Reds manager Dusty Baker suffered a minor stroke on Friday, the team told reporters (including MLB.com's Mark Sheldon). Baker was already in hospital being treated for an irregular heartbeat and was supposed to be released on Friday. The 63-year-old was released instead on Sunday and is reportedly in good condition, addressing the Reds clubhouse this afternoon. Bench coach Chris Speier has managed the team in Baker's absence and will continue to do so at least through Cincinnati's weekend series with the Pirates, though Baker is hopeful of returning for the Reds' final series of the year.
Here's some more news from around the baseball world…
- Long-time Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek tells Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston that he is "close" to taking a job with the team. Varitek will likely be a special assistant to GM Ben Cherington, though Edes notes that Varitek's teammates from Boston's 2004 World Series squad think he should be the next Red Sox manager.
- Bryan LaHair hopes to return to the Cubs next season, he tells CSNChicago.com's Patrick Mooney, though the team currently has no spot where he can get regular playing time.
- Eric Stults' good performances in the Padres' rotation may have earned him a spot in next year's rotation, writes Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
- Also from Bill Center, he examines the mixed results the Padres have thus far received from the seven players they signed to contract extensions this year.
- Lance Berkman tells Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle that he hopes to play for a contender next season, which would seem to eliminate him returning to the Astros as a DH. (Berkman has also considered retirement.) Berkman also endorsed ex-teammate Tim Bogar as his choice to be the Astros' next manager.
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson discussed the Ike Davis trade rumors, the chances of the Mets extending David Wright and R.A. Dickey and other topics during a visit to the SNY booth during Tuesday's game. ESPN New York's Adam Rubin has a partial transcript.
- Willy Taveras is working out and hopeful of returning to the Major Leagues next season, reports MLB.com's Evan Drellich. Taveras, who turns 31 on Christmas Day, last played in the majors for the Nationals in 2010.
Tek- special Assistant GM… molding him for future FO/GM work? o future Manager?
I was kinda hoping to see Tek as some coaching position within the organization, however I am definitely thrilled that he’s staying involved with the Red Sox.
Whoever said Varitek should be the next Red Sox manager just wants the beer and chicken back.
Who doesnt want the beer and chicken back? Heck they can have all the beer and chicken they want as long as they perform well…I always liked the way Terry Francona handled the team and I hope that kind of style comes back. A manager needs to be a friend of the players but also respected, Bobby Valentine is neither.
Here’s hoping for a quick recovery for Dusty.
He can always start in the office and end up a manager. Fine with me, as long as he’s some way part of the rebuilding process. Tek has knowledge about a lot. And seriously… The chicken and beer stuff needs to go.
No way in hell should Tek be the next manager. He was the Capt when the Sox folded and all this chicken and beer stuff went down, and never provided any leadership or oversight. In other words, he sucked as a captain.
Were you saying that before last year? Probably not. It goes deeper than the Captain. He can only control so much. If he was part of it so be it, they ate chicken, drank (which I don’t agree with, but what’s done is done) lets move past it. He was well respected as the Captain. I think he did a phenomenal job his last few years after losing his starting job to V-Mart and then Salty took over. He was a solid back up that did what he had to do and performed well in that role and was always ready. Say what you want, but he was a solid captain.
nice to see Varitek stay with the Redsox
Cherington hiring a body guard? If Veritek is being brought back for any other reason than to be coach of the catchers and coordinator of development for the catchers down on the farm, the Red Sox brass are wasting money again.
Berkman will be in Houston next year, watch. He is negotiating publicly for higher pay and to get his pal, Tim Bogar, into the fold as manager. Lets hope he is successful on both counts.
Stults couldn’t hold a rotation spot in Japan. Fact. I don’t think he is the answer outside of an enormous pitcher’s park. Strangely, he was a hot commodity before he signed with the Hiroshima Carp over there.