— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) March 26, 2018
Fifteen years after he managed his last ballgame with the Orange and Black, Dusty Baker is once again a San Francisco Giant. The organization made the announcement on Monday morning, that Baker will rejoin the club as a special advisor to CEO Larry Baer.
Baker was surprisingly fired by the Washington Nationals at the end of last season, after losing in the NLDS for the second consecutive year. Baker, who still lives in Sacramento, planned to take it easy this offseason, and use the free time to watch his son Darren play baseball at the University of California.
Baker told Murph & Mac on Tuesday that he first got an inkling that the Giants might be interested in a reunion when he got a call from former ESPN analyst Chris Berman a few months ago.
“The first call came about three or four months ago, and it came from Chris Berman, who’s real close with Brian Sabean and myself,” Baker said. “He said, ‘don’t be surprised if Brian Sabean and the Giants come at you to try to have you be part of their organization.’ I said, ‘okay man, I haven’t heard from anybody.’
“Then I heard from Brian a couple weeks ago and we discussed things, and he was in spring training trying to get the team together. Then I talked to Larry (Baer), and then Brian, then Larry. We came up with a plan. It was kind’ve too late for me to go to spring training.”
Baker said he was immediately apprehensive to rejoin the organization, after his most recent stint ended in so much disappointment, when his contract was not renewed after the Giants lost the 2002 World Series to the Angels in seven games. The more Baker thought about it, however, the more he realized this time would be different.
“My emotions were I didn’t want to be disappointed again,” Baker said. “I was disappointed in Washington and when I left there I was quite disappointed and quite disgruntled with the game. Just wondering what I had to do to not get fired. You sort’ve make things invisible for a while. You try to stay busy and get into your family, so I didn’t put a lot of stock into it at the time. I said ‘it’d be great,’ but you don’t want to be disappointed again.
“(With the Giants) you know a few great things happen, a few bad things happen at the end, and it’s kind’ve like going back to an old girlfriend. You wonder, ‘okay is this going to be any different this time than last time?’ Well, yeah it’s totally different. I’m so glad the Giants have won some pennants in the meantime. It’s a great organization.
“Bruce Bochy, I really had to ask Brian to get Bruce Bochy’s blessings and also Bobby Evans’, because I didn’t want to be a threat to either one of those guys or a threat to anybody in the city. I just wanted to enhance what they have already and try to rebuild things. Actually Bruce Bochy was the first guy to call me after I lost my job in Washington. He was like, ‘hey man, what the heck happened? You just won a whole bunch of games.’ So I’m glad to be back with Bruce and Ron Wotus. These guys are guys — especially Wotus, he was there when I was there, he was one of my hires — to be back with (Mark Gardner), (Dave) Righetti, they’re also in the same capacity as I’m in. Coming back to a lot of old friends.”
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Baker on the Giants, skip to 4:00.