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October 11, 2021

Dusty Baker

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Guaranteed Rate Field

Houston Astros

Pregame 4 Press Conference

Q. Dusty, post game last night, Chicago reliever, Ryan Tepera, hinted or teased that the Astros are cheating again, specifically at Minute Maid Park. How do you respond to that?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, those are heavy accusations. We're about the same runs, OPS and everything as we are -- well, actually, better on the road than we are at home. And so then I think they're actually better at home than they are, you know, on the road.

And so I don't have much, you know, response to that other than I was listening to Eric Clapton this morning, and he had a song, you know, before you accuse me, you need today to look at yourself. You know what I mean? That's all I got to say.

Q. Dusty, does the postponement alter your pitching plans?

DUSTY BAKER: Possibly. We're talking about it now. You know, and we'll let you know in the morning.

Q. (Off microphone) -- an option to start tomorrow?

DUSTY BAKER: We're talking about it.

Q. How does the rain-out -- do you think it benefits you guys in any way after a long game, maybe bull-pen-wise to reset?

DUSTY BAKER: Not really. If anything, I really appreciate the swiftness that they -- that the league office, you know, made this decision, and so that gives us time to do whatever you got to do. You know, it gives both sides a chance -- another chance at resting their bullpen, but, you know, we'll see the affects of it tomorrow.

I just -- I just didn't relish the fact from being so long in Chicago that, you know, you can have extremely long rain delays, and hours of sitting around, you know, here waiting to play, so I think this is a good decision by the league.

Q. Dusty, is managing now more difficult because of social media than it was in 1993 when you started out in the Major Leagues, and, you know, the scrutiny of a manager having to stand up and take a pitcher out with the 2-0 count, it's been done before, and it's been done up and down. You don't throw the ball, but --


Q. I wonder what your thoughts are on that.

DUSTY BAKER: My thoughts are I imagine the scrutiny is out there. I don't have -- I don't participate in social media, you know, because there are a lot of people out there that think they can do my job, I'm sure. Taking a pitcher out in a 2-0 count, I mean, I saw Frank Robinson do it back in 1984, and the way things were going, a walk, a home run, to back-to-back hits, hard-hit balls. You know, I do what I got to do to try to put my team in a position to win, you know, and so if I left him in there and he walked him and then the next guy hits a slam, now I got to go get him, then you left him in there too long. Unless it works out, unless things work out, you either took him out too early or you took him out, you know, too soon.

Q. Dusty, you've managed here obviously in Chicago for the Cubs. What did you think about the White Sox's crowd? Obviously they have not had a game like this in a while. What did you think of the atmosphere?

DUSTY BAKER: That was pretty cool, actually. It was different than Wrigley Field vibe and atmosphere. That's the most people I've ever seen, you know, at this park. And, you you know, if I wasn't playing a game, I would have enjoyed myself being here at this park. I don't know if I have an all black outfit or not, but I would have probably gotten one.

Q. Then one quick one on Tucker. You moved him up, and Carlos yesterday. Is that something you could see moving forward and just what were your thoughts on how that really did work out, obviously, as a positive?

DUSTY BAKER: That's kind of been lost in the mix. I mean, you know, that's something that I have been thinking about. It's something that comes to you sometime in the middle of the night, and, you know, probably it would be a little bit different versus a lefty and a righty, you know, much like -- much like the Cubs used to do when I was here -- not when I was here, but playing against them and Sammy Sosa would bat third, and then Mark Grace, and then sometimes Mark Grace would bat third and then Sammy fourth. It's something you try to do to maximize your -- the personnel that you have and to try to neutralize a left-right matchup that you have to do now with the three-batter minimum.

Q. Dusty, I know you said you're not getting into all the stuff, what Tepera said about the accusations and all, but you've been very protective of your team and of this organization since you got here. How badly do you feel for the players who have had to live through this and now they have to deal with it again in some respects and for the organization as well to have this dredged up?

DUSTY BAKER: They'll probably have to deal with it, you know, forever really because people don't -- you know, people don't forget. You know, they pass along information it seems like seemingly from one generation to the next, and so this is just something that I feel badly, but it's something that we have to deal with, you know, and you got to rise -- you got to rise above it all, and, you know, most of these guys weren't even here when this happened, so this doesn't even apply to most of them or might not even apply to some of them that are here.

Q. Dusty, obviously, motivation is not an issue in the postseason, but when looking for an edge, you know, Machete has already tweeted about calling this extra motivation. Knowing these guys and this clubhouse how you do, how do you think something like this, a personal jab, will impact them and how they'll use it?

DUSTY BAKER: I haven't heard anybody even talk about it to tell you the truth. You know, he can say what he wants to say. I never even, you know, heard his name before, you know, until we played the White Sox. So, no, man. I'm not bothered at all by it really because, you know, most of my life they've been talking stuff on me anyway, you know what I mean, so let them talk.

Q. All the way in the back, Dusty. But these comments from Tepera and the Sox, are they the first of their kind that you have heard since you have been in this Astros job? Are you aware of a perception that the Astros are particularly good at relaying signs now still?

DUSTY BAKER: I don't know. Maybe you don't know me too good. I don't care nothing about perception. You know what I mean? I care about results, the happiness of my team, and winning baseball games. And there's nothing you can do about perception because perception is whatever you perceive it to be, and so everybody doesn't have the same perception of every situation or everybody's attitude, so it's kind of a waste of my time to even talk about it further. I would appreciate if nobody else would even ask me because I really -- I really don't care, if you haven't noticed.

Q. Is it safe to say that your players, at least the ones that were here from back then kind of --


Q. The players that were on your team -- you weren't here obviously, but the players that were here from back then that are always being booed and harassed, do they kind of thrive on that, or are they used to it, or --

DUSTY BAKER: Not really. I don't know if you ever get used to it, but I don't know if they thrive on it either. Like I said, we don't talk or discuss it because it's a waste of -- it's a waste of time and a waste of energy.

You know, there's too much good stuff in life to have to live your life in the past forever and ever and ever and, you know, how long must you pay for a crime? You know? I don't know. What more can I say other than these guys are -- like I said, I don't think they -- I don't think anybody thrives on it. I mean, everybody thrives on love. They don't thrive on hate or thrive on whatever people are saying. You know, so part of my job here is -- and part of the job of the city of Houston is to at least get love when you are at home. You know what I mean?

I mean, I've been booed at home a number of times, particularly once when I was in L.A. when I first got there. I was booed every day, and then I was booed in Chicago the last couple of years, and that is what hurts when you are booed at home. You know, when you're booed on the road, you don't like it, but it don't hurt, so it's -- it's a totally different feeling.

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