Or are they trying some kind of sick twisted humor at mlb.com
Dickerson rewarding Baker's faith
By Steve Gartner / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- Dusty Baker felt from the beginning of the season that Chris Dickerson has what it takes to be an everyday player.
And now, after a slow start, Dickerson appears to finally be proving his manager right. Dickerson, who began the season platooning with Jerry Hairston Jr. in left field, has found his stroke at the plate.
"He wouldn't have been my left fielder at the beginning of the season if I didn't think he had talent and skill," Baker said. "He has as much talent as anybody out there. It's about putting it together and keeping it together for an extended time."
Dickerson hasn't played for an extended time in the outfield much this season. Although he has played in 57 games for the Reds, he only has 132 at-bats.
Yet he has made the most of his late-game appearances. Over his past five games, he is 7-for-9, raising his average from .234 to .271.
Included in that streak was a start in center field on Friday against the White Sox, in which he went 2-for-4 at the leadoff position.
"It started mentally getting back on the right track," Dickerson said. "It doesn't matter how much work you're doing physically, if you don't believe in yourself and don't get yourself to relax, the work you do is pretty much irrelevant."
Last season, Dickerson came on strong as a late addition, hitting .304 in 21 games. As he entered his first full season this year, he was expected to be a constant in the Reds' lineup. But for much of the campaign, he hasn't seen as much time in the outfield as Laynce Nix.
Yet when Willy Taveras was struggling at the plate, Baker inserted Dickerson in the lineup, and he didn't disappoint.
He also entered Saturday's Gillette Civil Rights Game in the sixth inning as a defensive replacement and had two hits and a stolen base.
In Sunday's game, he pinch-hit for Taveras in the eighth and singled up the middle on the second pitch he saw. He later stole second for his fifth stolen base of the season.
"I told him he was going to get another opportunity here," Baker said. "He's ready and working hard. I told him he should be something special."
Dickerson is second on the team with three triples and has shown his patience at the plate with 24 walks.
And he's ready for whatever Baker asks of him.
"It's a good opportunity to keep that rolling," Dickerson said. "I'm on the right track, and I have a great deal of confidence in any situation."
What kind of sick sense of humor does Gartner have, or does he not pay attention to anything outside of 1-2 boxscores.