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Baker: No Insult Intended

October 28, 2002|--Jason Reid, Mike Hiserman, Bill Dwyre and Helene Elliott

With the Giants leading, 5-0, in the seventh inning of Game 6 on Saturday, Manager Dusty Baker gave starting pitcher Russ Ortiz the game ball when the right-hander was removed with one out and runners on first and second.

The Angels took that as an insult, figuring the Giants thought they had already clinched the title. Final score: Angels 6, Giants 5.

"How was I showing them up?" Baker said Sunday. "I don't care what they like, you know what I'm saying?

"I mean, that wasn't intended for them at all. That was intended as a gesture straight to Russ Ortiz, a gesture of appreciation. That was a gesture of thank you to Russ. It had nothing to do with the Angels.

"The Angels weren't even in the equation. Nobody should flatter themselves they were in this situation. You know what I'm saying? If they took it the wrong way, I'm sorry. But I'm not sorry that I gave Russ the ball."


Maintaining his stance, owner Peter Magowan said he would deal with Baker's contract status after the World Series.

Baker intimated it might be too late.

"If somebody wanted me back," he said, "a lot of times you wouldn't wait until the last minute to tell them."


Baker's employment prospects remained uncertain after Sunday, but pitching coach Dave Righetti cast an emphatic vote in favor of Sunday's game not being Baker's finale.

"The guy has meant so much to the city, the area, the last 10 years of managing this ballclub," Righetti said. "He's done a terrific job. He's brought a lot of spirit. The organization has definitely prospered because of Dusty Baker.

"If that day comes, which I'm truly honest, I don't know, it would be very sad."


Security at any big sporting event is a concern, especially post-Sept. 11. But nearly all of the 44,598 mostly deliriously happy fans behaved themselves Sunday night.

Four spectators were arrested for trespassing when they were caught running onto the field after the final out, said John Drum, the Angels' director of ballpark operations.

"All in all, things went very smoothly," Drum said. He credited a security force he said was in excess of 400 -- counting the Angels' regular security, plus reinforcements from Major League Baseball and the Anaheim Police Department.

The only obvious breech took place in the bottom of the third inning on Garret Anderson's bases-clearing double into the right-field corner.

As the Giants' Reggie Sanders scrambled against the fence to corral the ball, a woman appeared to take a swipe at him with a noise-maker stick. The woman was not arrested, but she was removed from the field, security said.

"I'm not sure if she made contact with the player; she might have," Drum said.

"Whether she did or didn't, what she did was a distraction on a ball in play. It's a zero tolerance policy on that when it affects play."


Last year's full World Series share was $330,000 per winning player, and that is expected to rise by about $10,000 each this year. Players' World Series shares come from the ticket revenue generated in the first four games. TV revenue is treated separately....The Giants hit a record 14 home runs in the Series, breaking the previous mark by two.

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