Nine years, one month, and three days ago, Dusty Wathan stepped onto a professional baseball field. He breathed in the fresh September air. He coughed a little, because the air he’d just breathed was in Kansas City. He then trotted out onto the field and helped the Royals eviscerate the Tigers, 17-2.
Boiling with momentum, the team cruised into their final five games with a wild-eyed fire not seen since the ’80s. They then lost four of their last five games. Dusty Wathan stepped off of a professional baseball field for the last time.
This week, he was revealed as the next manager of the Reading Phillies, replacing Mark Parent, who replaced Steve Roadcap the year before. It seems they have a tradition in Reading of filling vacancies with less and less Major League experience. Except in Parent’s case. Look, the point is, it’s a different guy.
Clearwater is a lovely town, as long as you’re nobody’s grandmother. As manager of the Single-A affiliate Clearwater Threshers, Dusty achieved minor success. His success was that he was managing in the minor league system of the NL East Champion Phillies. It was also success because he managed the Lakewood BlueClaws to the South Atlantic League championship. So gracious were the Phillies after another successful year with Dusty at the wheel, they promoted him to Reading, where the baseball is Double-A, the hot dogs have faces, and people stay the hell out of the storage units.
Besides, who better to coach in our farm system then a guy who was playing in it for so long? Remember back when we had a team called the Ottawa Lynx? He totally played for them! Anyways, most of the Top 10 Phillies prospects play in Reading or Lakewood, so he seems to have been a positive influence.
Whoever he is, he is now in charge of getting our youngsters ready for that big league to Major Leagues. He is also in charge of getting our youngsters ready for that big crushing disappointment when they find out that they’ve been cut and that as a 34-year-old career minor leaguer, their dreams of hitting a walkoff home run in the World Series are outta here. Except he probably won’t deliver the bad news in pun-form. Seems unprofessional.