Dusty Baker has never been one to hide his feelings, whether dealing with his players on the field or in the clubhouse. Although he was relieved of his duties as the Cincinnati Reds manager a couple of years ago, a recent trade put him back in the headlines in connection with the team. Baker’s comments on alleged domestic abuser Aroldis Chapman also put him back in the spotlight.
For reference, according to police reports, Chapman was arguing with his girlfriend one night, when one thing led to another, and Chapman (allegedly) choked her, punched his car window (once in his garage), and fired a gun. Surprisingly, no arrests were made. However, Major League Baseball has been “investigating.” Cynicism aside about the process to suspend or fire one of the most heralded young arms in the game, Chapman has been able to avoid the media frenzy.
The MLB winter meetings are being held in Nashville this week. Dusts was asked about the possible blockbuster trade for the Los Angeles Dodgers to acquire Chapman. Some shrewd journalist then asked about the alleged domestic abuse charges, and that’s when Baker was diagnosed with the aforementioned ailment:
Asked about Chapman, Baker said, “I’m not one to judge how the whole thing happened.”
“Oh, he’s a heck of a guy. I mean, a heck of a guy. I’ll go on record and say I wouldn’t mind having Chapman,” said Baker. “No, no, he is a tremendous young man with a great family, mom and dad, and what he went through to get here and what his family had to go through to get here. I was with him through the whole process.”
If he would have stopped there, we may just be questioning his sense of “heckuva” people. That’s the thing with foot-in-mouth — you have to keep talking so you can breathe.
“I think it’s a great thing,” Baker told reporters. “I mean, I got a buddy at home that’s being abused by his wife. So I think this [MLB Domestic Abuse] 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.”
Forthcoming apology aside, social media is already torching Baker for his comments.
You know what’s interesting? Baker hasn’t played baseball since 1986 but he sure can still hit one clean out of the park when he tries.