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March 22, 2011
Dusty Baker on the Kings: Say it ain't so


GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Since arriving at spring training Sunday evening, I repeatedly have been asked for updates on the Kings' possible relocation to Anaheim. Sacramento's own Dusty Baker is the latest to inquire. Approached on the field a few minutes after his Cincinnati Reds dropped a 10-8 Cactus League outing to the A's, Baker immediately blurted: "The Kings aren't leaving, are they?"

"I've been following it (the situation)," said the Reds manager, whose family has had season tickets since the Kings arrived in 1985. His late father, Johnnie B. Baker, Sr., was a popular figure who ambled into the security entrance long before tipoff. He usually could be found chatting with ushers, security guards and many of the Kings players and executives he died in Nov., 2009. Dusty, who lives in Folsom during baseball's offseason, attended several games before spring training started.

"My son (Darren) is going to miss them if they go," Dusty continued. "He's just getting old enough to know all the players, getting into basketball. It'd be a big loss (if Kings relocated). What are you going to do in the winter? Some people go to 49ers games, Raiders games, Warriors games. But to be able to drive across town to see big league basketball ... your own team? (And) how many times can the Kings change towns?"

For the record: Since 1971, only one franchise in Major League Baseball has relocated - the Montreal Expos to Washington, D.C., in 2005.



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