Jim Leyland hates managing against his friends, because either you lose or they do. Dusty Baker says the same thing.
"You'd rather manage against adversaries," the Reds manager said today. "It's more fun."
As it turns out, though, there are a whole bunch of friendly matchups around the majors this week. Leyland against Tony La Russa. Baker against Cito Gaston. Bobby Cox against Ned Yost. Cox against Gaston.
Leyland worked for La Russa in Chicago, and worked with him in St. Louis. Yost worked for Cox in Atlanta. Gaston played with Cox, played for him and then coached under him in Toronto. Gaston and Baker were teammates when Baker broke into pro ball in Austin, Texas, in 1967.
"My first game was in Little Rock, and I dropped a fly ball," Baker said. "I cried, and I said I was going home. Cito said, "Don't worry, kid, I'll take care of you. . . . He helped raise me in the game."
So how does Gaston feel about facing both Baker and Cox in his first week back on the job? He doesn't mind it. He has no problem facing his friends.
"I've always felt that if someone's going to lose, let them lose," he said.
Tonight's A.J. Burnett-Bronson Arroyo matchup didn't attract any special-assignment scouts to the Rogers Center, something of a surprise since both starters are candidates to get traded.
While the Jays are willing to move Burnett, they're said to be setting their sights high, looking for an established outfielder (preferably left-handed hitting) in return.
As for Arroyo, it's just as well for him and for the Reds that no scouts were here. He didn't record an out in the second inning and left trailing, 9-1, after the shortest start of his career.
"I was in New York the weekend before Willie (Randolph) got fired," Wine said. "Then I was in Seattle for (John) McLaren's last game. Then I was in Milwaukee for (John) Gibbons' last game (with Toronto). Holy cow, I'm like a black cat."
You've seen the numbers that show the American League is once again dominating the National League in interleague play. The difference between the two leagues isn't lost on the players.
Did he mean that the Red Sox and Angels are better than any NL teams?
"Hands down," Hamels said. "They're a lot better than the NL teams. Even playing in an NL park."