Marine background helps Dusty

Dusty Baker's experience in the Marine Corps and his understanding of the chain of command make him an effective manager.

Updated: July 12, 2004, 2:14 PM ET
By Rick Sutcliffe | Special to ESPN Insider
In his first season at the helm in Chicago, Dusty Baker has guided the Chicago Cubs from a 95-loss season in 2002 to the 2003 NLCS (and the NL Central crown). The three-time National League manager of the year (in 1993, 1997, 2000) is making his fourth trip to the playoffs as a manager.

Dusty has told me that what's helped him most in becoming an effective manager is his experience in the Marine Corps -- especially his understanding of the importance of the chain of command and how it works.

To me, that's the biggest reason he's been able manage superstars like Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa so well.

Rick Sutcliffe serves as an ESPN Major League Baseball analyst, appearing on Wednesday night telecasts, select ESPN Radio broadcasts, as well as Baseball Tonight.