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Baker heads back to Cincy after 4 days in hospital

Associated Press Modified: September 23, 2012 at 7:21 pm •  Published: September 23, 2012
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CINCINNATI (AP) — Reds manager Dusty Baker returned to Cincinnati on Sunday after spending four days in a Chicago hospital getting treated for an irregular heartbeat.

Baker missed the Reds' 6-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday that clinched the NL Central title. Doctors wanted to keep him one more night to make sure he had fully recovered.

The 63-year-old manager was released from the hospital on Sunday. He met with players in the clubhouse at Great American Ball Park after batting practice, but didn't stay around for a game against the Dodgers.

The Reds are off on Monday, giving Baker a day to rest before the start of a home series against Milwaukee.

"I'm managing tonight and hopefully with the day off tomorrow and him getting a good, relaxing night at home, (we'll) come back on Tuesday and see how he feels," bench coach Chris Speier said. "So yeah, it's great news."

Baker's 13-year-old son, Darren, was in the clubhouse.

Baker was hospitalized on Wednesday when the Reds were in Chicago playing the Cubs. He's had an irregular heartbeat for some time.

The Reds had hoped he'd be back in time to see the team clinch its second division title in the past three years with Baker as manager.

General manager Walt Jocketty texted him when the game ended on Saturday night, and the players toasted Baker in the clubhouse before spraying each other with beer and champagne.

Speier rested several veterans for the final game of the series Sunday night against Los Angeles, which opened the day three games behind St. Louis for the final NL wild card spot.

Left fielder Ryan Ludwick got a fourth straight day off to rest a sore groin, and third baseman Scott Rolen got to rest his back.

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