home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


October 24, 2002

Dusty Baker


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Dusty Baker.

Q. Have we gotten to the point where if Barry leads off an inning, you're going to expect him to get intentionally walked? Second thing, I know it must frustrate him when he gets three intentionals in a game. Does it stir up your dugout, too?

DUSTY BAKER: No, it doesn't stir up the dugout because we're used to it. I don't know how many he got this year, he broke the record. We're kind of used to him being intentionally walked. He's kind of used to it. I'm sure he's not crazy about it, he'd rather hit. But one of the keys, hopefully we can put guys on base, ahead of him a couple times, maybe even load the bases a couple times and make sure that he hits. Just part of the strategy of the game, I guess. But they're doing whatever they can to win this World Series.

Q. Have you decided on a starter for a potential seventh game? What are some of the factors in that decision?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, right now, Livan is scheduled to start the seventh game. But everything's subject to change depending on how Games 5 and 6 go, as far as how deep my starters go, depends on the quality of performance that the starters give me. Like I said, right now, I mean, that's kind of living in the future. Right now, we're more concerned about Game 5 than we are Game 7 at this point.

Q. There's been three one-run games in this so far, which highlights all the small stuff in baseball a lot more. If you had to look in the future, what players on your team would likely be managers, in 10, 20 years? Who do you see?

DUSTY BAKER: I'd probably say, I think, Ramon Martinez, David Bell, probably, if he wanted to. I think Rich Aurilia could be a manager if he wanted to. Let me see... Possibly Reggie Sanders if he wanted to, I think, and probably Kirk Rueter. But that's way down the line, because nobody foresaw me as being a manager, I don't think. While you're playing, that's really the last thing on your mind, is managing.

Q. Why not? Why didn't people foresee you as a manager?

DUSTY BAKER: I didn't foresee myself as a manager, number one. I foresaw myself retired and fishing every day or doing something else. I was a broker for a while. I don't know, maybe some guys thought about it, but at that time, while you're playing, that's the last thing on your mind. Some of the guys that aren't regulars, possibly, I think they tend to think about it more than the guys that are playing every day. You got enough on your plate just to play.

Q. I asked Mike the same question. If the fans and the media have a hard time figuring out the tendencies, the ups and downs of a World Series, what are the tendencies you look for in your own club to tell them they're on the right track?

DUSTY BAKER: Probably how well we execute, our defense. Like, if we're sacrifice bunting, if we're picking up guys from third base, less than two outs, if we're advancing runners, just overall quality fundamental play. I think as much as anything, especially in a series, when you're getting two-out base hits with runners in scoring position, then you know that your team is on the right track.

Q. What's your sense of what Aurilia has done throughout your postseason? Is there a specific play or two plays perhaps that stick in your head?

DUSTY BAKER: By Rich Aurilia? The thing about -- Rich is a very heads-up player. He knows how to position himself on defense. He's an outstanding hitter. He was hurt this year and now he's hitting, now, like the Richy that we've always known, and probably the play that stands out most in my mind was that bad hop ground ball, based loaded, off the bat of Chipper Jones.

Q. Can you talk about the emergence of your pitching staff over the last couple of years? In particular, Dave Righetti's role in that development?

DUSTY BAKER: I think Dave's role has been tremendous, the pitchers trust him. He's honest in his assessment of what's going on. He's like having another manager on the bench. He's in the game all the time. He picks up things. He knows probably as well as anybody when to say thinggs and when not to say things. When Dave took over here, we had a pretty young pitching staff. Dave has really been instrumental in their maturity and their development. When you got a guy of his stature that started, that's throwing no-hitters, that's struggled, that has been an outstanding closer for a number of years, he can relate to anybody out there on our pitching staff in almost every situation, almost every role.

