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Archive for Monday, October 28, 2002

Baker headed to Chicago, but only for vacation

October 28, 2002

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— Dusty Baker is coming to Chicago.

OK, coming through Chicago is more like it.

Asked about his plans following the World Series, Baker said he's scheduled to attend Saturday's Notre Dame-Boston College game.

He'll fly into O'Hare Airport on Friday on his way to South Bend, Ind.

When that itinerary raised an eyebrow, Baker insisted he'd planned his first trip to Notre Dame last winter. He'll go with his father, Johnnie Baker Sr., former Oakland A's second baseman Mack "Shooty" Babitt and Babitt's father.

Baker then plans to attend the Titans-Colts NFL game in Indianapolis on Sunday.

Baker's contract with the Giants expires 10 days after the season. But Baker, whom the Cubs plan to pursue aggressively, said he could determine his fate sooner than that.

Giants owner Peter Magowan has said his first order of business after the season will be to negotiate general manager Brian Sabean's contract extension. Then Magowan hopes to sit down with Baker to discuss their deteriorating relationship.

"There's been enough said that the water has gotten a little cloudy and things need to be cleared up," Magowan said.

Baker was asked Sunday if there were anything he'd like to hear Magowan say, other than: "I want you back."

Replied Baker: "If somebody wanted you back, then a lot of times you wouldn't wait until the last minute to tell them."

Baker, 52, said "it's been a great, great ride since we've been here" before Sunday's Game 7 and answered a question about what he'd like his legacy in San Francisco to be.

"Probably a man who was firm but fairand was prepared," he said. "I pride myself on being prepared daily. Above all, a person who's a winner."

Baker's players appreciate him for being in touch with their feelings and emotions.

In an effort to show support for his Game 6 starter, Russ Ortiz, Baker did something unusual. After pulling him from the game in the seventh inning Saturday, Baker asked Ortiz if he wanted to keep the ball.

"Sure, I guess," Ortiz responded.

So Baker placed it in his glove.

Told Sunday that some Angels took offense to the gesture because it might have implied the game was in hand, Baker snapped:

"How was I showing them up? I don't care what they like, really. That wasn't intended for them at all. That was a gesture of appreciation for Russ Ortiz: 'You pitched a heck of a game and had a heck of a year.'

Several minutes later, with his media session coming to an end, Baker asked a reporter: "Who were those Angels?"

The reporter replied that it was first-base coach Alfredo Griffin who said some of the players were perturbed.

Armed with that information, Baker walked off, saying, "Thank you."

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