clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Nationals' skipper Dusty Baker on the Brewers batting out of order Monday in Nats Park

"These things happen sometimes," Dusty Baker told reporters after the Milwaukee Brewers batted out of order in the first innings of Monday's game and the Washington Nationals' skipper called them on it. Baker's had it happen to him.

Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

Milwaukee Brewers' manager Craig Counsell took the blame for the lineup card gaffe that resulted in Ryan Braun stepping to the plate in place of Jonathan Lucroy with two out in the top of the first inning Monday in Nationals Park.

Braun singled to center, but Washington's skipper Dusty Baker emerged from the dugout, lineup card in hand and had a discussion with home plate umpire Corey Blaser, who convened his crew before making a ruling.

Braun's hit was voided and Lucroy was charged with a groundout to the catcher for the third out of the frame.

"When Dusty came out there, the first thing you do is look," Counsell said, as quoted by MASN's Mark Zuckerman after the game, "and I knew I messed up."

"I screwed up," Counsell added. "It’s not something that makes you feel very good, that’s for sure. But the guys picked me up."

In his own post game interview, Baker said it's happened to him, both in his playing days and in his second career as a manager.

"I've been a victim of that a couple of times on the manager's side and once on the hitter's side," Baker said.

"Davey [Lopes] reminded me that that was indeed me in Philadelphia -- runners on first and second and I hit out of turn because they had one lineup posted in the dugout and another lineup was turned in. So I figured that day I was just hitting in from of Ron Cey [but] the lineup that was turned in had Ron Cey hitting in front of me."

"So it was first and second, I hit into a force play and I think it was Pete Rose called the attention to the umpire, they made the runners go back, Ron Cey was credited with an 0 for 1, fielder's choice, and then he threw me the same pitch and I hit it out of the ballpark."

The pitcher in that story is Phillies' lefty Randy Lerch.

According to Retrosheet.org's account of the incident, Baker's recollection was fairly accurate:

5/4/1980 - The Dodgers were visiting Philadelphia and the top of the first inning was not Dallas Green's best day on the way to the World Series championship. Davey Lopes singled and Rudy Law reached on an infield error. After Reggie Smith popped out, Law stole second base. Steve Garvey reached on an infield single, scoring the first run of the game. Dusty Baker then hit into a force out leaving runners on first and third but had batted out of turn. Green came out and pointed out the fact that the proper batter had not hit. Thus Ron Cey was called out, the runners restored to their previous bases and Baker batted again. This time he hit a three-run homer to left. Green now was very upset saying that Baker should not have batted believing according to newspaper accounts that Baker's force out should count and Cey should be ruled out. He was ejected from the game and protested the game. The protest was denied as the rules were followed correctly. The incorrect decision was Green's when he did not take the out on Baker's first trip to the plate. The Dodgers eventually won the game 12-10.

"I just had visions today of [Braun]-- I was trying not to have them, but [visions] of him hitting the ball out of the ballpark like I [did] in my past," Baker said Monday. "So, these things happen sometimes."

It happened to Baker twice as a manager as well, as chronicled at Retrosheet.org.

In an August 8, 1998 game when he was managing the San Francisco Giants, he made five substitutions in the lineup in the middle of the matchup and Rich Aurilia, "got confused and... batted out of turn," but the Atlanta Braves didn't notice and Aurilia hit in the right spot the next time around.

In 2004, Baker was managing the Chicago Cubs and "intended to place two new players in the lineup with a double switch but failed to tell Umpire C.B. Bucknor."

Cubs' shortstop Ramon Martin batted out of order and doubled and the Cincinnati Reds protested and, "[p]itcher Kent Mercker, the proper batter, was called out."

"Baker argued with the umpires but was told that the call stood. Yelling & screaming, he tossed his lineup card on the ground and was ejected by Bucknor. Baker threw his hat, walked away and returned; he tossed his hat again, stomped to the dugout and kicked some items in the on deck circle before finally leaving the field. The Cubs won in the bottom of the ninth, 11-10, when Sammy Sosa and Moises Alou hit back-to-back homers to end the game. When Baker arrived home that day, his son called him 'Mad Dog.'"

"Mad Dog", International Bake, Dusty, Johnnie B. "Dusty" Baker has seen some things.