Two years ago at Hohokam Stadium, Dusty stood in the dugout while the PA played the Cubs victory song, "Go Cubs Go".
"The worst thing about losing to them is listening to this song," Baker said.
Asked if there was any feelings about playing the team that he managed from 2003-2006, leading the Cubs to a rare Division Title in 2003.
"I hate losing to them," Baker said. His reasons had more to do with how he was treated than the lousy postgame song. Baker hates to lose to anyone, including the San Francisco Giants for whom he managed from 1993-2002. "I don't like to lose to anyone, especially to where I've been before," Baker said. "But not the Giants as much as the Cubs. I was treated better in San Francisco."
If it sounds like a grudge, it is. Was it the media, the fans, the front office that treated him badly?
"Everybody. I mean I was treated pretty good by some people but I got treated pretty poorly by a lot of people, especially at the end but that's ok. It's all good. Whatever you go through where you've been, it makes you better and stronger where you are now. I was always strong but I'm much stronger now. My faith is stronger."
Since Baker left the organization, the Cubs are now on their third manager, their second front office and their second ownership group. They had one more division title under Lou Piniella but the Reds have also had one under Baker.
"They would probably have been better off if they left me there but in the end it wouldn't have worked because everything I did was wrong," Baker said. "When you get to that state, you have no choice."
It was not that way with the Giants. Leaving San Francisco was Baker's choice.
"Right now I'm one and one," Baker said. "It's the rubber match here (in Cincinnati)."
Dusty is on the last year of a two-year contract extension. A decision on next season needs to be made soon.
"Right now it's my decision as well as their decision," Baker said. "I don't have an option in my contract but it's my decision too. I can come back but it depends if I'm asked back. If they ask me back, I could turn it down too, depending on a lot of things. When you get to a certain point in you life it is your decision as well as your employer's. Before the season ends it depends on how things go. No matter what, life is good. Life's very good."