game Dusty gave no explanation other than, "Nix wasn't available." I thought he must have had some embarrassing injury. It was not until yesterday's start by Nix that the "back spasms" excuse was given.
"Sore or not he (Rolen) should have replaced Cairo in the field (at third base) in the bottom of the ninth."
Rolen is a multi-Gold Glove winner. Cairo had an easy double play grounder hit to him. He looked stoned and didn't even throw the ball to any base.
"When they said...'Dusty's out to get (Arthur) Rhodes and here comes Coco (Cordero),' I was very tempted to turn it off."
Rhodes had just struck out Jason Heyward. Rhodes has also been the Reds most dependable relief pitcher, sporting a 0.55 ERA and 0.61 WHIP—awesome numbers.
Earlier this morning:
"A grand slam to a freakin' .222 hitter. And he's (Coco) our closer!"
That .222 hitter, Brooks Conrad, was the only batter Coco faced.
Coco now has his third blown save this season. During the whole of last year's campaign he blew only four—wretched numbers.
After the Marty Brennaman's call of the grand slam, I would have stacked all of my worldly possessions (my computer and bicycle) in the hallway of my apartment building.
After that, I most assuredly would have jumped out of my twelfth-floor window, transforming myself into a messy puddle of sidewalk soup.