After years of failed attempts, Paul Daugherty may have finally written his first good column. Well, it’s not so much as he wrote it as he asked Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker questions and transcribed the responses for the world. Since Baker is actually a nice, genuine, kind of cool guy, the article comes out very nice.
Baker talks about the origins of his omnipresent wrist bands.
I’ve worn the wristbands since I was a kid. Look at any of my bubblegum cards. If I’m wearing short sleeves, I have wristbands on. I put them on before I put on any other part of my uniform. If we’re winning, I use the same color. If we’re losing, I change them every day. Different colors. It’s bad when I run out of color combinations.
Then he talked about being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
I go to Kauai every year. For me, it’s the most spiritual place in the world. That’s where I went when I was told I had prostate cancer. We were going to Hawaii anyway, but my wife read in the in-flight magazine about Kauai, The Healing Island. The Lawae Valley. I walked the mountainsides. A lot of people think Hawaii is the center of the earth. I don’t know, but I feel something there I don’t feel anyplace else. I just prayed about my cancer. I came down from the mountains on Kauai and I knew everything was going to be all right.
Clearly, he has a well-adjusted head on his shoulders and a supportive family.
In the article, Baker also shares his love of wine, and he says that he grows syrah grapes. It doesn’t say, but I can only assume there’s a Dusty Baker wine out there somewhere. I wonder if he makes it in his bathtub.
There are a lot more tidbits about what makes Baker the person he is. Read the article to find out the last time he cried and what his first car was. Go ahead. It’s okay. And it might encourage Daugherty to get out of the way of other people’s words in the future.