The Morning Report
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7. Many people think the Padres have a better chance at signing free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez if they hire Baker. The two had a close relationship in Chi-Town. If this is the best reason to hire Baker, the Padres should look elsewhere. Free agents have a tendency to follow the money.
8. Race and sports have a long and complicated history in America (much too long to document in this blog). Some writers have implied that the Padres inclusion of Baker (who is African American) in the hiring process is merely to please the Commissioner’s Office. For many reasons, I hope this is not the case.
9. Dusty is by far the most familiar name on the list of prospective managers. He’s a known commodity, while the others on the list have little managing experience. The Padres would be rolling the dice a bit on a younger manager. Baker is the safe choice.
10. According to most media outlets, Baker has not been contacted for another managing job. If he wants to coach next year, his best bet is the Padres opening. But he also has work as an ESPN announcer, so he won’t be on the dole.
11. Quote from Baker in a recent Chicago Sun Times column by Chris De Luca: “People ask me am I going to retire. For what? No, I’m in the prime time of my managerial career. Or people ask if I am going to take a year off. Well, if you are forced to take a year off, you take a year off. I would rather not, but if you don’t have an offer or the right offer – and I haven’t had either one, really – then you deal with it and adjust.”
12. Padres will get a qualified guy from one of the top three possibilities: Baker, Trey Hillman and Bud Black. The former Angels pitching coach Black makes the most sense to me (due to his “Moneyball” attitude). I hope the Pads will make a quick decision and go about the business of helping the new manager win games with an improved lineup.
– CHRIS NIXON