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Cubs, Baker Discuss Manager Opening

November 12, 2002

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CHICAGO (AP) _ Dusty Baker met with Chicago Cubs president Andy MacPhail and general manager Jim Hendry for 3 1/2 hours Monday to discuss the club’s managerial opening.

Baker, considered the strong front-runner for the job, later went to dinner with Hendry and MacPhail in the Phoenix area.

Baker suggested he’d be asking as many questions as he’d be answering.

``I want to talk to them about the minor leagues, the day games, the city, the prospects, the expectations,″ Baker told the Chicago Tribune last week.

He said a four-year contract would probably be the ideal length should he be offered and accept the job of turning around one of baseball’s longtime losers.

Baker became available when the Giants announced last week he wouldn’t return, less than two weeks after San Francisco lost to Anaheim in Game 7 of the World Series.

Hendry was on the phone with Baker the next day, setting up the meeting with the three-time NL manager of the year, whose teams averaged 91 victories over the past six seasons.

``We certainly expressed our interest to Dusty, and he seems interested in us. Hopefully we’ll move forward at a good rate,″ Hendry said earlier.

Hendry was already in Arizona, first for the team’s organizational meeting and then for a general managers’ meeting in Tucson.

While Baker was away on a hunting trip last weekend, a report surfaced that he owes more than $1 million in back taxes and penalties due to some bad investments he made in the early 1980s.

The tax issue is not expected to have a bearing on Baker’s candidacy for the Cubs’ managerial job.

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