Dusty Baker Looking Forward to Reds Return


Denis Poroy/Getty Images(CINCINNATI) — Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker returned to speak with his Reds team before yesterday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers after having a stroke and an irregular heartbeat last week.

The Reds clinched the N.L. Central on Saturday, while the 63-year-old manager recovered in a hospital in Chicago.  Bench coach Chris Speier has taken over the reins while Baker continues to recover.

“I’m feeling much better, and it’s great being back here in Cincinnati,” Baker said in a statement released after he met with owner Bob Castellini and his players on Tuesday. “Chris Speier and my staff are doing a terrific job, and I look forward to getting back to the dugout.”

Speier said Baker was upbeat and looking forward to his return in the team’s final regular-season series before the playoff push.

“I think the main thing is you want your team healthy,” Speier said. “To me, that’s the first and foremost importance. We want to go into the playoffs as healthy as we can and be as ready as we can. That’s the fine line.

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