User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Darren Baker still can't bat boy 10 years later

New Sportsbook.com customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

   

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Ten years after Darren Baker nearly got run over at home plate when he wandered into the World Series action, he's still not old enough to be a bat boy.

Advertisement
The 13 1/2-year-old son of Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker is just fine with that, because these days he's a second baseman who appreciates watching the games to learn. He does plan to be bat boy for a few games in 2013 after turning the required 14 on Feb. 11.

``It was smart, because I was so young and maybe if another kid is young he doesn't know what to do compared to an older kid who kind of understands more,'' Baker said Saturday, sitting in the dugout taking in the quiet scene some five hours before first pitch between the Reds and Giants in their playoff opener. ``Just parts of it, I remember a little bit of it when I got picked up at home plate. I remember Game 7 of the World Series. That's it. It went by so fast.''

On a sunny October afternoon, Baker hopped around the dugout alone, leaned over the dugout rail and soaked in the atmosphere. Yes, he said, he misses it here - even if the memories have faded some. He ran inside to the clubhouse at one point to grab his camera, then returned to snap a photo of the Blue Angels flying overhead for fleet week festivities.

Baker rooted for Washington to win on the season's final day so the NL Central champion Reds would be the NL's No. 2 seed behind the East-winning Nationals and open the best-of-five playoffs at San Francisco. His dad managed the Giants from 1993-02.

It was here in October `02 when the then-toddler ran out to retrieve the bat of his favorite player - Kenny Lofton - in Game 5 of the World Series against the wild-card Angels. With David Bell charging home, San Francisco's J.T. Snow quickly scooped up the boy and kept him out of harm's way. After that, the ``Darren Baker Rule,'' as it became known, was established to require that bat boys be at least 14 years old.

``I think it was for the best because I like watching the game more. It was fun bat-boying, but I'd rather learn and watch the game,'' Baker said. ``I might do it once or twice (next year), but most of the time I'll be in the dugout watching.''

Yet his father feels like maybe the decision was a little strong to keep kids out of the dugout. Even if dad knows full well his son no longer wants to be a full-time bat boy.

``I just think that they took it a little bit too far, as far as the young men and women that at that age, most of them either have their own games or they have lost interest in the game,'' Dusty Baker said. ``When I think about him and I think about back in the day when it looks like there were Boones everywhere. There were so many out there - `Are you a Boone?' `Yeah, I'm a Boone' - then look at the Bells, Griffey, Barry Bonds and all the guys that are playing then and now because they were out there with their fathers. To my knowledge, the lawyers got involved and they said it had something to do with the child labor laws and, you know, the laws got us.''

Darren Baker - dressed in full Reds uniform, as usual - planned to track down Snow before Saturday night's Game 1 of the NL division series, to say ``just hi, just normal.'' He sat on the podium in the interview room alongside his dad before Saturday's game.

The Barry Bonds-led Giants came within six outs of winning a World Series title in Game 6 at Anaheim, then lost in Game 7. It wasn't until two years ago that San Francisco finally captured the franchise's first title since moving West from New York in 1958.

Little Darren was in tears after the `02 team fell short, then soon after moved off to Chicago as his dad left on difficult terms and became manager of the Cubs.

``When I was 3, I understood the teams and the magnitude of the situation,'' he said. ``I guess they just wanted to win badly.''

When the Reds visited this summer, the Giants held their 10-year celebration of the '02 World Series to coincide with Baker being in town. Darren threw out the first pitch, then got picked up and hugged by Snow and thrown over the former first baseman's shoulder in a reenactment of sorts to that frightening play.

His 63-year-old father, who recently missed 11 games while recovering from a mini-stroke and irregular heartbeat, was expected to receive a warm ovation from the sellout crowd in the Giants' waterfront ballpark.

``In the beginning, when they announce his name with the lineups,'' Baker said. ``After that, he kind of turns into the enemy.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
ASA: Betting Underdogs
Rose: Who's Hot - AL Edition
CC beats Price; Yanks top Rays 10-2
Wainwright has 2-hitter, Cards blank Nats
Lester leads Red Sox past White Sox
Phillies edge Braves in low-scoring affair
Tigers hold on for 7-5 win over Indians
Kouzmanoff, Rangers beat Mariners 8-6
Gibson leads Twins past Jays, 7-0
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
MLB Hot Streaks
7-2 L9, 16-5 L21, 24-10 +1,676 TY
4-2 L6 Totals, +1,358 TY
10-2 G-Plays TY, +1,055 Overall
6-2 L8 Guaranteed Plays
4-1 L5 G-Plays, 13-6 L19 Picks
4-1 Over/Unders TY
5-2, +344 Last 7 Selections
2-0 Yesterday, 3-1 L4 G-Plays
4-1 Last 5 MLB Guarantees
7-3 Y'day, 31-13 L44 Over/Unders
4-0, +477 Last 4 Guarantees
MLB Pro Baseball Expert Sports Picks - Seattle Mariners at Miami Marlins
2014 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 1676
Bruce Marshall + 1358
Mike Rose + 1055
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 866
John Fisher + 781
Dave Cokin + 688
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 800
Matt Zylbert + 402
Joe Williams + 300
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mike Rose + 873
Bruce Marshall + 370
ASA + 353
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 993
Mike Rose + 558
Chip Chirimbes + 482
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
John Fisher + 1615
Dave Cokin + 1521
Bruce Marshall + 749
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!