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Dusty Bakerís toothpick gets in shape for spring training

GOODYEAR, AZ - In preparation for the 2012 baseball season, Dusty Baker has been putting his toothpick through the passes at the Reds Spring Training facility. Baker is pleased with the toothpicks progress, and feels that it is in for a great year.

The toothpick arrived at spring training one day after pitchers and catchers were scheduled to report. It was selected from among hundreds of toothpick prospects that had all hoped to get called upon by Baker. “I really liked the cut of this toothpick’s gib,” explained Baker. “Looks like the sorta piece of wood I’m comfortable taking to my mouth on a daily basis.”

The toothpick’s humble beginnings started as a birch tree in Central Illinois. It came from a long line of toothpick bearing saplings and was expected to go high in the amateur toothpick draft. A close relative of the birch tree from which it came was a favorite toothpick of Kansas City Royals’ shortstop U.L. “Toothpick” Washington, who used it while playing in the 1980 World Series.

The rigorous spring training regimen for Baker’s toothpick includes daily microscopic whittling to ensure that no late season splinters develop. It is also put through a daily routine of varnishing, followed by a deep fiber massage. The toothpick ends the day with a hot bath followed by a complete ice down, with the liquid for both being supplied by Dusty Baker’s saliva.