Sunday, March 17, 2013

Dusty Baker wants to manage Americans in World Baseball Classic one day

File:Dusty Baker talking before game.JPG

After being eliminated by Puerto Rico on Friday, the Americans are now 0-for-3 in their bid to win the World Baseball Classic. In fact, the United States has failed to finish any better than fourth place in the tournament, which is a major disappointment to say the least.

Now, Reds skipper Dusty Baker wants to play a key role in changing that for a future Classic.

"I would like to manage it when I'm through," Baker said Saturday. "I don't want to do it now."

The United States has had three different managers for each of the first three Classics. Tommy Lasorda managed the team in 2006, Davey Johnson in 2009, and Joe Torre in 2013. All three were not actively managing an MLB team at the time of their WBC service.

"Tony La Russa is probably next in line," Baker noted of the retired former Cardinals manager.

La Russa led the National League All-Star squad last season despite being retired.

Baker said he would like to see more of USA's best players partake in the tournament instead of sitting on the sidelines and watching.

"It hurts me to see, not the elimination part, but the fact that most of our best players didn't play," Baker said. "Not to take anything away from the guys there, but there were a lot of players that canceled out for whatever reason. You look at the other countries, there were a lot fewer that canceled. It kind of shows that I don't know if this is as much as American of a game as we'd like to think."

The U.S. could do far worse than Baker if he indeed took the reins of the team one day. The 63-year-old is 1,581-1,432 (.525) all-time and has won National League Manager of the Year honors three times (1993, 1997, 2000).

However, Baker has yet to win a World Series title with any of the three franchises he has skippered. In 20 managerial seasons, the closest he came was in 2002 when he led the Giants to the series before falling to the Angels in seven games.


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