Pinch-hitter Freddie Lewis hit a ball to dead center. As he has done so often this year, center fielder Willy Taveras broke poorly on the ball, running laterally to his left before realizing the ball was over his head. It fell for a double.
He doesnít get on base. When he does he doesnít steal when it is needed. He was brought in to be a leadoff hitter and couldnít do it and is now batting second. And he is below average in the field. What can Taveras do? He has a nice stereo set in the clubhouse that plays loud, headache-inducing salsa music.
And holy cahooties. Taveras just hit a ground ball to the mound and trotted toward first base. Didnít run. Jogged. Stopped before he got to the bag. Manager Dusty Baker immediately yanked him from the lineup, replacing him with Laynce Nix.
The Reds later announced that Taveras has a strained right quadriceps muscle. I donít question the injury, but it was awfully convenient
As far as Iím concerned, and many other fans are concerned, Taveras can rot on the bench the rest of the season. Iíve seen nothing to merit the millions the Reds have flushed down the toilet when they brought this guy in.