I also think this is more Baker doing a favor,than anything else,but I like it.
I have lots of "Internet fans" I enjoy, but "message board doctor guy" is my favorite. Somewhere along the way, people decided that Dusty Baker "ruined" Kerry Wood and Mark Prior and ignore most of the expert analysis I've read that details their flawed mechanics and possibly being exposed to throwing junk too early in their physical development (little league). You should see the Redskins boards right now in regards to RG3's knee.... On the message board I frequent there are 3 plumbers, 4 lawyers, 1 CPA, and 1,436 orthopedic surgeons.
To sit there with tunnel vision and say any manager who did that would have been fired on the spot is the definition of hyperbole.
I'm not arguing Prior wasn't overused by Dusty, because he obviously was. I also don't care because Dusty has handled the Reds group of young arms fine since he's been here. If overworking Prior and Wood caused him to change, well I'm glad he did it before he got to Cincinnati.
I also could argue that even if you want to blame Prior's first injury on Dusty go for it, but the fact Prior has never made a comeback when countless number of pitchers have come back from TJ, it probably has less to do with Dusty and more to do with Prior's DNA that he has never really returned.
I might get ripped for this, but in my opinion winning a championship is far more important than protecting young pitchers. The goal is to win it all, not ensure your ace pitcher is on the fast track to the hall of fame. If I have to overwork my young pitcher at the risk he might suffer major arm injuries(not guranteed, but definite risk is there) but we win a world series in the end. Well, I'll do it. But thats why I don't work in baseball I guess.
When I first saw the subject line I thought it said "Reds sign Hank Prior"
I didn't know who that would have been.
If you are 22 year old Mark Prior, you are an adult. If you think you are being abused in any way, step up, be a man and say something. Prior never felt abused.
22 year old Mark Prior had a family and an agent, with armies of doctors, trainers, etc. looking out for his well being. None of these folks felt he was being abused.
The Chicago Cubs as an organization had millions of dollars invested in Prior. It was in their best interest to look out for Prior. Nobody in the higher ranks of the organization felt he was being abused.
As fans, we need someone to point a finger at. Especially when our stars get injured. That person was Dusty Baker. At this point, it's been repeated so many times, we all accept it as fact.
There are lots of times in life where if I knew then what I know now, I'd be a lot better off. But like I tell my kids, you can't change the past, you can only change the future. If you learn from your past mistakes and get better, then that's how life is.
I think Dusty has moved forward into the modern day thinking of building up a young pitcher. Back then, he did the same thing most every other manager did, win at all costs and burn out young guys. Reds did it with Gary Nolan, Wayne Simpson, Don Gullett, etc etc.
Thank goodness a Cubs fan cannot join RedsZone and invade this thread. Prior was so good in his initial years that Tom Seaver asked for his autograph. If Mr. Prior is on the border line of making the team, hopefully he will accept a AAA job. We could use his experience in the event we get a rash of injuries in the bullpen etc.