ESPN signs Baker for baseball


NEW YORK -- ESPN said Tuesday that it had hired former Chicago Cubs manager and All-Star player Dusty Baker as an analyst on "Baseball Tonight."

Baker will join a team that includes host Karl Ravech, Peter Gammons, Steve Phillips and John Kruk. His first work for ESPN is set for March 28 at a Spring Training game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves.

He also will work as an analyst on some regular-season telecasts, in the Bristol, Conn., studio for the League Championship Series and as an analyst for ESPN Radio's coverage of the divisional series in October. He'll also work on ESPN's coverage of All-Star Week and the World Series.

Baker worked as a guest analyst for ESPN last year during coverage of the World Series.

Baker has been a manager for 14 seasons, including the San Francisco Giants from 1993-02 and the Cubs from 2003 until last year. He went to the World Series as a manager in 2002, when the Giants lost to the Anaheim Angels.

He also was an All-Star player over the course of his 19-year playing career with the Atlanta Braves, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Giants and the Oakland A's. He was a member of the 1981 Dodgers World Championship team.

ESPN also announced that former St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Fernando Vina would become an analyst for "Baseball Tonight" and "SportsCenter."