Dickerson talks, Baker responds

The Reds pretty much view that Drew Stubbs has the inside track on center field and it’s his job to lose. But the other day, Chris Dickerson made it known he didn’t like being overlooked.

“I’m not trying to make this as a stab at the general audience, I don’t understand how I get written off,” Dickerson told CNati.com. “Drew’s a great player, but you know, when I was in center, I don’t remember a whole lot of balls falling out there. Everyone’s wanting to put me in left, that’s OK with me, I’m comfortable in all three positions.”

Dickerson is a natural center field and it’s his best position.

On Saturday, manager Dusty Baker’s view was pretty clear about the situation.

“You can be disappointed all you want to. But he allowed Stubbs to get his foot in the door,” Baker said. “[It was] via performance and injuries. It happens. Sometimes you have to wait for your next opportunity.”

Among other contrasts, Baker also pointed out that Stubbs hit eight homers in 180 at-bats and Dickerson hit two in 255 at-bats.

“Reality is reality,” Baker said. [Dickerson] was disappointed he wasn’t playing against lefties but hey man, I’ve got a guy that’s pretty good hitting against lefties in Jonny Gomes.”

Dickerson was better at reaching base. His OBP was .370 compared to .323 for Stubbs. Dickerson also had 13 doubles and three triples. He also missed significant time with two trips to the DL.

“I told Dick last year the reason I’m platooning you is try and keep you healthy, which still didn’t work,” Baker said. “Nobody said he wasn’t in the running. Maybe he feels that. You have to re-establish yourself.”

On Saturday, Dickerson was more diplomatic in talking about his versatility being a positive but hadn’t altered his opinion very much. He would like a shot at center field.

“I don’t think there’s any reason why I shouldn’t be able to play center field,” he said. “I’ve done a great job in center field. Many people don’t know that’s where I played until I came up. I was one of the top defensive center fielders. Like Stubbs, he was the best defensive outfielder in the system like I was the previous three years. My premiere position was center field. I proved I can play center field at the Major League level and be a good one at that.”

**The Reds held a public workout/fanfest at Goodyear Ballpark. A few hundred fans came out as the Reds did some throwing and performed infield practice.

“I like it. It looks great,” infielder Todd Frazier said of the facility. “I can get used to something like this for sure.”

I talked to one Ohio native that drove all the way from Palm Springs, Calif. to see the workout. It was a 3 1/2 hour trip one way.

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I can understand Chris’s frustration. He is the best defensive cf on this year’s team and last. It’s just he is more versatile and experienced playing the corners, he gets written off in a sense. I don’t buy “Chris opened the door for drew because of performance and injuries” because Drew was getting all the time in CF while Chris was healthy anyways. Right now, in Chris’s mind, coaches and Dusty are like American Idol judges. They tell Chris to hit line drives, get on base, and play great defense. “We don’t need our leadoff man to hit homeruns and strike out.” Chris follows their request to the “T” and Drew comes in showing power, speed, and high “k/bb” ratio and boom, it’s his job to lose. Am I missing something?

As I have already said, this is the time to put up or shut up. You don’t need him going to all of the reporters with that story. That will only create hard feelings in the dugout and nothing more. Dusty told you to earn it so if you are the best CF on the team, go prove it and shut up. Enough is enough.

I understand the frustration, but I don’t like that he went public with it. Just like Dusty said, if you have a problem, you speak with him about it, and either it gets resolved or it doesn’t. I think Dickerson is the best CF on the roster, but I also think that going public with this type of thing is only going to hurt him in the long run.

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