Back near the beginning of the season, before the Reds had established themselves at all and it was Dusty Baker asking the Reds about a contract extension instead of the other way around, I took the opportunity to talk about what I wanted in the Reds’ next manager. Admittedly, a lot of it was direct pokes at Baker’s shortcomings, but all of it was heartfelt.
Like, the next week the team suddenly starting tearing it up and the discussion of the Reds next manager was the last thing on anyone’s mind (except Baker’s).
Fast forward to September. The magic number is one, and I need something to distract me from whether the Cards are going to lose to the Pirates again just before the Reds have a chance to play at home after a lengthy road trip, and thusly provide a premature and vaguely unsatisfying clinch.
The tables have turned on the managerial situation: Baker hasn’t destroyed a pitcher or said a single stupid thing about clogging bases in months. He still can’t write up a decent line-up card, but with all he has to work with, it hardly matters. Between the team’s success this year and the fact that his contract is up for renewal, we may not be seeing him again next year but for an opposing team’s dugout.
And if that happens, what then? I had the horrifying experience of having a fellow fan suggest that Tony LaRussa would be a good addition.
What’s doubly horrifying is that before this season, I might have agreed. But that was before we got a front-row seat to the bitching-and-moaning, the political involvement of questionable appropriateness, and his patented Willingness to Throw his Players under the Bus in the MediaTM.
If the falling out between him and Ozzie Smith wasn’t warning enough, the falling out between him and Scott Rolen is a sounding trumpet. How anyone couldn’t get along with Scott Rolen, I don’t know. He’s like a friggin’ saint over here. I’m pretty sure he actually glows with the light of goodness and truth.
Of course, rumor has it that another falling out, this one between him and Walt Jocketty, was the event that landed the latter with the Reds in the first place. And if that’s the case, there’s probably nothing to worry about for next season.
But I need something else to worry about other than the Cards giving their best prom date impression. LaRussa wouldn’t look any better even in the dress.