Are you fucking serious?
Lost in the haze of last night's epic USMNT win at the Azteca was the circus, clown shoes shenanigans of Dusty Baker, as the Reds manager chose gamesmanship over common sense, and gave Mets fans another reason to hate his stupid, fat face.
Up 1-0 in the second inning against my lowly Mets, Baker successfully prodded the umpire to instruct RA Dickey to remove two bracelets from his wrist. Two bracelets that had been given to him by his daughters before he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro last winter, and which he has worn in every one of his magical starts this season - not to mention his All Star Game innings earlier this summer. Dickey complied - how couldn't he - later conceding that, well, rules are rules. Dickey would go on to give up three homers and the Mets lost 6-1.
Advantage DB, I guess.
Of course, Baker has a reputation for being a pile of shit sticks. A couple months back, Derek Lowe, a db in his own right, was quoted as saying that Baker routinely directs his pitchers to throw at Lowe
as retaliation for a still-not-public incident between Baker and Lowe back in L.A. Clearly, Baker is not above letting his emotions surface and guide the management of his team, and last night he apparently wanted to get into Dickey's head a little bit.
An understandable yet completely dick move when you're facing the presumptive favorite for Cy Young among voters who aren't total assholes.
Sure, there's evidence to suggest that Baker had nothing to do with the out-of-nowhere enforcement of this often-overloooked rule. The umpire, Jim Joyce, apparently stopped the game again in the third to inform Dickey that Baker had actually not said anything to Joyce about it. Sorry, but not fucking likely. As has been pointed out, this officiating crew (along with a dozen or so others) had called Dickey games earlier this year, and never - not with any crew - had this come up before. Not to mention during an inning while Dickey is trying to do work and command the most mentally bananas pitch in baseball. The timing of this is entirely suspect unless Dusty made a point to say something to the umps and make sure the bracelet was gone immediately. Joyce's later denial, providing for another stoppage to Dickey's routine, was to me undoubtedly a lie, transparently aimed at managing the frustration that the Mets must have had with the situation and Joyce's apparent willingness to cater to Dusty Baker's douchebag whims.
Baseball, as we all come to realize, is a game of many rules, only some of which end up being enforced. Sure, things have tightened up with greater enforcement of spit balls and vaseline in your pocket and corked bats and, of course, PEDs (right, Melky?), but there remains a certain amount of wiggle room. Uniform rules, like the one Dickey supposedly broke, are obviously an area of lax enforcement, and for good reason - because, while MLB wants control, compliance with those rules have little to do with how games are won or lost. Back in 2010, when Terry Francona was summoned for a uniform compliance check while his pitcher was in a jam against Bobby Abreu
, MLB acknowledged that the timing was "poor," and seemingly vowed for nothing like that to happen again. Last night was worse, partly because Dickey had worn these bracelets for months with no comment and partly because the whole situation smells like the mix of sweat and cheeseburgers on Dusty Baker's back.
While I get that it's different for players, since bracelets can be distra..... actually FUCK THAT. I don't get that at all. You're a fucking baseball player and if you're distracted by a few pieces of thread 60 feet away on Dickey's non-throwing hand, then I have a boot I'd like to introduce to your ass. I call him Swift and I think he and your ass will make just perfect friends.
So, cheers and congratulations to you Dusty! You may have gotten Joyce to cover your rotting ass, but discerning fans with an almost unhealthy adoration of RA Dickey know that it was you. Be sure to send apologies to Dickey's daughters, if you ever meet them, for valuing asinine rules over being a decent fucking human being.
And when you're done, tell Bronson Arroyo to cut his hair and lose the ugly face. It's so incredibly distracting, I can't enjoy watching my Mets continue to implode anymore.