Say, remember last week when the staid, spoiled-by-success Cardinals were in the middle of putting a royal hurting on the upstart darlings in the NL Central, the lovable Reds? After St. Louis swept Cincy in a three game set on the road, the Cards regained first place and all seemed on script again. Ho-hum. Behind the front-line pitching of Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter, hearts and minds across the editorial offices of Walkoff Walk thought that the Cards would retain ownership of the division; this would be the nail in the coffin for the Reds 2010 playoff chances.
But rise up, my Dusty Baker acolytes, for lo the winter has passed! (in just a week, too). The Cards have dropped four in a row to the lowly Brewers and lowlier Cubs while the Reds have resurged with five in a row over the Marlins and Diamondbacks. Head-to-head losses mean nothing, I suppose, when two division rivals part ways and one decides to make an ill-advised trade. Now, the Reds have a palpable three game lead over St. Lou and the Reds ownership cabal has decided to reward the toothpick-chewing face of the franchise with a possible multi-year extension.
The Reds have offered Dusty Baker a contract extension.
"We just got the proposal a few days ago," Baker said. "We're still evaluating it."
Baker wouldn't say if it's a one-year or multi-year extension.
"I've got to look at where were going," he said, "and what I want to do."
Well hot shit, we're in the third and final year of Dusty's contract and how convenient for him, the Reds are finally posting a winning record! The good timing means that Dusty (and his other multiple personalities) can cash in on success. Is it Dusty's convivial, players-first leadership skills that have made the difference between this year's model and its previous, piss-poor incarnations? Is it general manager Walt Jocketty's commitment to young talent? Is it Joey Votto's magic Canadian heritage? Who knows! The Reds are darn good.
Back to Dusty: he may not have any discernible skills when it comes to X's and O's, but really, does ANY baseball manager have those? We as fans and analysts should just be happy when a guy does no harm in his manager pants, and kudos to New Dusty, who seemingly hasn't killed any careers yet. So we salute Dusty Baker and encourage him to seize the extension, if only so we have a perennial reason to talk about the Redlegs. And toothpicks.