Everybody Hates Dusty

On Saturday night, I attended the game against the Nationals at Great American Ballpark. Joey Votto Bobblehead Night attracted 42,294 fans to the ballpark. It was one of the largest non-Opening Day crowds in GAB history.

In the sixth inning, Jose Arredondo came on to relieve Matt Latos in a 1-1 tie. Latos had labored through five innings, giving up five walks and throwing only 54% strikes.

Danny Espinosa homered on the very first pitch. Immediately, the catcalls began. From behind me, a numbskull shouted “Great idea Dusty! Bring in Jose Arredondo. Can we see Alfredo Simon next?”

Arredondo proceeded to strike out Rick Ankiel. Silence from the numbskull.

Next, he struck out Wilson Ramos. Numbskull still silent.

Finally, he struck out Jordan Zimmermann. Numbskull went to the concession stand for more beer.

In 16 2/3 innings this season, Arredondo has struck out 20 batters and surrendered ten hits.

Why is it so fashionable among Reds fans to denigrate Dusty Baker? The Twitterverse is filled with tweets like this:


Never mind that he’s won more games than any active manager in Major League Baseball besides Jim Leyland.  Never mind that he has won more games than any Reds manager since Sparky Anderson.

Never mind that his players love him for his loyalty and consistency. Never mind that he has spent nearly fifty years in professional baseball. He was an All-Star player. He played with Hall of Famers.  He played for Hall of Famers.

Never mind that he speaks Spanish fluently, enabling him to communicate directly with his Spanish-speaking players. Joey Votto takes Spanish lessons and he gets a key to the city.

Throw all of that out the window because Dusty pinch runs Devin Mesoraco for Ryan Hanigan in the late innings of some games.

Also, Baker has an affinity for veteran players like Ryan Ludwick, Johnny Gomes, Willie Harris, Fred Lewis, and Corey Patterson.  Dusty doesn’t realize, like most Reds fans, that Chris Heisey is the next Kirby Puckett.

Never mind all of that because Baker insists on batting a righthanded hitter in between Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. Can you believe the nerve?

Last night, the Reds came to bat in the top of the eighth with the score knotted up 1-1. The Braves brought in LHP Johnny Venters, one of the nastiest lefthanded relievers in Major League Baseball. Lefthanders have hit .166 against Venters in his career. Over that time, Venters has faced 226 lefthanded batters. Two of them have hit homeruns.

Venters was brought in to face RH Drew Stubbs, LH Joey Votto, RH Brandon Phillips, LH Jay Bruce, and RH Chris Heisey in that order. What happened? RH Drew Stubbs singled. A wild pitch moved Stubbs to second. LH Joey Votto flew out. RH Brandon Phillips doubled to center field, scoring Drew Stubbs. LH Jay Bruce grounded out to first. RH Chris Heisey doubled to center, scoring Phillips. Finally, Todd Frazier struck out to end the inning. The Reds scored two runs in the eighth to move ahead 3-1.

Can you believe Dusty insists on splitting up the lefties?

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Tags: Baseball Cincinnati Reds Dusty Baker Joey Votto Jose Arredondo MLB

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