During the winter I can make a really long list of things I miss about baseball. Some are very tangible like having a game on every night while you're cooking dinner, or having nothing to do on a lazy weekend day and deciding to go to a game. You miss following the pennant races or you miss your hometown announcers. Pretty basic stuff.
But then there are other things about baseball that you don't realize you missed until they hit you in face like an open hand pudding slap. Dusty Baker's aphorisms are like that. They're so airy and mind dumbing that you forget what they're like until the ricochet of your eardrums once again.
Cincinnati Enquirer writer John Fay wears denim and blogs about the Reds and his interviews with Dusty Baker have a titanic Frost/Nixon quality about them that makes me happy to be alive. So here to help usher in your Spring is the Tao of Dusty. Out of context quotes lifted directly from John Fay's blog since the beginning of the year.
- "I told Dickerson: Don't let everybody give away your potential job. You got to fight for your job. It's been a long, tough road to get to the big leagues. I'm not going to give away his job. But I'm not necessarily going to give him a job either."
- "That's huge. I was praying for Alex (Gonzalez). I was told you can't depend on Alex. He wasn't responding as well. I believe in miracles, too. I'm not saying this is a miracle. But I had a feeling that Alex was going to be better."
- "I'm very impressed with the shape these guys are in. I was very impressed with the way they came in ready. I saw great attitude and very youthful, athletic bodies, pitching-wise."
- "To be a pull hitter, you got to be perfect. It happens to a lot of people. It happened to me. He got that deadly disease -- it's not deadly but it's a disease -- I call it home run-itis. You start liking that trot. "
Translation: Have you ever tried to hold onto a fistful of sand? It is there, then recedes. Dusty merely observes your attempt.
Translation: Dusty Baker is in direct communication with God. Or however you choose to define the live affirming force.
Translation: The body is a temple. To perform your best you must harness both your mental and physical energies. It will be a real challenge to give all of these guys arm trouble, but Dusty is up for it.
Translation: Being a pull hitter will not cause you to die... probably.