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Friday, February 14, 2014
Dusty Baker looks to manage again

ESPN.com news services

Dusty Baker says he wants to manage again.

"I feel like I could help somebody," Baker, who was fired in October by the Cincinnati Reds, told the San Jose Mercury News.

Baker, 64, led the Reds to their best stretch of success since the Big Red Machine. However, he never led them to a deep playoff run, and he paid the price after this past season.

Baker
Dusty Baker says, "I feel like I could help somebody."

Team officials suggested announcing the parting as a "retirement" or Baker "taking a year off," the Mercury News reported.

"Why? That's not what I wanted," Baker told the newspaper. "I'll know when I want to retire. ... I said, 'Let's call it what it is.'"

Baker also told the paper he contacted several teams with vacant manager positions this offseason -- the Washington Nationals, Seattle Mariners and Detroit Tigers -- but never heard back.

"What's it take to call back and say, 'No, thank you?"' Baker said.

The Nationals ended up hiring former All-Star Matt Williams, who has called Baker a mentor. Baker told the Mercury News that his reaching out to the Nationals was symbolic.

"I didn't want to do anything that would ice [Williams] out of the job," Baker said. "I told him, 'That's not why I put my name in the hat. I put my name in the hat to show people I wasn't through.'"

Baker also addressed his health. He suffered a mini-stroke in 2012 and was found to have an irregular heartbeat. He was recovering in a hospital in Chicago when the Reds wrapped up the National League Central title that season.

"I know I'm strong," he told the paper. "Nobody needs to tell you when you're strong."

As spring training opens and he finds himself without a team, Baker remains optimistic.

"Things have a way of always working out for me. God will guide you. I learned to trust and not to doubt or worry," he said.