In our continuing effort to parse every interesting word out of Dusty Baker’s mouth, there’s this, from John Erardi, filling in for John Fay (BTW: Best wishes to John and his family in what sounds like a very tough time.):
When Reds manager Dusty Baker was asked before TuesdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s game how much weight he gives to a pitcherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“most recent outingÃ¢â‚¬Â when it comes to making the team, he turned the question on its head and talked about the hitters.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“(Looking at) Ã¢â‚¬Ëœmost recent outingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ would make you a frontrunner,Ã¢â‚¬Â Baker said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“And I ainÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t no frontrunner. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t look at Ã¢â‚¬Ëœmost recent outing.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ If that that was the case, half the guys wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t (make) the team. If that was the case, (Edwin) Encarnacion wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even be on the team. I look at the baseball card; I look at what I think he might do; I know what he is doing. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a combination of things.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Dusty said that in a funny way, with all that stuff about not being a “frontrunner,” but he understands what everyone should — spring training stats, and even spring training performance itself, should be all but ignored when picking out a roster.