Padres to interview Baker on Monday

Padres to interview Baker on Monday

A new but familiar name -- Dusty Baker -- has been added to the list of candidates for the Padres' managerial vacancy.

A three-time National League Manager of the Year while with the San Francisco Giants, Baker will be interviewed in San Diego on Monday, Padres general manager Kevin Towers disclosed.

The opening with the Padres surfaced when Bruce Bochy, with one year left on his San Diego contract, signed a three-year deal to manage the Giants on Friday.

Towers interviewed Bud Black, pitching coach of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, on Wednesday after starting the process of replacing Bochy, the team's manager for 12 years, by interviewing St. Louis Cardinals third-base coach Jose Oquendo on Tuesday.

Trey Hillman, manager of the Japan Series champion Nippon Ham Fighters and a former Minor League manager in the New York Yankees' system, is scheduled to interview with the Padres on Thursday.

Ron Wotus, a coach for the Giants, and Tim Wallach, former hitting coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers, have interviews scheduled on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Baker's emergence as a candidate comes as something of a surprise, given that the Padres initially indicated that they would not be interviewing any former Major League managers.

"I'm really looking forward to meeting with Kevin," Baker told by phone from the Bay Area. "I really believe we could do some great things together in San Diego. I love the city and I really like the club they've put together; it has a lot of the elements of a champion.

"I've always been impressed with the job Kevin and Bruce did together. I have the utmost respect for everyone in the Padres' organization, starting with [club CEO] Sandy Alderson. He's one of the most respected men in the game -- with good reason. He's been a success in everything he's done."

"I also know [Padres executives] Grady Fuson and Paul DePodesta from when they were Oakland, and I know how good those guys are. The Padres have a lot of good people in that front office."

With 1,162 wins and a .530 winning percentage in 14 seasons as manager of the Giants (1993-2002) and Chicago Cubs (2003-2006), Baker, 57, is sixth among active managers in victories -- trailing Tony La Russa, Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, Lou Piniella and Jim Leyland.

Baker is tied for 37th all-time in managerial wins with Lou Boudreau, two victories behind Leyland.

Starting his managerial career with the 1993 Giants after serving as their hitting coach for four seasons, Baker won 103 games -- and missed making the playoffs as Atlanta rallied to win the National League West.

His Giants won the NL West in 1997 and again in 2000. They made it to the World Series in 2002 as a Wild Card, losing in seven games to the Anaheim Angels.

Black, who pitched for Baker in San Francisco in 1993 and '94, was the Angels' pitching coach.

During the eight seasons they faced each other as NL West rivals, Baker and his Giants held a 63-49 edge over Bochy's Padres. While Baker managed the Cubs, Bochy and the Padres were 14-12 -- thanks largely to a 7-0 thrashing of Chicago in 2006.

The Cubs, in Baker's first season, were five outs away from giving their manager back-to-back Series appearances with different clubs before Florida rallied to win the NL Championship Series and go on to beat the Yankees in the 2003 World Series.

A succession of injuries to key personnel reduced the Cubs to 79 and 66 wins the past two seasons -- ending a streak of eight consecutive winning seasons by Baker's teams.

Known as a players' manager who forms strong bonds with his athletes, Baker broke into the Major Leagues with Atlanta in 1968 at age 19 and played 19 seasons, batting .278 with 242 homers and 1,013 RBIs. He was named to the Dodgers' all-time team in a 1990 observance of the club's 100th anniversary.

In Chicago, Baker presided over third baseman Aramis Ramirez's emergence as a star after arriving in a 2003 trade with Pittsburgh. Ramirez recently opted out of his contract in Chicago and filed for free agency.

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