If Dusty goes, so does Darren | TahoeDailyTribune.com

If Dusty goes, so does Darren

Spring training is five months off, giving Major League Baseball ample time to solve their most pressing issue in years.

For a sport that has spent the better part of two decades trying to avoid work stoppages like winter drivers steer clear of potholes, baseball is facing another crossroads.

If the wrong decision is made, baseball families will be torn apart and high-priced babysitters will start rubbing their hands together.

Baseball goes into the offseason not worrying who will be the next manager of the long-suffering Chicago Cubs, or why two Bushes can become President and the Giants don’t have enough common sense to rehire only the second manager who has directed San Francisco to Game 7 of the World Series.

What’s imperative now is that baseball decides what to do with bat boys who are barely out of diapers. Obviously, gathering bats isn’t as simple as collecting PokZmon cards. In fact, it’s sooooooo dangerous I’m certain the league will redirect some of its profits to starting a school so that these youngsters can be properly trained for their craft.

I’m also certain Dusty Baker has pulled aside his 3 1/2-year-old son, Darren, and relayed his concerns and what their future together may hold:

Dusty: Son, why did you leave the dugout early to retrieve that bat while the ball still was in play?

Darren: I was worried J.T. Snow was going to trip over it coming home. Besides, I bet some of my day-care buds that they’d be talking about me after Game 5, not Barry Bonds. Wasn’t that cool how J.T. had to answer questions about me in the post-game press conference?

Dusty: But son, you could have been knocked over and grandma would have revoked your bat-boy privileges for life. Do you know how hard it is to find a reliable baby-sitter?

Darren: It was a mistake, I’ll admit it. I thought Barry was coming home on that play, so I thought I could go out early and get the bat. Dad, you know by now that Barry has one speed and I can beat him from third to home. And how many times have you seen him touch home plate and then stand there and point to some airplane hovering over the stadium.

Dusty: Darren, if you really wanted to help me you should have gone out and taken the bat out of Scott Spiezio’s hands in the seventh inning Saturday night.

Darren: Dad, don’t blame me for the boys blowing that 5-0 seventh-inning lead in Game 6. I was busy misspelling my name for fans above our dugout.

Dusty: If the league revokes your dugout privileges next year and imposes a league minimum, we won’t be able to see each other as much. I’ve already told Peter Magowan that if they don’t fight to keep you in our dugout next year, I won’t be back. Don’t they realize that we were 8-2 with you in there in the postseason? Wait a minute, they haven’t been talking to you about taking over, have they?

Darren: Don’t sweat it, dad. We can always move to Chicago, where I can ask Dick Jauron if the Bears need someone to dry the football between plays. I hear I would only need to work eight games and would be off six days a week. However, he says I’ll be working more than his Bears have been this season.

Dusty: That would actually allow us to spend more time together. Have you seen that piece of paper with the Cubs’ number on it?

Darren: Yeah, it’s taped to the bat I tried to pick up the other night in front of home plate.

— Sports Editor Steve Yingling can be reached at (530) 542-8010 or at syingling@tahoedailytribune.com

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