Could it be that Dusty Baker is actually a good manager? Well, yes, it’s certainly possible, and I definitely hope we find out in 2008 that Baker is one of the greatest managers of all time. Yes, I’m skeptical, but I’m going to try to give him the benefit of the doubt. I promise.

Of course, Baker did say this:

“I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps. But the guy who walks and can’t run, most of the time they’re clogging up the bases for somebody who can run.

“Who’s been the champions the last seven, eight years? Have you ever heard the Yankees talk about on-base percentage and walks? Walks help. But you ain’t going to walk across the plate. You’re going to hit across the plate. That’s the school I come from.

“Everybody can’t hit with two strikes. Everybody can’t walk. You’re taking away some of the aggressiveness from a kid when you tell him to go up there and work for a walk”

— Dusty Baker