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October 20, 2021

Dusty Baker

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Fenway Park

Houston Astros

Pregame 5 Press Conference

Q. What's the status of Jake Meyers today, and is he any closer to being able to play a bigger role for you guys?

DUSTY BAKER: No. He might be -- you know, he has been trying to test it and test it, so he might be further away than he was a couple of days ago. So, no, he is not any closer.

Q. Why are you going with Siri today? And, well, I guess my other question was going to be you had said Meyers is available to possibly play yesterday, but you put Siri in late in the game, but I guess he wasn't good yesterday?

DUSTY BAKER: No, he wasn't good at all. He was actually worse, and so we just -- it's sort of day to day. We have to make a determination here soon. I'm going with Siri today because Siri hits left-handers better than McCormick. Meyers usually plays -- I mean, Danielle, you've been with me, Meyers usually plays against lefties. McCormick usually plays against some righties, depending on my opinion of the matchups. I'm going with Siri because this big ballpark here, he hits lefties good, and that was the best option that I have.

Q. Given how taxed your pitching staff is and, I mean, you've got three or four fresh arms on your taxi squad, are you considering removing Meyers and adding a pitcher just to help you guys get through these next three games?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, we can't.

Q. It has to be a position player?

DUSTY BAKER: We found out that you can't because it's not a new injury, it's an existing injury.

Q. So you guys included him on the roster, obviously, because you thought he could contribute in the series.


Q. He has had a setback since?


Q. Dusty, after a game last night and, obviously, you've been doing this for a long time. I'm just wondering after a game last night, how long does it take you when you get back to the hotel or whatever to kind of settle in, settle down, let all the adrenaline kind of get out and actually let that one go, or are you still riding off of it?

DUSTY BAKER: No, not really. I usually have one Scotch and go to sleep, you know, and I can go to sleep quicker than any manager you've ever seen because my wife, she tells me I can go to sleep in the middle of a conversation.

I don't have any insomnia problems, but I am a mid-sleep insomniac, which I was diagnosed by a friend of mine who is a clinical psychologist. I wake up in the middle of the night. I can go to sleep in 30 seconds, but then 3:00, 3:30 in the morning my brain wakes me up with line-up changes or thoughts that I have to say to somebody or something. I always keep a pencil or pen by my bed and a piece of paper and write it down or else I'll forget some of those great thoughts that I had in the middle of the night when I should be asleep.

Q. What has it been like to have Reggie Jackson around this year, around the guys just giving --

DUSTY BAKER: It's been good. It's been real good. Any time you can add a great mind, and Reggie is a smart man, and he knows when to back off and he has pretty good idea when to go forward. So, yeah, it's been good.

Q. Have you forgiven him yet for the hip block in '78?

DUSTY BAKER: I don't carry that. That was a smart move. I hadn't seen that move since, other than when we played the White Sox, Grandal said he didn't do it.

Q. Dusty, what will you look for from Framber to see that he is on his game?

DUSTY BAKER: Probably command and control, and if he has his -- if he is not forcing his breaking ball early, if he is getting his breaking ball over, and that's the key to almost any pitcher. If they are getting their breaking ball over early and if he is throwing ground balls. I think he led the league and the world in ground ball outs, and so if all that is working, then Framber is extremely tough.

Q. Dusty, given what's been going on with your starters, going all the way back so many years in baseball as a player and then your first few years as a manager, it was usually your starter, you count on him to take you fairly deep in the game and now all these years later you're piecing it together, I think, is how you have put it. How has it been for you to adapt to that so many decades, going so far back, and adapting to where you are now managing the game the way it's managed now?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, you have to adapt. You have to adapt or else you don't have a job, you know, and it's part of life.

Now, with the amount of injuries that I see relievers having, I see it adapting back not as far back as it was, but the importance is still on the starters. The deeper they go, the easier it is on your bullpen. Just because things have changed, that doesn't make it right. I mean, you see how many relievers go on the IL or how many relievers that they kind of use and then you got to replace them with somebody, and so are there enough relievers to go around?

I don't really think it's fair for the relievers that are getting hurt that have spent all their whole life trying to get to the Big Leagues that you're hurt in a couple of years and never really get to the salary and the time that you are trying to get to.

So I see it returning. I don't know if it will go all the way back to eight, nine innings. Every once in a while you see that, if it's a low pitch count inning. The third time around, I mean, that's part of the challenge of pitching to me. You know, if you are going to make the adjustments and continue to pitch.

Q. I just wanted to follow up one more. With all that's going on, how important has Cristian been. 7 2/3, no runs this postseason. Especially last night. How important has he been?

DUSTY BAKER: Oh, man, that's super important because then you don't have to use three or four guys. The only problem is that when they go that far, are they available -- when is the next time available? They're you almost need two Cristians on your team that are -- two long men that are capable of going with quality, which is hard to have because one of them is going to probably be a starter sometime along the way. He will probably be a starter in his future too.

Q. Do you know who you'll start in Game 6?

DUSTY BAKER: No, not yet.

Q. And then how is Odorizzi doing after his appearance in Game 2? When do you think he may be available to you?

DUSTY BAKER: He could probably be available more than likely when we get home in one of those games there because we'll probably need him, especially if Cristian is not, you know, available in Game 6 or 7. I mean, we'll see. He would probably be available in Game 7, not sure about Game 6.

Q. Dusty, when you guys clinched in Chicago for the ALDS, you had some of your family with you, and you were able to enjoy that with them. You mention your wife a lot. How are you able to at this stage of your career keep your family around and rely on them, be able to still enjoy that part of your life, but, obviously, you have a job to do at the same time?

DUSTY BAKER: They weren't around much this season because my wife -- I'm kind of second or third down the list now. You know what I mean? I start out as number one, but my wife was following my son, who just signed with the Nationals. So, yeah, like I tell most people, you know, we're kind of like school teachers. You work a lot when you work, but how many people have three or almost four months off in a row?

When you marry a baseball player, you kind of marry baseball too, you know what I mean, and the wife takes up a lot of the responsibility of going to Little League games and going around the country with your kid, if your kid is a ballplayer. And I remember Ken Griffey Jr., I saw something when he said his mom was kind of like mom and dad for most of his life because Dad was out working, out bringing the bacon home, for lack of a better word. And like my Dad told me, nothing comes to the house but bills, so you got to go out and work.

Q. What's your opinion about Alex Cora as a manager being so successful so quickly? Won a World Series in 2018 with no experience. You as a manager, veteran manager, could you put in words that opinion?

DUSTY BAKER: When I started, I didn't have any experience either other than the Fall League. If you know baseball, you know baseball. He was a player. He was around quite a few players that he learned from. I don't know if he managed in winter ball or not, but, I mean, that's the trend in baseball now. You don't have to have as much experience, but you have to have baseball knowledge.

You know, he has been successful, but we're going to try to stand in the way of his immediate success.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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