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Tuesday, October 16, 2007 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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MLB Wire Notes | Baker basks in Reds duds

CINCINNATI — Dusty Baker had a whole new look.

The 58-year-old manager put on a bright red Cincinnati cap and a red-and-white jersey Monday during his introduction as the next Reds manager. The color just didn't fit.

"This is my first red uniform in my whole life," Baker said.

As an outfielder, he won a World Series ring while wearing Dodger blue in 1981. As a manager, he has won 1,162 games in San Francisco's orange and black and Cubs blue.

He led the Giants to the 2002 World Series and got the Cubs five outs from the 2003 Series, two near-misses that still gnaw at him. After one year of working in television, he's back in baseball and back on his quest.

"I'm inspired," said Baker, the first black manager in the history of baseball's first professional team. "I feel that I was brought here for a number of reasons, not just to manage a baseball team.

"Hopefully we can all come together for the same goal of winning, and we can have that championship ticker-tape parade, which is what I really, really need. I need that badly. You just don't know how bad I do need that."

Baker spent this year away from the game, using the break to work as an ESPN analyst and spend time with his family.

"It was necessary because I had to let some wounds heal from Chicago," Baker said. "I was beat up pretty good when I was there."

Pineiro signs for

$13 million

ST. LOUIS — After reviving his career as a starting pitcher, Joel Pineiro briefly considered testing the free-agent market. He ended up staying in the same place, with the team that gave him another opportunity.

Pineiro, a former Mariner, agreed to a $13 million, two-year contract with St. Louis after thriving with the Cardinals down the stretch.

"St. Louis gave me that chance," Pineiro said. "They took that chance on me. That meant a lot to me."

The right-hander went 6-4 in 11 starts with St. Louis after being acquired from the Red Sox at the trade deadline, and could have opted for free agency. The deal includes a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $5 million in 2008 and $7.5 million in 2009.

"We felt very strongly at the time of the trade that Joel had the ability to improve our starting rotation once he had time to condition himself for that role," interim general manager John Mozeliak said. "We are extremely pleased to have re-signed Joel and project him to be a steady performer for us, much like he did down the stretch this past season."

Pineiro is the third pitcher retained since the end of the season, with the Cardinals also picking up an $8 million option on closer Jason Isringhausen and re-signing right-hander Russ Springer.

Pineiro began the year in Boston's bullpen, making 31 relief appearances. The Cardinals acquired him along with cash for a minor leaguer.

Notes

Bill Stoneman, who built the Angels' only World Series championship team, is expected to step down after eight years as general manager. The Angels called a news conference for this morning for what they described as a major announcement.

• Baseball investigator George Mitchell has received an extensive paper trail documenting performance-enhancing drugs sent to players by former New York Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski, a person familiar with the probe said.

Among the documents Mitchell and his staff have obtained are invoices detailing the substances sent to players, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because Mitchell hasn't authorized details to be made public.

• While New York Yankees officials prepared to gather in Florida today to determine the fate of manager Joe Torre, Alex Rodriguez was in California to consult with agent Scott Boras on his negotiating strategy.

A-Rod and Boras began talks Sunday, and the agent said the star third baseman will remain in California for several days. Yankees officials headed to Florida, preparing for the start of meetings that will determine whether Torre is asked to remain as manager.

• Catcher Eric Munson was claimed by the Milwaukee Brewers off waivers from the Houston Astros.

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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