Dusty Baker’s team locked up a playoff berth, and then a National League Central Division Championship all while he watched from a Chicago hospital, but the manager of the MLB-leading Cincinnati Reds is expected to be back with the team soon.
Reds’ manager Dusty Baker spent four days in a Chicago hospital being treated for an irregular heartbeat but the 63-year-old was released Sunday and spoke with the Reds players prior to Sunday’s game against the L.A. Dodgers. The AP reports Baker did not stay for the game, which was managed by bench coach Chris Speier.
The Washington Post reports the Reds are off Monday and Baker will likely resume his duties Tuesday as Cincinnati starts a home series against Milwaukee.
Baker was hospitalized prior to the Reds’ 5-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs last Thursday. That win put the Reds in the playoffs. His extended hospital stay meant he also missed the Reds’ 6-0 victory over the Dodgers on Saturday, which claimed Cincinnati’s second NL Central crown in three years.
Cincinnati went into Sunday night’s game against L.A. tied with the Washington Nationals for the best record in baseball at 92-60. Baker’s absence doesn’t appear to have slowed the Reds down. The team toasted him before dousing each other in champagne after winning the division Saturday.
Cincinnati though is no stranger to playing without important members of the team. The Reds went 32-16 during a crucial stretch of the season without star player Joey Votto.
Now the challenge for the Reds is to get players rest while still winning games. Dusty Baker will be back Tuesday as Cincinnati begins its stretch run.