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Dusty Baker on Mike Leake: “his eyes were gentle eyes”

Apr 22, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

dusty baker toothpick AP

Mike Leake took the hill again yesterday, his first appearance since he been caught stealin’.  And it was a good outing: seven innings in which he gave up three runs and picked up the win.  That shows some toughness.

Or does it? Because Dusty Baker saw something other than toughness when he talked about how he decided that, yeah, Leake should take his regular turn in the rotation:

“What you gauge and what is are two different things. Usually, you can look in a person’s eyes and read that person at that moment. His eyes were gentle eyes, which lets me know that he knows nobody knows joy and bitterness in anybody’s heart but that person. No matter how their face looks. His eyes were gentle to the point of pain and embarrassment.”

That’s not awkward or anything.

Seriously, though, I’m not sure that there’s a better manager in baseball when it comes to relating to his players and being helpful and supportive when they’re going through stuff. Baker was fabulous with respect to Joey Votto‘s battles with anxiety disorder in 2009. And while his words about Leake are a bit unconventional for a post-game interview, they certainly suggest that he views his players as people first. And that’s pretty nice.

  1. BC - Apr 22, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    been caught stealin’
    +1 for the Jane’s Addiction reference, even if inadvertent…

    • metalhead65 - Apr 22, 2011 at 4:20 PM

      the song and band both SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. spudchukar - Apr 22, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    Good Stuff, Dusty.

  3. heyblueyoustink - Apr 22, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    “You can’t hiiiiiiide, you’re lying eyes”……….still, I guess getting popped shoplifting for cheap stuff is embarrasing enough, let alone it being disseminated amongst the masses…..

    As far as Dusty goes, he has a touch with players for sure……Keeping Kent and Bar-roid in the same club house requires some good Dr. Phil type qualities……..

    then again, I wonder what Prior and Wood think of his managerial skills

  4. Ari Collins - Apr 22, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    Bizarre quote.

    Reminds me of Jeter’s Calm Eyes. Which would be an excellent(/terrible) name for a band.

    • BC - Apr 22, 2011 at 1:05 PM

      Greatest name for a band ever:
      They did a heavy metal version of the “Brady Bunch” theme song that was incredible.

  5. cur68 - Apr 22, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    In the background, softly, Chris De Burgh sings ‘Lady In Red”…

    • BC - Apr 22, 2011 at 1:03 PM

      I think I just threw up in my mouth a little….

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