CHICAGO – Former Cubs and current Reds manager Dusty Baker has spent 38 years in baseball, and on Tuesday he joined elite company.
Baker managed his 3,000th game Tuesday at Wrigley Field against the Cubs. Of active managers, Baker’s 3,000 games managed only ranks behind Tigers manager Jim Leyland’s 3,322 games. Baker has managed the 19th most games in major league history, although his three teams have combined to win one pennant – the San Francisco Giants in 2002.
“Everybody wants to achieve things, but I’m just glad out of the 3,000 games I’ve won more than lost,” Baker said. “That’s a lot of games. It’s not as many as some but I still have a few games left in me, I think.”
Baker spent four seasons managing the Cubs (2003-06) and posted a .497 winning percentage, going 322-326.
“As a manager, like I said before, we do a lot of these jobs to get fired sometimes or let go, whatever you want to call it,” manager Dale Sveum said. “But then to be around for 3,000 games on a few different teams, it’s one of the more impressive things. There’s not too many people that happens to.”
Second basemen showdown: Reigning Gold Glove second baseman Brandon Phillips gets an up-close look this week at his biggest threat.
Phillips has won back-to-back Gold Gloves and three of the past four in the NL. While Phillips is the flashier second baseman – flips behind his back to get an out are rather routine – Darwin Barney is turning in one of the best defensive performances.
Barney set a NL single-season record for consecutive games without an error at second and also owns the overall NL record, which stands at 132 straight games. Barney, who committed his only error at second on April 17 at Miami, is closing in on the single-season major league record held by Placido Polanco (141 games in 2007).
Quick hits: Barney has gone 51 consecutive plate appearances without striking out, the longest current streak in the majors. … Barney extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games Tuesday against the Reds. It also is the longest streak by a Cub this season. … When scoring at least four runs, the Cubs are 47-27 this season.