From Hal McCoy:
Pinch-hitter Freddie Lewis hit a ball to dead center. As he has done so often this year, center fielder Willy Taveras broke poorly on the ball, running laterally to his left before realizing the ball was over his head. It fell for a double.
He doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get on base. When he does he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t steal when it is needed. He was brought in to be a leadoff hitter and couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do it and is now batting second. And he is below average in the field. What can Taveras do? He has a nice stereo set in the clubhouse that plays loud, headache-inducing salsa music.
And holy cahooties. Taveras just hit a ground ball to the mound and trotted toward first base. DidnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t run. Jogged. Stopped before he got to the bag. Manager Dusty Baker immediately yanked him from the lineup, replacing him with Laynce Nix.
The Reds later announced that Taveras has a strained right quadriceps muscle. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t question the injury, but it was awfully convenient
As far as IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m concerned, and many other fans are concerned, Taveras can rot on the bench the rest of the season. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve seen nothing to merit the millions the Reds have flushed down the toilet when they brought this guy in.
Baker said Taveras hurt himself early in the game when he bunted and dove head first into the first-base bag as the ball rolled foul. He stayed in and couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t run the next at-bat.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I knew something was wrong when I saw him not run, because thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not Willy,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Baker.
As others have said, when the beat writers in Cincinnati turn against the franchise, it’s news.