Former Cubs manager Dusty Baker said Tuesday he’d take no special satisfaction if his current team, the Cincinnati Reds, were to clinch the National League Central at Wrigley Field this week.
“No, I thought of it a few days ago,” Baker said before the Reds beat the Cubs 3-1 to reduce their magic number to 4. “Our goal is just win. I don’t care where we clinch it. We just want to clinch it.”
Tuesday marked Baker’s 3,000th game as a manager. He led the Cubs from 2003-06, getting them to within five outs of the World Series in 2003.
“I don’t think about it, really,” he said. “You just go out there and do your job every day. I didn’t even know it was my 3,000th game until (a Reds staffer) told me. I’m just glad that of the 3,000 games, we’ve won more than lost.”
Most players seem to like playing for the laid-back Baker. That includes Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips.
“The thing about Dusty is he’s a career coach,” Phillips said. “He’ll put you in a great position to go out there and be successful. He’s been around a long time. He’s a hitting coach slash manager slash player slash whatever you want to call him.
“He’s a motivator. He’s a great guy. If there’s something you want to know, you go in there and he’ll tell you the truth, man. That’s the best thing about Dusty. He’s a very honest person. He’s like a father figure to me. I’m happy for all the things he’s done and his success.”
Right-hander Justin Germano suffered his sixth straight loss, as he lasted 5-plus innings. He walked a season-high three batters, all in the sixth inning.
Reliever Manny Corpas came in and gave up a bases-clearing double to Ryan Hanigan.
“I think the last time I walked that many guys was my second big-league start, in 2004,” said Germano, who fell to 2-8 with a 6.17 ERA. “I don’t think I’ve ever walked the bases loaded before in my professional career. That was a first, and it was pretty much the worst time to ever do that.”
Darwin Barney extended a hitting streak to a career-best 13 games, going 2-for-3.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.