Despite managing nearly 3,000 games and winning three Manager of the Year awards, Dusty Baker is one of the most controversial and oft-criticized managers in the game. While fans blast Baker, more often than not, former players praise him for his abilities as a leader.
"Your job is to get the best out of your talent and personnel that you have. You’re only as good as your personnel, but if you can get the best out of your personnel and keep them together and keep them playing on a daily basis. You’ve got to keep the right buttons and all this, but the right buttons only appear right if the players come through. It’s how you mesh your team together, how you hopefully have everybody pulling in the same direction with no envy, no jealousy, no selfishness. If you’re going to be a selfish player, you better be a hell of a player. You can accept that if they have such tremendous production. And how you handle the race, this is a long race we’re in, and sometimes you have to bite the bullet for them. Sometimes you have to tell the truth about them. It’s a rewarding job, but it’s a tough job.
The bulk part of the job (the media, the fans) aren’t supposed to see. You don’t see the disciplinarian part, you don’t hear about it. The bulk of the job is when you have constant meetings with different guys. The bulk of the job now is to continue to teach guys because they get here so early. You’re teaching on a daily basis. Most of the time you have to assume they don’t know, but you can’t treat them like kids, you have to treat them like men. A lot of times you find out what they don’t know after a mistake. A lot of my job depends on the job my coaches do. Everyone has a department, and my job is to let them allow them to do their job and not micromanage them, but to be in charge of everything."