In the words of my esteemed colleague, Jim Anchower , “Hola amigos. How’s (stuff) shaking out? I know it’s been a long time since I rapped at ya, but misery’s been flying at me from all directions, and it’s been a (dang) full-time job to just duck out of the way of all of it.”

Well not really—four days.

But it’s been a long time since I’ve stood on my anti-Dusty Baker soapbox (at least 10 days). 

I can no longer hold in a tirade that, if my brain were not totally in charge of editing the language of this piece, would make Rahm Emanuel sound like Norman Vincent Peale.

Before I get started, allow me to say that the Reds’ recent 7-3 run is all about the pitching.  More precisely, pitching coach Bryan Price. 

Dusty’s dugout dances have nothing to do with the streak.

I so much wanted to write a positive Price article tonight.

I swear was in a good mood all day.  Then I made the mistake of watching Friday night’s St. Louis Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds game.

Price is the man. 

I almost long for the days of Dick Pole. 

If Pole were still the pitching coach, Dusty would surely be history by now and Reds’ faithful would not have to put up with his night-in, night-out blunders.

Formerly, I have begged the Reds to call Rick Sweet and offer him Dusty’s post. 

Now I would trust the team in the hands of Betty White. 

Dusty why do you continually bat strikeout-prone Brandon Phillips in the two-hole?

Oh yeah, you’re the hep cat who once said, “It’s called hitting, and it ain’t called walking. Do you ever see the top 10 walking? You see top 10 batting average.

Have you never heard of a little stat called on-base-percentage?  Going into Friday night’s game Phillips had an OBP of .329, while hitting at a .263 clip.

By contrast, and again going into Friday’s contest, Ryan Hanigan is getting on base at a rate of .492 while maintaining a .380 batting average. 

Not only are you contradicting yourself, but you seem not to understand that by having men on base before your big boppers stroll to the dish is something that was done back in your playing days, before a remedial sabermetrics class became the norm.

A basic managerial prerequisite—like those courses that don’t count and start with a zero rather than, say, a 101. 

Back to Friday’s game.

Why, with one out, down by one-run in the ninth and runners on first and second did you send pinch hitter and right-handed batter, Ramon Hernandez to face the Cards’ right-handed closer, Ryan Franklin?  WHY?

Hernandez promptly grounded into a game ending 6-4-3 double play.

You obviously knew (or should have known) that righties were hitting .206 versus Franklin while lefties posted .300 average.

We all thought you had Nix on the bench.  Of course after the game you stated, “Nix wasn’t available.” 

Should we believe you? 

Earlier in the season you played Miguel Cairo at first base saying something to the tune of, “Votto has the flu.”  Yet Joey Votto came in later to pinch-hit, got a hit, and remained in the game, replacing Cairo in the field.

Do people really get over the flu in a matter of hours? 

My man, you could make serious bank during when the annual flu scare hits around October—just a matter of picking the proper animal.  Myself, I’m betting on a “puppy flu” pandemic.

Hernandez now has three hits in 22 at-bats versus Franklin.  While Nix was four for 16 against the pitcher.

If Nix indeed “wasn’t available” why not pinch hit Paul Janish? 

At least Janish doesn’t run like an 18-wheeler on a steep climb in the mountains of West Virginia.

Or was it because, as you have said, “Black and Hispanic players are better suited to playing in the sun and heat than white players.

If that is your excuse: a) It was dark out, and b) The temperature was in the mid-60s—at most.

At what degree of heat is this magical threshold you speak of in regards to white players?

Dusty, my hatred is limited to mosquitoes. 

That said, your game management makes viewing the Reds less tolerable than gawking at two 97-year olds as they attempt to make sweet love.

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