New Nationals manager Dusty Baker took his turn with the media scrum at the Winter Meetings today, and a Dusty chat session always has the potential to be a weird one. (Remember, this is the guy who once bemoaned getting runners on because they’re “clogging up the bases.”) But this one was a doozy.
You’ve got your pick of headlines, but let’s go with this one first—following some talk about Aroldis Chapman’s domestic-violence incident, Baker was asked if he likes MLB’s new domestic-violence policy. He responded with this, via Hardball Talk:
“Yeah. I think it’s a great thing. I mean, I got a buddy at home that’s being abused by his wife. So I think this policy needs to go further than the player. I think the policy should go to whoever’s involved. Sometimes abusers don’t always have pants on.
“I think we need to get them both in a room and try to come up with something. It’s a bad situation. That’s the first thing my momma told me when I was a kid. Don’t hit a woman, even my sister. Man, I was like you better leave me alone before I tell my momma.
“It’s a bad situation. I learned that young, but a lot of people maybe didn’t learn that.”
How about this specific case? Baker got to know Chapman when he managed him for four seasons in Cincinnati, and appears to have a studiously uninformed opinion on the allegations.
The Dusty Baker era is not going to be a boring one. Imagine a manager who can just slip something like this in under the radar:
What specifically have you told the front office you’d like that you don’t have yet?
“You’re always in need of left-handed pitching, left-handed hitting, and in need of speed. I think that’s the No. 1 thing that’s missing, I think, in the game is speed. You know, with the need for minorities, you can help yourself. You’ve got a better chance of getting some speed with Latin and African-Americans. I’m not being racist. That’s just how it is.”