October 6, 2012
Q. You mentioned your diet yesterday. Did you eat well last night?
DUSTY BAKER: I ate great. I ate some Filipino food last night and it was great. Thank you.
Q. I know John Shay wrote about “coming home.” Is there something special about playing here for a playoff game and facing your old team?
DUSTY BAKER: Well, yeah, I mean, we helped put some bricks in this stadium here. We came over from Candlestick when the new stadium was built, and it meant a lot to us. It looks the same, well preserved, and anytime you come back to your own home, it means a lot. Coming out of the other stadium it always seemed a little weird, but I’m getting used to it.
Q. For those of us who haven’t had a chance to talk to you recently, how are you feeling physically, and does time away from the game give you a different perspective on getting back?
DUSTY BAKER: I’m feeling great, actually. It wasn’t that much time away from the game. I wouldn’t have chosen to be in the hospital during that time away from the game, but it gives you a different perspective anytime that you have an illness or anything, it gives you a true perspective as far as just appreciative to everything that you have. You appreciate family. You appreciate the moon, the trees, birds, everything. You realize how beautiful life really is. Sometimes we complain about things that we shouldn’t complain about when you’re laying in the hospital. So I’m going to try not to complain anymore about anything.
Q. It’s still pretty fresh in everybody’s mind, Darren ‑‑ what happened there at the home plate with J.T. (Snow), and he’s still bat boy, next season he will be 14 ‑‑
DUSTY BAKER: I don’t think he will want to be bat boy anyway.
Q. Do you appreciate that rule ‑‑
DUSTY BAKER: Not really. I mean, not really because it was something that ‑‑ I just think that they took it a little bit too far, as far as the young men and women that ‑‑ at that age, most of them either have their own games or they have lost interest in the game.
I’m proud that two of my bat boys at that time, Ellis Burks’ son is about to go to college or possibly get drafted. Juan Lopez, one of the bat boys, playing withKansas Cityand Shawon Dunston’s son is playing with the Cubs. This is how you perpetuate the games by letting these young men and woman come around the field to be around their father’s.
When I think about him and I think about back in the day when it looks like there were Boones everywhere. There were so many out there ‑‑ are you a Boone, yeah, I’m a Boone ‑‑ (Laughter.) Then look at the Bells, Griffey, Barry Bonds and all the guys that are playing then and now because they were out there with their father’s, you know what I mean?
To my knowledge, the lawyers got involved and they said it had something to do with the child labor laws and, you know, the laws got us.
Q. How much of your pitching success would you attribute to Bryan Price, and how would you distinguish him as a pitching coach?
DUSTY BAKER: He’s one of the best and conscience pitching coaches I’ve had. I’ve been lucky to have Dick Pole and Ron Perranoski and Dave Righetti here. I’ve only had three or four pitching coaches, and all of them have been successful pitching coaches. He’s young. He identifies with the players, and he doesn’t sugar coat stuff and he tells it like it is.
I think that’s what a person can ask for is honesty and if they can’t deal with that then I think it’s their problem instead of our problem.
Q. We know how much you grind and how much you want to get to this moment. So what’s the emotion today just a couple of hours before what’s going to be the biggest game of the season so far?
DUSTY BAKER: I don’t know. I’m looking forward to it because then there are no more questions, no more lineups, no more innings, and it’s the same game at that point in time as it gets ‑‑ if you’re playing at the sunken diamond in Golden Gate Park or wherever you’re playing, the game is the same. There is so much media coverage now before and after ‑‑ I’ve told people that once the lady or man whoever sings the national anthem that’s the best moment of the day because you have three hours of baseball.
Q. With this 2‑3 format does it feel like you have the home field advantage?
DUSTY BAKER: That’s a good question because it doesn’t feel like I have the home field advantage at all. This is similar to ’97 when we played the Florida Marlins down there, and I was with the Giants here and we played them down there and they beat us the first two games and we came out here and we had one game and they ended up being the world champions. So it kinda reminds me of that. You would rather have the 2‑2‑1 format, but they say that’s next year.
Q. How much debate was there with setting your rotation and having Arroyo in Game 2 versus Latos in 3 back home?
DUSTY BAKER: That’s probably the biggest debate of all, how you set your rotations. We debated with that and we decided to come up with that because our ballpark is a tiny ballpark, and Arroyo has a tendency sometimes to give up home runs, and Latos is more of a strikeout‑type pitcher.
That’s why we went with what we did. Unless it works, you’ll always be second guessing, do you know what I mean? If it works, you’re great, if it doesn’t work, then why didn’t you have somebody else?
Q. We only had a chance to see you for four games out here and then the three back there. Can you talk about the personality of your team, what character theys have?
DUSTY BAKER: Our team is a team full of fighters. These guys fight. They never panic. We don’t necessarily get all the hits that we want to get all the time but we find a way to win. Our average isn’t that high and we hit some home runs sometimes. We have relative speed.
But, again, like I said, the name of the game is to win. These guys find a way to pick each other up on the field and these guys general like each other.
This is probably the team that I have been ‑‑ I don’t know, probably in a long, long time where these guys general like each other and they love each other and they hang together. I mean, we got Latin guys hanging over here with this guy and these guys are playing cards or whoever it is. This is a good unit.
Q. Most fun to be with in terms of the 19 years you’ve been doing that?
DUSTY BAKER: I’m not with ’em that much. I’m in my office. I’m with them sometimes, but I invite them to be together, you know what I mean? We got some guys that are silly guys! (Chuckles.) They’ll do some things that will crack you up sometimes. We have some that are ‑‑ that think ‑‑ well, their birth certificates say they’re 28, but they’re really like 15 years old sometimes. (Laughter.)
Q. I’m sure you know the numbers how long it’s been since the Reds have won a playoff game now, 17 years, how important do you think it is for you guys to stay that next step?
DUSTY BAKER: I didn’t know that number. I swear I don’t know any of these numbers. What’s important is today, you can’t do anything about the last 17 years, whatever it is. Let’s have a game today and then we won’t be talking about it, we will talk about the next time ‑‑ my son asked me the first time is this the first time the Reds have ever played the Giants ‑‑ okay, it is. All right.
Q. Can you remember back to Madison Bumgarner’s start against you, the one‑hitter? What do you remember from that game?
DUSTY BAKER: I remember he was on. We were trying to get a hit. We didn’t want a no‑pinch hitter, do you know what I mean? Other than that, that’s when we started making our move I think is about that time. I don’t know, what did you want me to ‑‑
Q. I just wanted to know what you remember him doing effectively in that game?
DUSTY BAKER: I don’t remember, who got our hit?
Q. I’ll get back to you.
DUSTY BAKER: I don’t know. Why did you want me to know that.
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