Dusty Baker Admits to Managing Under the Influence
April 23, 2008
(San Francisco, CA) – To support his on again, off again managerial friend, Tony LaRussa – recently arrested for driving under the influence – former Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants manager, and current ESPN commentator, Dusty Baker admitted Wednesday that on several occasions during the 2005 and 2006 seasons he managed the Cubs while under the influence of alcohol.
“I just want people to understand that we all make mistakes, man. Tony made a mistake and drove. I made a mistake and managed. It happens, dude,” Baker said.
The 2005 and 2006 Cub teams were plagued by injuries, but also by inconsistencies on the field and in the clubhouse. Baker acknowledged his role in both sets of shortcomings. “It all started at the end of the 2004 season when I got really drunk and smashed up Sammy [Sosa]‘s boombox. People thought his teamates got mad he left, but the truth is, I was just really ripped and thought the boombox had made a racist remark at me. And I don’t start fights, but I finish ‘em.”
Baker was certain that his problems with drinking in 2005 and 2006 were obvious to everyone. “You can’t look at the lineups I was throwing out there and not know I was having a problem. [Corey] Patterson? Neifi [Perez]? In front of Derrek Lee? Come on, man.” Baker also stated that he feels some of the criticisms he received while with the Cubs were unfair, given his problem. “People were always saying I abused the pitchers, I abused the pitchers. [People were saying] I left the starters in too long. Well maybe, man. But it wasn’t my fault. I wasn’t trying to leave them in, I was just passed out in the clubhouse.”
Baker said he has started attending AA meetings with LaRussa, and plans to keep attending, at least until an older, more established, but decidedly worse program becomes available.
-Flexwell G. Puckerpants, beat writer, Times Monitor Standard Courier
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