As if on cue, a writer flies off the handle over the A-Rod/Galea thing

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Reading the papers this morning I was surprised to see that neither Lupica nor any of the Post guys really brought the crazy in regards to this Alex Rodriguez/Dr. Galea thing. Oh, Lupica tried to muster some outrage, but his heart just wasn’t in it. I was almost prepared to give up and write a post about how unexpectedly level-headed everyone was being, but then I stumbled upon Ian O’Connor’s column in the Bergen Record:

But no, realistically, this isn’t about someone else. It’s about Alex
Rodriguez. It’s about a once-in-a-generation ballplayer who cheated the
game, cheated the fans and cheated himself, and who now is discovering
that even a World Series ring and ticker-tape parade can’t absolve him
of his not-so-venial steroid sins . . . Rodriguez also is waiting for a break in the storm clouds that never
will come. A-Rod’s waiting for the day when he’s completely liberated
from his admitted past as a chemically altered fraud. He shouldn’t hold his breath . . .

. . . It’s quite possible Rodriguez will tell the feds he never received
performance-enhancing drugs from Galea or anyone else, and this
flare-up will go away. At least until the next  flare-up. It’s
also possible Rodriguez will tell investigators a different tale, one
that could earn him a minimum 50-game suspension . . . It sounds unlikely, but when it’s A-Rod, worst-case scenarios are always in play.

And the prose gets even more purple after that if you can believe it.  All as a result of A-Rod being asked to answer a few questions about something he says doesn’t even involve him and which the Commissioner of Baseball and everyone else has said is a non-issue as far as baseball is concerned.

Of course O’Conner was probably pretty proud of that “cheated the
game, cheated the fans and cheated himself” line when he wrote it last year and it would have been a shame to have left it in unused macro purgatory for much longer.

Dusty Baker drops truth bombs

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Dusty Baker was fired last offseason despite leading the Nationals to 95 and 97-win seasons. This was not new for him. Cincinnati let him go after taking a miserable Reds team to back-to-back 90+ win seasons — three in the space of four years — and making it to the playoffs in his final two seasons. In both cases the team that let him go cratered as soon as he left. There are likely reasons that have nothing to do with Dusty Baker for that, but it seems like more than mere coincidence too.

I say that because every time someone gets to Dusty Baker for an interview, he drops some major truth bombs that make you wonder why anyone wouldn’t want him in charge. Sure, like any manager he has his faults and blind spots — more so in his distant past than in his recent past, I should not — but the guy is smart, has more experience than anyone going and is almost universally loved by his players.

Recently he sat down with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic to talk about life, baseball and everything, and once again the truth bombs were dropping. About the state of front offices today. About the different way black and white ex-managers and ex-players are treated. About what seems to be collusion on the free agent market. And, of course, about the state of the 2018 Nationals, who are likely to miss the playoffs despite being, more or less, the same team he led to those 97 wins last year. It’s an absolute must-read on any of those topics, but taken together it’s a “block off some time this afternoon and enjoy the hell out of it” read.

Two of my favorite passages follow. The first one is a great general point in life: always beware of people who spend more time telling you why they are successful than actually, you know, being successful.

In Cincinnati, no matter what I did or what we did — we brought them from the bottom — they were all over me, all the time, no matter what. If we won, it wasn’t winning the right way. They were like, “I don’t understand this mode of thinking.” Well, I don’t want you to understand my mode of thinking. That’s how I can beat you.

The second one is just delicious for what he does not say:

Rosenthal: Bryce Harper struggled for two-plus months. He didn’t struggle for two-plus months when you had him…

Baker: I know.

Based on the tone of the rest of the interview, in which Baker does not hesitate to say exactly what he thinks, it’s abundantly clear that he believes the Nats have messed Harper up somehow and that it wouldn’t have happened under him.

Like I said, though: there is a TON of great stuff in here. From a guy who, if you’ve listened to him talk when he does not give a crap about what people may say about him, has time and again revealed himself to  be one of the most interesting baseball figures of the past several decades.