On fence, Baker has Giant fan in Bonds

Star lauds `core of team'

Angels firm up rotation

Giants wavering on DH

World Series notebook

Baseball

October 19, 2002|By Joe Christensen and Peter Schmuck | Joe Christensen and Peter Schmuck,SUN STAFF

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Barry Bonds has had his differences with San Francisco Giants manager Dusty Baker over the years, but on the eve of the World Series, Bonds said he would be disappointed if the Giants don't re-sign Baker.

Baker's contract expires after the season, and rumors have been swirling that he will leave San Francisco after nine seasons to replace Lou Piniella with the Seattle Mariners. The Giants are reportedly ready to make Baker a two-year offer after the season, but it might be too little, too late.

"I would be disappointed just due to the fact Dusty has been the core to our team," Bonds said. "He's the one that really, really keeps everything in line and keeps everybody together.

"Dusty and I go way back to my childhood. There's a lot of history between the two of us. There's a lot of respect between the two of us. He deserves it."

Bonds also has had differences with second baseman Jeff Kent, but Bonds went on record late in the season saying the club should also retain Kent, who is eligible for free agency.

Baker said he has seen changes in Bonds. Changes for the better.

"You can really see a tremendous transformation over the last couple years, of relaxation in Barry," Baker said. "He has a definite team concept and attitude."

As for his own future, Baker said, "I'll be managing somewhere next year."

Lackey key to rotation?

Anaheim Angels manager Mike Scioscia took his sweet time about it, but he finally announced the rest of his starting rotation for the 98th World Series and there was nothing particularly surprising about it.

Left-hander Jarrod Washburn already had been announced for Game 1 tonight at Edison International Field.

He settled on veteran Kevin Appier for Game 2, followed by Ramon Ortiz and John Lackey in the first two games at Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco. They will oppose Jason Schmidt, Russ Ortiz, Livan Hernandez and Kirk Rueter.

"I think if you look at the way the guys are throwing the ball, we're confident lining up in any direction," Scioscia said. "One thing with John Lackey, as a swing guy in Game 4, it will help us. He can pitch out of the pen in one and also be ready for Game 7 if need be."

There was some speculation Scioscia might move Lackey up in the rotation to assure he would start two games. He is the most inexperienced pitcher in the Angels rotation, but he has been the club's most effective pitcher in the postseason, with 10 shutout innings.

DH decision

Baker said he has yet to pick a designated hitter for tonight's game because the team has yet to finalize its roster. The rosters don't need to be finalized until 10 a.m. today.

Baker will likely choose between Shawon Dunston and Damon Minor, though another theory has him putting Tsuyoshi Shinjo in center field and keeping Kenny Lofton as the DH.

"We're not keeping it secret," Baker said. "We're just trying to mull over some things with the best roster to keep, the best matchups."

Twilight zone

Every game of this all-West Coast World Series will be played in the late afternoon to accommodate national television, but Scioscia said he doesn't think that will be a big negative factor for hitters.

"The shadows haven't been that prevalent in the 5 o'clock games," he said. "I understand it's supposed to be overcast this weekend, too, so I don't think it will be an issue."

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