Oct. 7 Dusty Baker pregame interview
Q. Have you seen all these wild pitches already? These playoffs, they're happening in all the games.
DUSTY BAKER: Well, yeah, there are lots of wild pitches. I think perhaps some of the guys might be trying too hard and they're bouncing the balls way in front of the plate. You know, the ones I've seen didn't give the catchers much chance to catch it. I just hope we don't have any.
Q. Chapman speaks highly of you. Can you describe your relationship with him? You seem to get this young man.
DUSTY BAKER: We have been through a lot in a short period of time. He's confided in me in quite a few life‑changing things. I really genuinely like him. I went to Cuba myself two years ago with my family just to get an idea about, you know, about ‑‑ that wasn't why I went there, but while I was there I got a pretty good idea of what he might have gone through before he got here.
It was a pretty eye‑opening experience about things. I haven't had to go through anything in a short period of time as far as change of complete change of philosophy from a government standpoint, what you've been told all your life and now you're seeing totally the opposite or maybe the same. He's a young man that can really separate his problems from the baseball field. He's a fine young man.
Q. How is Johnny today? Are you sending him back to Cincinnati to get him checked out? What does it look like for you guys shaping up?
DUSTY BAKER: Well, he's not back yet, but he's on the way right now. He and Homer are both flying back tonight. I haven't seen Johnny, but Walt saw him this morning before he checked out and Walt said that he was much better shape than he was yesterday. Hopefully that translates to him being back sooner than we thought, but we don't know yet.
Q. You don't have a Game 4 person in mind yet?
DUSTY BAKER: No, no, not yet.
Q. I covered a game about 5 years ago with Matt Cain against Homer Bailey, and it was kind of like, these are the young guys that are going to be "the guys" maybe now. Matt has been straight and Homer's maybe hasn't. How has he got to the point where you thought he would be today five years ago?
DUSTY BAKER: Homer ‑‑ you know, people take different paths to the top and everybody's path isn't the same. Matt Cain has probably stayed healthier. I think that's helped a lot. This guy has thrown a lot of innings in the short period of time and he's healthy.
This is the healthiest Homer has been this year. Homer has had something the last three or four years that has prevented him from going the whole year. He just threw a no‑hitter last month, and we feel he's on the way. We think he found what he needs in order to work out and in order to stay healthy. Once you find yourself ‑‑ like everybody doesn't find themselves at the same time. He's on the way.
Q. The Giants named Vogelsong as their Game 3 starter today. Considering everybody he has achieved in his career are you surprised Tim Lincecum is not going to be starting one of the first three games?
DUSTY BAKER: That's not my call. That's the Giants and Dave Righetti and Bruce's call. They have a reason, I'm sure they do, and Vogelsong is a pretty good starter himself. He was over there when I was there he was a young kid before they traded him to Pittsburgh. He's had quite a successful run here especially the last couple of years here since he's come back from Japan. Everybody wants to know what's wrong with Tim Lincecum, but you got to remember this guy has achieved a lot and thrown a lot in a short period of time.
Q. Is there a scenario, Dusty, that Johnny could pitch Game 3, and is it correct to say that it would be Homer or Johnny in your Game 3 options?
DUSTY BAKER: No, Homer is our Game 3 option. You can't take a chance with Johnny, and we have to see exactly ‑‑ we can't have him go out there again and have something else happen to him and come up short again. When he goes back out there we will make sure to the best of your knowledge that he's okay.
Q. Dusty, could you talk about what Latos did last night and what his availability is? When he might be back in the series?
DUSTY BAKER: What Latos did last night is what championships are made of. Here is a guy over there relaxing in the dugout figuring that Johnny is going deep in the game and the next thing you know he's called into service. We try to give them an ample amount of time to get warm, to go in and get stretched out like starters usually do. That's why we went with Sam first and then Latos second.
Invariably, there are 50,000 people out there. This guy is going to say he's ready before he's ready. How many times have you seen that? They say, "Yeah, I'm ready" and they're really not ready.
As far as his availability, he told me he has another inning in him tonight, that's Latos. We will have to see when he's available. We would like to wait to try to get him back on his regular schedule.
Q. With all the stuff you've gone through physically has that changed your perspective at all with regard to baseball? Does it look different to you now considering you had some serious stuff happen to you? When you came back, is it more important, less important?
DUSTY BAKER: It's the same importance to me. Like I said yesterday, I'm a competitor. I like to play. That's what drives me. I mean, you realize that your family and your health is more important. But I realized that when I had cancer a few years ago, you know what I mean?
If anything, this reminds me of when I had cancer my last year here, I had two weeks in between my last ‑‑ when I got cleared by the doctor and I went to Spring Training. Same way I got cleared by a doctor this time. I like to work. Do you know what I mean? I like to compete, and nothing ‑‑
I mean there was a time this year when I was sitting' in the dugout and we with played an exciting, thrilling game and I said, "This is why I'm managing." I mean, this is the reason I like being out here, doing what I'm doing. Do you know what I mean?
But I'm not going to do anything to hurt my health and my family and I have a young son. I'm not crazy. Well some people think I am.
Q. A couple of your pitchers somewhere made comments that they haven't sensed the fans completely buy into this ball club, made comments about attendance and things like that. Do you think they're right about that? What kind of atmosphere do you expect to get back at Great American starting in Game 3?
DUSTY BAKER: There is a time when the fans didn't buy into here. I was here. It's no different than any other place in America. I think the average person is not ‑‑ they don't want to set themselves up to be disappointed, really. Then it takes a while. We got swept in 2010, so right away people are going to think about getting swept again.
Let's face it, we are in a different demographic than you are here in San Francisco. You've got, like, I don't know, 2 million people on this rock here, and then you got another, I don't know, million and something down in San Jose, and another million in Sacramento, which is close to here.
Where we draw from is Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia. You have to drive a long ways to come see us play. It's a little different here.