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Dusty Baker is not that familiar with the Braves' roster

May 21, 2010, 10:05 AM EDT

One final note from that Braves-Reds game yesterday.  After the game, Dusty was being asked about his bullpen usage. Specifically, why he pulled Arthur Rhodes after he struck Jason Heyward out with the bases loaded rather than have him face the grand slam-hitting Brooks Conrad.  Dusty’s response:

“He wouldn’t have faced Conrad,” Baker said. “It would have been Clevlen.”

That’s Brent Clevlen, the Braves’ right-handed bench jockey.

To which I ask whether or not Baker is aware that Brooks Conrad is a switch hitter, thereby obviating the need for Cox to bring Clevlen into the game to face Rhodes. That is, if he even would have done so had Rhodes stayed in. Clevlen has had exactly one plate appearance so far this year, and that came after he was used as a pinch runner in a blowout. I’d be shocked if Bobby Cox would have gone with anyone other than Conrad in that situation, regardless of who was pitching.

Of course this is Monday morning quarterbacking, and in saying what he said I think Dusty was exhibiting more frustration about an obviously crushing game than he was exhibiting ignorance about Brooks Conrad’s handedness (which I didn’t even know until it was pointed out to me).

To be honest, if I were Dusty I probably just would have said “look, what are the friggin’ odds that Brooks friggin’ Conrad would hit a friggin’ grand slam off my friggin’ $45 million closer? Go ask Cordero why it happened. Go ask my defense why they gave the Braves so many damn chances today.  I’m gonna go get on the team plane and drink whiskey until they run out of it, OK? We done?”

  1. Joey B - May 21, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    The correct question would be, why wait until the tying run is on base before bringing in your closer? Granted, it was an unusual situation, and closers sometimes do have issues coming in in the middle of an inning, but your closer has to be in there before the winning run is in the batter’s box.
    And why ask Lincoln to go three innings? Cordero had already had a few days between appearances, so it’s not like you were trying to save his arm.
    It just looks to me like Baker took the game for granted.

  2. APBA Guy - May 21, 2010 at 11:49 AM

    Dusty looked a lot like Bob Geren yesterday, indecisive at the crucial moment. But in fairness the loss was equal parts his doing, as Joey B. says, and terrible defense. Four errors? You can’t do that at the ML level.

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