No contract talk from Dusty
Good morning from Goodyear and the day you’ve all been waiting for — Reds pitchers and catchers report. Right now, they’re all busy taking physicals, but there was some time to chat with manager Dusty Baker after he completed his physical.
Sticking to something he said at the Winter Meetings, Baker said he isn’t going to discuss his contract situation with the club. For the second time in three years, his contract is up at the end of the season — making him a so-called “lame duck manager.”
Baker said Sunday he has no plans to manage differently because of the contract or any potential heat or pressure it brings.
“What kind of factor can it be?” Baker said. “Like I’ve said before, how many people have a one year contract, period? You know how many times I’ve been in this situation? I’ve been in it four, five or six times, whatever it is. You just have to keep proving yourself I guess. Some people do and some people don’t. I’m one of the guys that seems like he has to, to keep proving myself. At this point very little bothers me. I’m secure in myself, secure in my ability, secure in my family, secure in my life. The thing this year is to try and have as much productivity and enjoyment.”
Now an elder statesman of the league, Baker is fourth in tenure with the same NL team, behind Bud Black (2007 with SD), Bruce Bochy (2007 with SF) and Charlie Manuel (2005 with PHI).
“How many people have the opportunity and ability to stick around that long?” Baker said. “Evidently it doesn’t mean much to some people but it means a lot to me. I remember year no. 1. I’ve had some great years, some bad years, some years of ups and downs. It boils down to the more talent you have, the better your chances are. I genuinely like this team. I like the vibe and spirit of this team. This is just the beginning.
“I had a good friend die this winter, a couple of them. I had a good friend’s son die a week ago here, in a trampoline accident. You ask me if I am going to do anything differently, if I’m worried…when that happens, it puts things in the proper perspective.”