Reading Reactions Breed Differing Opinions

Although I already touched on this once today, the news surrounding St. Louis Cardinals ace #2 Adam Wainwright already has a profound effect on the Reds.

First, Hal McCoy reported that Jonnny Gomes entered the clubhouse extolling of Wainwright’s demise. While I’m a huge fan of Gomes, I am disappointed by this reaction. As I was on Twitter when the story started to unfold, one of BRM’s follower’s commented that you “never wish ill will on anyone”. To have that form of a celebration won’t earn you any respect points. It shouldn’t either.

(Update: Mark Sheldon contacted Gomes. Gomes denies singing the “song” that McCoy suggests. Here’s the link to Sheldon’s post. If this is accurate, I do offer my sincere apologies to Gomes. I suppose I should have waited to see if such would be made public.)

But much to my surprise, Aaron Gleeman of Hardball Talk has found the means to drag Dusty Baker into this. Did I freakin’ miss something as I was reading McCoy’s post?

I don’t think I missed anything, but here’s what Gleeman rattled off today in regards to Baker.

It’s tough to tell the mood or tone of something based strictly on a written report, but McCoy’s article seemingly also paints Reds manager Dusty Baker’s reaction as … well, let’s just say something Cardinals fans would probably be upset by (although admittedly that likely wouldn’t take much given the bad blood between the two teams stemming from last season’s brawl).

Really? Really? So exactly what did Gleeman glean from McCoy’s article to offer up such a stance?

Read it once and it’s not too hard to figure out. Pretty simple, really. McCoy’s article provides a couple of places where such could have been made.

Number one.

A few minutes later, the telephone in manager Dusty Baker’s office rang while he was meeting with the writers and he said, “Hey, son. Thank you, my son. Thank you big-time. Significant, huh? A significant injury. Thank you, my son, for the tip. I love you.”Baker hung up laughing and said, “That was my son, Darren, giving me the Wainwright Report. That’s my scout right there.”As luck would have it, Rick Hummell, baseball writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was in Baker’s office Wednesday and before Baker’s son called, Hummell asked about Wainwright’s arm issues and Baker said, “What kind of arm issues does he have?”

Notice the bold in that quote from McCoy’s article. I did that on purpose. Isn’t it possible of the irony of the moment had Baker laughing? A writer from St. Louis is in his office and his son phones Baker to tell him of the unfortunate injury to Wainwright. Wouldn’t that make you laugh, too? At least chuckle.

Number Two.

Told that he had elbow issues, Baker smiled shyly and said, “Who are they going to blame for that one?” Baker, of course, is forever being accused (wrongfully) of ruining pitchers’ arms with overuse or misuse).

For all the crap (literally and figuratively) that Baker has endured over the still ever present criticism of his handling of pitchers, Baker has the right to have such a reaction and quote.

But here’s something Gleeman failed to mention in any form. Baker from McCoy’s piece:

Nobody could tell if Baker had his fingers crossed or if he was winking at the time behind his sunglasses, but he said, “I really hate to see that. He is not only a good pitcher, but he seems like a fine young man, too. Every time I saw him or talked to him, he seemed very polite and respectful.“Hmmmm. Boy, it’s early for those kind of problems,” Baker added. “Nobody has the depth to overcome a Wainwright. You can replace him, but in Wainwright and Chris Carpenter you’re talking two of the top six or seven pitchers in the league.“Philadelphia has most of the other ones,” Baker said with a laugh.

Again, I put a certain portion in bold because obviously others have failed to highlight that in any form. The first part is Baker showing Wainwright proper respect as one of the game’s top hurlers. The second part (the laugh) is way beyond obvious. I do not think I’m looking at this through my Reds colored glasses either.

No, Dusty is not reveling in yet another bit of misfortune surrounding the Reds new found divisional rival. It’s only being played that way.