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Baker returns to dugout to manage Reds

The SportsXchange

Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker returned to the Reds dugout on Monday in St. Louis to resume his managerial duties after missing 11 games while he was hospitalized for an irregular heartbeat and a mini-stroke.

Baker looked fit when he faced reporters prior to Monday's game.

"I always had a pretty good perspective on things, but now it just makes me feel more appreciative of what I'm doing, it makes me more appreciative about my family, and I feel truly blessed," Baker told reporters. "To be in the hospital when you have a mini-stroke, you know, you can't get any more blessed than that."

Baker took his mini-stroke in stride as well.

"It wasn't scary," Baker said, "because I didn't feel like it was my time to go. When you go in the hospital, and you're leaving the hospital, it ain't your time to go, you know what I mean?

"I wasn't worried at all; I mean, I didn't like the fact that I was having a stroke. But at the same time, how many people have been in the hospital when they've had a stroke? It wasn't my time to go.

"I was on my way out of the hospital and I had just shaved. I was getting ready to put my clothes on. The lady stopped me, and asked me to say my name. I couldn't say my name and all of a sudden, she called the doctor back in and said: 'You've got to come back in and see him.' And I was like: 'Why?' She said: 'Well, you just better stay here.'

"Imagine, I could have been on a plane or on a highway, so that's why I said, 'Man, it ain't my time to go.' "

Baker said he lost 22 pounds while he was out and made a few changes to his diet.

"I've already changed a few things in my routine," Baker said. "Mainly my daughter, she's having turkey burgers and couscous, she'd be proud of me telling you guys that I'm eating this stuff. I didn't cut out that much, but she's making me eat breakfast now, which I never ate. But I'm going to sneak down to my local watering spots to get some soul food."
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