Nix was the starting left fielder against the Brewers and right-handed pitcher Braden Looper on Thursday. In the platoon manager Dusty Baker has employed this season, Chris Dickerson would have normally played.
Both Nix and Dickerson bat left-handed, but Dickerson has struggled all season and Nix has made the most of his limited opportunities. Baker indicated Nix’s addition to the lineup wasn’t a one-time spot start.
“I called Dickerson in and talked to him,” Baker said. “I said, ‘Hey man, you’ve got to go back to work and get it back together.’ Nix is going good right now. We have to win ballgames. I’m not saying it’s all his fault, but Nix is doing his thing.”
The Enquirer has basically the same story…
From Lance McAlister’s blog:
Monday: “But the fans don’t make out the lineup,” Baker said. “Nix is going to play. Fans didn’t even know who Nix was when we got him. You’re not going to play him over Jay Bruce or Willy Taveras. That leaves left field. Who’s got more talent than Chris Dickerson? Last year, Dickerson was the fair-haired boy. People wanted me to play him every day against right- and left-handers. I ain’t no front-runner,”
Tuesday: “What do you do make changes one week to the next? Whoever is hot that week or semi-hot that week?” Baker said. “Everyone wants Nix to play. Shove Dickerson, then shove the next guy. Then you’re not showing confidence in anybody.
“It’s a long race here. So much of it is physical but a whole bunch of it is psychological. So much of it is confidence and spurring confidence.”
Thursday: “I called Dickerson in and talked to him,” Baker said. “I said, ‘Hey man, you’ve got to go back to work and get it back together.’ Nix is going good right now. We have to win ballgames. I’m not saying it’s all his fault, but Nix is doing his thing.”
So, what changed Dusty’s mind in 3 days? Could he have been given the word from the front office or is he just a “front runner”?