First the Series, then the hiring decisions

Decisive action promised on Giants' Baker, Sabean


October 20, 2002|By Joe Christensen and Peter Schmuck | Joe Christensen and Peter Schmuck,SUN STAFF

ANAHEIM, Calif. - With the contracts of San Francisco Giants manager Dusty Baker and general manager Brian Sabean about to expire, managing partner Peter Magowan said he will have decisions on both of them within one week after the conclusion of the World Series.

"Within a day or two [after the World Series], we will know who our general manager is going to be," Magowan said. "And we'll know about our manager within a week after the season."

Industry sources say the Orioles are one of the teams that would be interested in Sabean if he becomes available, but Magowan's comments made that appear unlikely. It's possible the Giants already have a deal in place but are waiting to announce it until after the season.

The Baker situation remains more tenuous. Magowan was very careful with his words yesterday, saying the decision regarding Baker is really the general manager's to make. Asked whether he will still have a decision on the manager within one week after the World Series if Baker leaves, Magowan said yes.

"[Baker] has been a big part of the success we've had," Magowan said.

In the six years that Sabean and Baker have been in their current roles, the Giants have won two National League West titles (1997 and 2000), advanced to the World Series with this year's wild-card berth, and gone 547-425.

During spring training, Magowan raised the stakes, saying he thought this was the best Giants team in 10 years. Baker bristled a bit, realizing this put pressure on the team to advance in the playoffs after losing in the first round in 1997 and 2000.

"[Baker] said I was putting pressure on him, and that was not my intention," Magowan said. "That's what the players told me, and when they say that, I want to reflect that. It shows I believe in them."

Robinson undecided

Former Orioles great Frank Robinson, who played for the Angels and managed the Giants, was on the field before yesterday's game, but he wasn't very forthcoming on the subject of his future with the Montreal Expos.

Robinson said he is "interested" in continuing as Expos manager, but has not had substantive discussions with Major League Baseball about his future or the future of the team.

"It depends on a lot of things," Robinson said. "I enjoyed it very much. The guys were great. They gave me all they had. We hit some ruts, but they never quit."

Robinson is credited with getting the most out of the Expos, who finished 83-79 and placed second in the NL East, but may not be interested in managing the team if baseball decides to spin off some of its home schedule to other locations.

Giants stand pat

After some long deliberations with Sabean, Baker stuck with the same 25-man roster he used during the NL Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Baker decided not to put left-handed hitting Damon Minor on the roster as a possible designated hitter, and kept three left-handed relievers. For Game 1, Baker used Tsuyoshi Shinjo as his DH and kept Kenny Lofton in center field.

"I thought about doing that vice versa," Baker said. "I talked to Kenny about it. With his years being in the American League, he's more familiar with this ballpark, number one, defensively. Number two, he feels more comfortable staying in the game than he does [as designated hitter]."

Finley visits old friends

Former Angels pitcher Chuck Finley caught the ceremonial first pitch from former owner Jackie Autry, then applauded his former teammates for their great performance this season.

"I'm honestly happy for the guys getting here, for all the players and all the people like Tim Mead [longtime front office executive], Jackie and [former GM] Billy Bavasi," Finley said, who reached the postseason with the Cardinals.

"When we got past the Diamondbacks in three games, it really looked like I might be coming back to play in Anaheim."

There has been speculation that Finley will come back to pitch for the Angels after he becomes eligible for free agency this winter. But he hinted yesterday that he might go back to the Cardinals.

The deep past

The Angels' Troy Glaus, who homered twice in Game 1, tied a record by hitting six home runs in a postseason. Those who have done it:

Player Team Year

Bob Robertson Pit. 1971

Lenny Dykstra Phi. 1993

Ken Griffey Jr. Sea. 1995

Bernie Williams NYY 1996

Jim Thome Cle. 1998

Glaus Ana. 2002

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