Q. Going back to an earlier question, what changed your mind about managing?

DUSTY BAKER: I guess the way Al Rosen came after me. After Al Campanis said what he said in '87. In '87, summer of '87, then Al Campanis -- not Al Campanis, Al Rosen asked me if I was to come back in baseball, he wooed me pretty heavily, asked me what I would like to do. I told him I would like to be his assistant and potentially, be a general manager some day. He told me I would be better suited for the field. I didn't know to take that as a compliment or a detriment, really. He said, "No, it's a compliment. I've seen how you conduct yourself as a player, how guys gravitate towards you." He told me all the right things to kind of get me. But knowing Mr. Rosen, he was very, very honest in his feelings. So, he's the one, he and Bob Kennedy, are the ones that really told me they'd think I'd be a fine manager one day. Then the other guy that mentioned it to me was Lou Piniella. When he was in Cincinnati, he asked me when I was going to get my opportunity to manage. I really didn't even know Lou really. So, evidently, some people see things in you that you may not see in yourself.

Q. These days, motivating players to play up to their potential seems to be the most important things to teams. You're known as a good motivator. Can you tell me the fine line you walk between a motivator and friend, keeping the fine line between the two, as a manager?

DUSTY BAKER: Again, I go back to Al Rosen. He told me that I needed to coach for five years to get the player out of me, but don't lose that player that's inside you, before I'd be ready to manage. The thing I try to do is not get graded in my own mind, as years go on, as how I really was as a player and try not to forget how hard the game is to play, just the fact that these guys make it look very easy. I know people say I'm a motivator. I really don't say a whole bunch in the masses. I mostly do it in small meetings, individual meetings. Like, I remember one time I had a manager that told me his door was always open. I went in and he told me what the hell was I doing in there (laughter). I try to remember that and the fact that my door is always open and try not to drop down the boss line on them, because everybody knows who the boss is, I know I'm the boss, they know I'm the boss. But just try to be as honest and straightforward as possible.

Q. Your starting eight are over age 30. Do you get a sense that the first crack at the World Series, do they feel it's their last crack at the World Series?

DUSTY BAKER: I don't think so. I haven't felt that, haven't heard it. They said the same thing about the Diamondbacks last year, about the sense of urgency because of the age of the club. Here they were in a position to go back to the World Series again. Things are different now than when I first came into the game. When I first came into the game, the only guys that were over 34, 35 were Willie Mays and Stargell and Hank Aaron and these guys. Now, through modern medicine, guys can play more, modern nutrition, weights, whatever, guys can play longer. Age 34 is really not old by modern standards. Especially you look at guys like Barry and these guys that are still at the peak of their game. A lot of it has to do with modern medicine. Back in my day, if you hurt your knee, you were done, shoulder, you were done. No "Tommy John" -- take something out of your ankle and put it in your rib, take something out of your rib and put it in your neck. Dr. Frankenstein was really ahead of everybody.

Q. Looking ahead to Saturday, where is Russ at? He had a lot of family at that first start, he's from Southern California, might have been nervous. Where is he at? Have you had a conversation?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, Rags has had a conversation with him. Russ is a very grounded and secure young man. Russ is our calm leader on the team. He puts his faith in God and not himself. Anybody that's usually grounded to that capacity has a tendency to be more consistent in personality and know how to handle the ups and downs of whatever may come to him.

Q. Have you given any thought to the fact that this is the last game here this season at Pac Bell and could be your last as a Giants' manager?

DUSTY BAKER: I thought about it this morning when I woke up. After that, I just forgot about it. This is no time to get melancholy right now. This is a time for us to push to the finish line. Other than that fleeting moment this morning, that's the only time.

Q. Barry says he's having fun. It's hard for us to see that sometimes. What do you see in him that shows you he's having fun at this World Series?

DUSTY BAKER: Barry says something, he means what he says. Lot of times, that's what gets him in trouble with people, he'll say what's on his mind. He's not going to say he's having fun if he's not. Around the batting cages he seems loose, but he's focused. Barry was happy as heck after it was decided we'd come to the World Series, a lot of people said he seemed very stoic and distant. But who knows what's going on on the inside of Barry. Yeah, I believe he's having fun. Hard not to have fun when you're hitting balls halfway to the moon.

End of FastScripts...

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297