Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 10/1/12
Cincinnati_reds_vs_9851
ST. LOUIS Not even a stroke could scare the unflappable Dusty Baker. Hospitalized for an irregular heartbeat nearly two weeks ago, Baker was literally moments from be released when he suffered a mini-stroke. And the timing may haves saved his life. The Reds manager returned to the dugout Monday night for their game against the St. Louis Cardinals after missing 11 games. "It wasn't scary because I didn't feel like it was my time to go," Baker said. "When you go in the hospital and you're leaving the hospital, it's not your time to go. You know what I mean? I wasn't worried at all. 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 had a stroke? It wasn't my time to go yet." The 63-year-old Baker felt sick when the club was in Chicago for a series two weeks ago and was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital on September 19. He suffered the stroke two days later as he was being released on September 21. "I was shaving and I was getting ready to put my clothes on and the lady asked me to say my name and I couldn't say my name," Baker recalled. "All of sudden she called the doctor back in and said you have to come back in and see him. Imagine, I could have been on the plane in five minutes or ten minutes or on a highway or something. That's why I said it's not my time to go yet." Baker led the Reds to their second National League Central Championship in three seasons and figures to be on most ballots for NL Manager of the Year. Cincinnati went 7-4 while Baker was gone. But the Reds enjoyed two significant milestones without their skipper. They clinched and celebrated their division title and saw pitcher Homer Bailey toss the club's first no-hitter since 1988. Asked how hard it was to miss both moments, Baker said he hoped their would be plenty more celebrations for him to take part in before the season ends. "The way I look at it, the big one is to come," Baker said. "That's how I look at it. I called Homer and told him what a great job he did in that game. I was sitting there on the edge of my seat. It meant a lot to me, but I'm fine now. I'm not 100 percent but I'm pretty close. Baker returned to Cincinnati last week and stopped by the clubhouse to address the team. He stayed in contact with bench coach Chris Speier and told him which lineup to use and other pertinent information. The veteran manager joked that his daughter has made him start doing more healthy things such as having breakfast and eating turkey burgers instead of regular burgers. Baker said doctors likely will inform him of more precautions he can take in the coming weeks. But for now he hopes to lead the Reds to their first World Series appearance since 1990. "It just feels great to be back with my team here," Baker said. "I'm still on some meds but I'm feeling better. I always had a pretty good perspective on things but now it just makes me more appreciative of what I'm doing and makes me feel more appreciative of my family. "I feel truly blessed. To be in the hospital when you have a mini stroke, you can't get any more blessed than that. The way I look at it is it's our year. We have a great support staff here and my guys did a great job while I was out. I just feel like this is going to be the topper for us to win this year."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

DeMar DeRozan: It will be ‘pretty tough’ for me to leave Raptors

Super Bowl referee says Cotchery play could have been a catch

The NBA is one step closer to putting ads on jerseys

Archie Manning defends Cam Newton over press conference

Dwight Howard: ‘I have not asked the Rockets to trade me’

Nazem Kadri fined $5,000 for throat-slashing gesture

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Hassan Whiteside suspended one game for elbowing Boban Marjanovic

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has torn labrum

Report: Antonio Tarver suspended six months, fined $50,000 for positive test

Texans owner wants team to draft a top quarterback

Subban undergoes larynx surgery, out at least eight weeks

Report: Raiders staying in Oakland for 2016 season

Chris Harris: Von Miller should get paid more than JJ Watt

4 likeliest Dwight Howard trade scenarios

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Penn State the latest to offer generic football jerseys for sale

Gary Bettman praises the NHL’s new website and app (which are currently awful)

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

NBA to weigh adding advertisements to jerseys

ESPN, Stephen A. Smith and Little League International sued by parents of Jackie Robinson West

Kobe Bryant shoots down notion he wants All-Star MVP record

Justin Tuck will sign one-day contract to retire with Giants

Ronda Rousey returns to training

Von Miller likely to get franchise tag from Broncos

Barry J. Sanders transferring to Oklahoma State

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker