Picture Kerry Wood, sitting in his study with a snifter of brandy in his hand. Coming off a 34-save season, his conversion to closer has been successful by any measure. Sure, the Cubs didn’t offer him a three-year deal like he wanted, but you can never have too much relief pitching, so other teams are bound to call. The phone rings. Wood puts down his drink, and leans over the phone to check the caller ID. It reads: Dusty Baker.
(”Kerry, what do you think about Dusty wanting to manage you again?”)
Six hours later, the police find Wood huddled in his bathtub with the showerhead running, rocking back and forth while muttering to himself, “He knows where I live, he knows where I live.”
• Jay Cutler’s awfully cocky for a Vandy grad. Here (among other things) is what he has to say to THE SPORTING NEWS: “I have a stronger arm than John Elway, hands down…on game days, there’s nobody in the league who’s going to throw it harder than I am at all.” Now, that may be true, but why compare yourself to Elway in Denver? You’ve never won a playoff game.
• An Oregon football fan was punched so hard during the Ducks’ game against UCLA on Saturday night that he was propelled over a railing and down onto the field. The game was stopped while he was removed on a stretcher. KEZI has the sketchy details.
Dusty Baker must be one heck of a manager, because he’s, *ahem*, managed to take the reins of a postseason-playing team this October. But looking at the League Championship Series schedule, we see the Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Tampa Bay Rays & Boston Red Sox - but no Cincinnati Reds.
Did Baker bolt from Cincy to take an underling role under Joe Torre or Terry Francona? Nope, Dusty’s still the man in charge - of his 9-year-old son’s baseball team.
When your team’s been out of postseason contention since about 3-4 months back, it’s hard to find interesting stuff to talk about. And since Dusty Baker doesn’t have to worry about fielding questions regarding the Reds’ chances in the playoffs, the Cincy manager decided to devote some of his time quashing some randy rumors.
(Dusty’s definitely not all smiles at the moment)
Word around town is that Dusty’s daughter, 28-year-old Natosha, is dating and/or engaged to Reds outfielder Corey Patterson. Well, Baker wants to set the record straight.
Stealing the thunder from WALKOFF WALK’s Corey Patterson Watch, we report with a bit too much glee that Dusty Baker could not find his lineup card even if he stapled it to Darren Baker’s jersey and told him to follow Daddy around at all times.
(Ed Betz of the AP gets our early vote for the photography Pulitzer)
The sharp-eyed Willie Randolph (filed under “Phrases We Never Thought We’d Utter with a Straight Face”) spotted the error after Ross slipped in front of Patterson to start the final inning.
THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER emphasizes Baker’s regular bench coach had to take third base when that coach left for a family matter. We assume this bench coach also makes sure Dusty always leaves the clubhouse with pants on. Read more…
Lou Piniellaofficially named Kerry Wood the closer for the Chicago Cubs yesterday in a combination of classic fastball seduction and wishcasting about Wood’s health in the limited role. Wood’s reign as closer will be measured with an official Chicago Cubs egg timer before his arm explodes magnificently, taking out Mark DeRosa and Aramis Ramirez with shrapnel.
Cubs GM Jim Hendry, the man responsible for pairing up mankiller Dusty Baker and Kerry Wood, isn’t taking gentle criticism of the move well. In fact, he is quite happy to call out reporters that have done so and humbly remind them that “I don’t give a f*** what you think.”Twice. Look what happens when you set a bad example, Sam Zell!
As Hendry gets in touch his inner bully, the other man responsible for shattering Wood and Mark Prior’s career chose another path to redemption: historical revisionism. Dusty Baker now claims he never hurt a pitching fly.