Baker needs a flak

Updated: July 8, 2003, 11:35 AM ET
By Jim Baker
If you were Dusty Baker's press secretary, you'd have about shot yourself by now, wouldn't you? Last week he was up in White Sox manager Jerry Manuel's face about excessive celebrating after a win and now, this week, he's put his foot in his mouth so deeply he should be brushing his teeth with Tenactin. (Memo to product placement people: send check to me courtesy of this Web site.)

Kevin B. Blackstone of the Dallas Morning News takes Baker to task for his Campanisian views on race and heat that were reported in an Associated Press story. Blackstone points out that Baker was chuckling when he said it, but still, race is such a flash point in our society that it's best to keep that a non-topic when talking to reporters whether joking or otherwise.

It appears now that he was not joking, however. In statements made before Monday's game quoted in the Associated Press, he stuck to his guns on his contention that players of African-American descent and those who hail from Latin America are better suited for playing in the heat. (As we speak, somebody somewhere is, I am sure, preparing a statistical comparison to examine this concept.)
Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at