5.24.2005

2005 Amateur Draft Preview

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Very soon, Major League Baseball will hold its annual amateur draft. We asked Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker to answer some questions about this year's crop of talent, and to discuss how teams prepare for the draft. During his time managing the Giants and Cubs, Baker developed a reputation as a genius at developing young talent, including such pitchers as Mark Prior, Carlos Zambrano and Jason Schmidt.

Brian (ZONA): hey dusty what's up man giants suck and cubs suck. lol. anyway what do u look for in someone you draft?

Dusty Baker: Brian the most important thing a player can have is heart. That's not something scouts look for, and it's not something you can see in stats. It's something you see only when you shake a man's hand and look him in the eye. If he can look this ole boy in the eye and give me a good shake, I can trust him. I shook Willie Mays' hand. I shook Barry Bonds' hand. I shook John Paul II's hand. They all knew how to shake. See what I mean?

Carl (ny, ny): Hi Dusty. How do you feel about Justin Upton? Everyone says he plays like Bo Jackson and is gonna be the #1 pick.

Dusty Baker: You got me, Carl. I'm gonna have to look this kid up because Bo Jackson could play. I just hope they don't bring him up too soon.

Carlos Z. (chicago): stop chatting or your gonna get tennis elbow!!!!

Dusty Baker: Los that best not really be you "chatting" again!

Eric (seattle): What are the Cubs looking for in the draft this year, Dusty? How much input do you have?

Dusty Baker: You ain't gonna get me to say nothin', boy! Who do you think you're foolin? I worry more about what's on the field than that front office juju, but I do get consultated from time to time. I tell them to give me players with heart and grit, veterans who know how to play. I hear today that Oil Can Boyd is coming back. That's the sort of player Dusty Baker wants.

Steve (letsget highway): which latin american country puts out the best players?

Dusty Baker: I've had many great experiences with the Latin people. They know how to hit them tacos. But I think that some teams bring along their Latinos too quick, but maybe that's because they all lie about their age. I hear that Albert Pujols is really 43 and David Eckstein is 12. You just can't trust them unless you look 'em in the eye. Venezuelans like to look people in the eye, so I guess that answers the question?

josh (las vegas): if you could draft any player currently in baseball to be on the cubs, who would it be?

Dusty Baker: Mark Gruzelanick, no question. Tom Goodwin a close second. They leave it all on the field. Lenny Harris is in my personal hall of fame.

Sergio (Mexico City): Should Japanese players have to enter the draft like all other rookies?

Dusty Baker: Who cares?

chris (Austin): Which is the best pitcher coming into the draft: Luke Hochevar or Mike Pelfry?

Dusty Baker: Trick question, right? Those are fake names.

mike (sf): would you draft your kids?

Dusty Baker: Haha. Probably! Give them 40, 50 years and they really might turn into something. Just the other day I shook Darren's hand and let me tell you, he's got something special. He's got his old man's heart!

Jason (NYC): Off topic, but what are your five favorite books?

Dusty Baker: "I'll name four: the Art of war, Book of Five Rings, The Old Man and the Sea, Bob Marley."

Dusty Baker: Thanks for stopping by! Work on those hitting drills!

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