Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker now has the dubious distinction of having managed two of the most notorious busted steroid users – Barry Bonds with the San Francisco Giants and Sammy Sosa with the Chicago Cubs. I suppose that label could also be placed now on Joe Torre, having managed Alex Rodriguez with the Yankees and Manny Ramirez with the Dodgers.
But I haven’t yet heard Torre’s thoughts on whether he knew or should have known his players were using.
Dusty Baker, on the other hand, was recently asked about this very thing. And he had an interesting response.
Sosa is alleged to have tested positive for steroids in 2003, according to a story last week in the New York Times.
“Who knows if it’s real or not,” Baker said. “And if it is real, still, what do you say?”
Baker managed Bonds with the Giants and Sosa with the Cubs in 2003 and ’04.
Asked if he was aware of Sosa’s alleged steroid use with the Cubs, Baker replied:
“I had no way of telling because I had never seen it. They asked me the same thing in San Francisco. I don’t think any manager knows.” chicagotribune.com.
Convenient, Dusty. The guys around me were blowing up like veiny helium balloons, but I never saw anything, so I just don’t know. Oh, did I mention they were propping up my otherwise inexplicable managerial career at the time?
And you don’t think any manager knows? Does Baker really believe that?
Look – there was plenty of evidence. And frankly, people talk. Players are people. Coaches are people. If you didn’t know, Dusty, it’s because you worked hard not to know.
Maybe you thought it wasn’t your business. Maybe you thought it wasn’t your responsibility.
But don’t sit there, dumbfounded, acting as though you had no way of knowing that the kids had their hands in the cookie jar because you were in the other room, and you didn’t notice the smeared chocolate all over their faces.