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Baker wants to manage again

The SportsXchange

Dusty Baker, who was fired by the Cincinnati Reds last year, wants to return to managing.

Baker went 509-463 in his six seasons as the Reds' skipper, leading them to three 90-win seasons and two National League Central crowns the past four years. It was Cincinnati's most successful four-year stretch since the Big Red Machine clubs of the 1970s.

But club ownership was not pleased with the manner in which the club finished the season, losing six straight games after being favored to win a second straight division title.

"I feel like I could help somebody," Baker told the Bay Area News Group.

Team officials suggested announcing Baker's departure as a retirement, but Baker disagreed.

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

Baker also said he contacted the Washington Nationals, Seattle Mariners and Detroit Tigers about their managerial vacancies in the offseason but did not hear back from the teams.

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

The Nationals hired former All-Star third baseman Matt Williams, who played for Baker when he managed the San Francisco Giants in the 1990s. Baker said he was not trying to compete with Williams for the job.

"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.' "

The Mariners named Lloyd McClendon its manager and the Tigers hired Brad Ausmus.

Baker said he is healthy. In 2012, he discovered he had an irregular heartbeat after suffering a mini-stroke. He was resting in Chicago hospital when the Reds won the National League Central that season.

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

Baker, who also managed the Chicago Cubs, ranks 16th on baseball's all-time wins list with 1,671.
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