Reds manager Dusty Baker remained in a Chicago hospital Thursday morning while he undergoes tests for an irregular heartbeat. Bench coach Chris Speier was managing the game vs. the Cubs.
“He’s in doing another test. We should get results on that fairly shortly,” Speier said. “It all looks good. I think the plan is to probably wait to see what the results of that test are. If everything is a-OK, he’ll be flying back to Cincinnati [Friday].”
Speier spoke to Baker last night and to a friend of Baker’s at the hospital this morning.
UPDATE — General manager Walt Jocketty visited Baker and through the club media relations department reported Baker as saying he was feeling good. The 63-year-old Baker will remain in the hospital through today to be monitored and fly back to Cincinnati on Friday.
Whether Baker would manage Friday’s game vs. the Dodgers remained up in the air.
“If it was Dusty’s decision, if he was OK to go back to Cincinnati, I’m sure he’d want to be managing again tomorrow,” Speier said.
Speier had more time to prepare for managing a game today than he did on Wednesday, when Baker departed the ballpark just over two hours before game time to get a chest X-ray that was meant to rule out pneumonia.
“It’s not the first time that I’ve done this. I’ve done it in the past,” Speier said about filling in. “I think the situation is completely different now. I worry about Dusty and everybody in that clubhouse was really worried last night. You just don’t go to the hospital for a cold or anything like that. I still feel that way. There’s a lot of mixed feelings in regards to the game and my job of doing this game and what’s really important. My thoughts are more about Dusty than this game.”
As for the lineup that features mostly non-regular players, that was decided by Baker ahead of time.
“The lineup was done before he left to the hospital. That’s Dusty,” Speier said. He left that lineup there. So just [I am] following suit.”