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October 19, 2021

Dusty Baker

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Fenway Park

Houston Astros

Pregame 4 Press Conference

Q. What happened to Jake Meyers?

DUSTY BAKER: Nothing. Just decided he wasn't quite ready yet, so I made the switch.

Q. Is he available to play?


Q. What has led you to believe that he is not ready yet? Because he has taken outfield and looked good. What has led you to believe that he is not ready to play yet?

DUSTY BAKER: Who said he looked good?

Q. I didn't mean --

DUSTY BAKER: He looked good, but not himself yet.

Q. You kind of talked to us last night about maybe just letting the team -- giving them some space. What's your sense of their willingness to kind of get back to what you guys do well and give yourself a chance to get back into this series?

DUSTY BAKER: It starts with your starting pitching, and we have full confidence. Sometimes you go through bad streaks. It's more publicized now and more to the forefront because you're in the playoffs, and some things that happened adversely against us, and they've capitalized on it.

So this isn't a team that worries. Last year, I can tell you, we were 0-3, and then I talked to some other guys in other years, they were 0-2 or they were 0-2 a couple of times. This team knows how to come back. They don't carry a bad game into today's game. I mean, these guys are professionals. They don't worry. They're very, very confident.

Q. Do you know who is going to start for you tomorrow yet?

DUSTY BAKER: No. Depends on who we use today.

Q. Is Framber Valdez available out of the bullpen today?


Q. What about Luis GarcĂ­a?


Q. Last night Eduardo Rodriguez kind of had fun with Correa, the "it's my team" after getting Correa out in the sixth. I don't know if you saw Cora scolded Rodriguez. Carlos Correa said he is fine with it all. Just wondered if you had an opinion about the styling and the stuff that Carlos did and Rodriguez going back and forth, I guess?

DUSTY BAKER: Hey, man, I'm past an opinion. Stuff that goes on today that both sides do, I mean, back in my day you would have been probably pushing up daisies somewhere, you know what I mean? It's a new world, new day. There's branding. There's -- I don't know. I got a 22-year-old son. I try to get on him about, act like you have been there before, but, I mean, nobody seems to matter. So, I mean, what's my opinion? I'm not going to -- it's too late for me to change the world.

Q. With all the talk about Correa's future, which you have discussed many times, but I'm just wondering, his clubhouse presence, the leadership, that seems to be one of those things you almost can't put a value on, and you can replace on-field production, you can do this and that, but his presence has just almost become invaluable for you guys these last couple of seasons, I would imagine.

DUSTY BAKER: Yeah, it was valuable before I got here. I just heard about it. A lot of people want to lead, but how many people want to follow those that want to lead? You know, a real leader doesn't really have to say "follow me." People just follow them, and I remember when I was with the Giants, I was trying -- my first year there I was trying to determine who the real leaders on the team were, and you would hope that your best players are your leaders, but most of the time it's not like that. I invited Robby Thompson and Willie McGee to go see a tennis tournament at the Princess Hotel, and so I told them to ride together. Willie was new to the team, and I invited them simply because when I was noticing on the field Robby Thompson was at second base by himself, and then within minutes there were probably five or six guys there, and Willie McGee was in right field by himself, and within a few minutes there was five or six more guys there. That told me right there that leaders are not -- I never had a captain. Leaders are not appointed. They're anointed by their teammates.

Q. So much has obviously been made of your pitching, but how imperative and how nice would it be for the top three in your order to kind of start coming around a little bit and really maybe put some pressure on the Red Sox as opposed to vice versa?

DUSTY BAKER: Yeah, I mean, that would be wonderful. I invite that starting today. And one thing for sure, the longer we play, the more the cream rises to the top.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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