Baker denies LA Times rumor

Baker denies LA Times rumor

CHICAGO -- Dusty Baker loves LA, but doesn't want Jim Tracy's job as the Los Angeles Dodgers manager.

The Los Angeles Times quoted sources saying the Chicago Cubs manager wants to take over the Dodgers if Tracy doesn't return in 2006. The Times quoted a source saying, "[Baker] would love the Dodgers to come calling and then hope the Cubs would let him go."

Baker, 56, played for the Dodgers from 1976-82. He's in the third year of a four-year deal with the Cubs, and in 2003-04, led the team to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1971-72. The Cubs were 53-50 entering Sunday's game.

"I don't know where these things come from," Baker said Sunday about the report. "I've got a year and some change on my contract [with the Cubs]. I've never not honored a contract in my entire life. I don't renegotiate contracts. I've never done that. Only one time have I ever signed before the end of the season, only one time. This is the first time since I was a player that I've had a contract over two years, and most of the times that was at my choice.

"I didn't sign here for four years thinking about going somewhere else," Baker said. "I signed here for four years because I thought it might take that long, No. 1, and, No. 2, because I wanted to make sure we saw this thing through. LA, that's kind of out there. Sources, there's always a source saying something. It seems like I'm in more rumors than somebody in Hollywood."

Baker said he tried to call Tracy and left a message, wanting to make sure the Dodgers manager didn't think he was lobbying for the West Coast job. Tracy is signed through 2006, but could leave after this season.

"[General manager] Jim Hendry and [team president] Andy MacPhail and the Cubs have been nothing but fair and honest with me, which is one of the problems I've had before," Baker said. "At the end of my time in San Francisco, there were a number of clubs supposedly interested in me, and the Cubs were the only ones who waited. No matter what's happened here, I came here to do a job and achieve a goal. That's always on my mind."

Baker has been the subject of other rumors. He heard he was replacing Bob Melvin in Arizona, too.

"I'm here," Baker said. "I want to win here, I want to win for the Cubs, I want to win for the players, I want to win for the front office, I want to win for the town. I want the town to eventually be extremely proud of the Cubs team."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.