Much has been made in the baseballblogosphere about Dusty Baker's ignorance about statistics and hardheaded reliance on good ol' fashioned instinct when it comes to player evaluation. Well, I wanted to see this firsthand so I've been reading the notes column for the Reds in the Cincinnati Enquirer for a couple weeks. It's so true. Either Dusty Baker's mind is made of magic or he is just so stubborn and lazy that he refuses to learn anything about the kids on his team. To wit:
Reliever Bill Bray made his debut Wednesday against the Philadelphia Phillies. It was the first time Reds manager Dusty Baker really saw him throw. "I didn't want to be swayed one way or the other until I see the full Bray," he said. "I probably won't see the true Bray yet, anyway."
Okay well that kinda makes sense: Bray had been missing time with a sore shoulder and an appendectomy, so I can't blame Dusty too much here. Another:
Baker said he didn't spend a lot of time reading reports on players like rookie right-hander Johnny Cueto before spring training began. "I read, but I scanned," Baker said. "I didn't want to be persuaded one way or the other, so I didn't really study ... I'm not distrusting of reports; it's just I trust my own eyes more."
Hey, I trust my eyes too, but there's only so far that they can take me. Same for you Dusty. The Reds organization employs people known as 'scouts' who take the time to 'evaluate' players both on other teams and on your team. They write up 'reports' that sometimes contain valuable 'statistics' that can tell you important things about rookies like Cueto. Study, Dusty! Hey, 'study' is an anagram for 'Dusty'. What a strange coincidence.
In other news, Dusty and his boy Darren (now twelve) went fishing off the dock behind Baker's condo and caught some sheepshead, which he took to a local restaurant to have the proprietor cook up. Um, isn't this a health code violation?