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Reds' players want Baker to take it easy after mini-stroke

The SportsXchange

If the Cincinnati Reds players were disturbed by the news that manager Dusty Baker had suffered a mini-stroke while being discharged on Friday from a Chicago hospital, their concern was relieved after his meeting with them before batting practice on Tuesday.

Baker originally was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat before Cincinnati's game last Wednesday at Wrigley Field, which led to him being admitted to the hospital. He wasn't discharged until Sunday, when he visited the team at Great American Ball Park. He returned and updated his condition for them on Tuesday.

"He looked fine," pitcher Bronson Arroyo said. "He looked good. He looked like he'd been on a diet the last two months. He was holding a lot of water. He looks like he went on Jenny Craig. They want him to rest. He said he's ready to go now."

Baker couldn't have picked a better place to suffer a mini-stroke, Arroyo pointed out.

"He had some slurred speech," the pitcher said. "The diagnosis was a slight stroke. The stroke team was right there and got after it. He said they said they see it all the time. They took care of it."

Baker doesn't expect to return to the dugout until the Reds' final regular-season series, Oct. 1-3 at St. Louis. Third baseman Scott Rolen and his teammates want Baker to focus on his health.

"That's the only thing we're concerned about," Rolen said. "You take care of each other. We're a team and friends and could even go as far as family at times. We're concerned about him and his health. We're worried about Dusty. That's the bottom line. You take care of life first."
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