Today, Johnny Cueto was scratched from his start and placed on the DL with a lat injury. Apparently the injury from his previous stay on the DL never healed properly and it’s still a bit sore. He only needs to rest it for a bit and he’ll be fine. Whatever. Doesn’t matter.
What does matter, however, is that he was placed on the 15 day DL. As most know, once you’re on the 15 day DL, you’re stuck there for 15 days since your last appearance (11 days from now, in Johnny’s case). But that might not be crystal-clear to Manager Dusty Baker. “He’ll miss one or two starts,” Baker said. OK. We’re good. We’re on message. But then this. “If he feels better, it’ll be one.” No! No, Dusty, it won’t! Because even if he feels better on May 11th, he won’t get to start. Because he’s still on the DL. He’s already missed one start. That makes two. Best case. Alright?
Now for some of my favorite Dusty Baker quotes. As anyone who’s frequented this blog since 2004 knows, he’s probably my favorite topic. Here’s a brief collection of just a few of my favorites.
April 23rd, 2005. LaTroy Hawkins has just blown another save, and Baker has announced that he is going to a ‘Bullpen by Situation’, as a ‘Bullpen by Committee never works.’ What’s the difference, Dusty? “[It’s a] bullpen by who’s pitched two or three days in a row. It could be a number of things. It’s not exactly by committee.” Well Dusty, how is that different from a bullpen by committee? “You say bullpen by committee, and that sounds like everybody, but that’s not everybody.'” OK Dusty.
April 24th, 2005. Chad Fox was called upon to save that night’s game. Dusty is then asked about Chad Fox’s health. Remember, this is shortly after he ruined Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. In fact, Wood would leave his next start – one of his last - for another trip to the DL. “You still have to protect [Fox], too. This guy is coming off, I don’t know what it is, two or three arm operations. He didn’t pitch at all last year. We have to protect him. He probably won’t go more than two in a row no matter what it is.”
April 25th, 2005. Dusty Baker uses Chad Fox in the 9th inning of a 10-3 game, the day after he said he wouldn’t use Chad Fox in back-to-back games because of his health. Sure enough, Fox ended up walking off the mound as though he’d been shot, and took another trip to the DL. He would only end up pitching another 3.2 innings in his career, allowing 7 runs. Baker: “It didn’t look good.”
March, 2004. After a performance in which his Cubs got 5 walks: "I think walks are overrated unless you can run. Most of the time you’re just clogging up the bases for somebody who can run… Have you ever heard the Yankees talking about on base percentages and walks? Walks help. But you ain’t going to walk across the plate. You’re going to hit across the plate… it’s called hitting. It ain’t called walking. Do you ever see the top 10 walking?” Not satisfied, Dusty went on, “Why don’t people leave me alone? Why do they always talk shit on me? People always have been trying to bring me down… that’s OK. That’s how it is. Actually, that makes me stronger. It’s OK. What are you going to say when I kick somebody’s ass?”