Baker happy to beat Cubs whenever he can

Baker happy to beat Cubs whenever he can

MESA, Ariz. -- It has been six years since Dusty Baker managed the Cubs, but some things never cycle out of a person's system.

"I don't like losing to them," Baker told the local Cincinnati media before Monday's game between the Reds and Cubs in his clubhouse office at HoHoKam Park. "I don't like to lose to anybody, but especially to the clubs I've [managed] before."

Specifically then, the Giants and Cubs.

"Not the Giants as much, but more the Cubs," Baker said. "I was treated better in San Francisco. I got treated pretty good by some people in Chicago. I was treated pretty poorly by a lot of people there. But that's OK, it's all good. It all leads to where you are now, and it makes you better and stronger. At the time, things seemed terrible. But I'm much stronger now than I was then."

To illustrate how much of a presence Baker still is in Chicago, he did separate interview sessions on Monday -- the other in the Reds' dugout with the Windy City media. Consider that it has been six years, three managers, two general managers and an ownership change since the last of his Cubs days.

Baker was decidedly much more subdued in his Chicago session. The Chicago scribes were most interested in any advice he might have for new manager Dale Sveum.

"I can't tell him anything," Baker said about the new leader of the Reds' National League Central foes. "We're trying to beat him. I like him, but we're still competitors. The better they do, the harder it makes it on us. I've got a Reds uniform on now, not a blue one. I wish him well, but just not against us."

With the Reds media, Baker noted that since he had left San Francisco of his own volition after the Giants lost the 2002 World Series and was dismissed by the Cubs, he's 1-1. Currently, he's in the final year of his contract to manage the Reds.

Whether he'll be back is still very much up in the air.

"Let's see what the score is at the end of the year," Baker said. "I'm 1-1. I am. This year, it's my decision, as well as a [Reds] ownership decision. It depends whether I'm asked back. It depends on my feelings. You get to that certain point in your life. We'll see at the end of the year or before it, depending on how things go. Otherwise, life is good. Life is very good."