Sunday, October 14, 2007
(posted by OMDQ)
Today is a day of mourning: one of the all-time great media personalities of our era, Dusty Baker, is leaving his gig at ESPN and returning to the dugout as a manager after a one year hiatus. He will take over as the skipper of the Cincinnati Reds, a team that hasn't finished above .500 since 2000 or experienced postseason play since 1995.
Cincinnati will be the third team on Baker's managerial resume. He fearlessly guided Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants for ten seasons, leading the team to one National League pennant (2002), two division titles and six second-place finishes. He left San Fran to take over the Cubs in 2003, winning the Central division and coming within five outs of a World Series appearance.
Tangentially related fact: according to Baseball-Reference.com, Baker's real name is Johnnie B. Baker, Jr. Please don't ask me to explain why, because I don't think I can, but that is one of the most awesome names ever.
Light a candle for Dusty, sports fans. We'll still be able to see him as he leads the Reds through the stormy waters of the always tough National League Central division, but it won't be the same as hearing his excellent and insightful commentary on ESPN ever night. That, and his seemingly natural ability in the broadcast booth, will be sorely missed.
Photo: Barry Bonds and Darren Baker