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October 21, 2021

Dusty Baker

Houston, Texas, USA

Minute Maid Park

Houston Astros

Workout Day Press Conference

Q. Dusty, you know who you are starting tomorrow?

DUSTY BAKER: Yes. GarcĂ­a.

Q. What mechanical adjustments has he made to ensure that his knee is not going to bother him again?

DUSTY BAKER: I can't tell you that. I know you guys are in need of information. We just can't tell you everything. We'll let you know after the game.

Q. I guess what's your confidence level that he is 100% health-wise?

DUSTY BAKER: I mean, all I can do is go on his word, go on the trainer's word, and go on Strommy's word. They said that he didn't feel anything. Now, by that I mean -- like, I try to tell our guys to come clean with me 100%. Most athletes, they're going to say I'm doing good even when they're not, but you can usually sense, see a wince on one of their faces after a pitch or whatever. I just hope whatever adjustment that they made that he is not thinking through the act of pitching while he is making his adjustment. Things have to be so natural that you're not thinking about it.

Q. I wonder, when it's a close-out game, do you approach anything differently? Are there different, I don't know, things you do whenever you know that you're just one win away from ending a series?

DUSTY BAKER: No. You just play. You know, you let them play. You don't put any extra pressure on them. Like you probably have a little shorter leash than you ordinarily would. Whoever is pitching, unless it's one of your top dogs or unless, you know, like you got Cy Young candidate or something, you probably just have a little shorter leash and just let them play.

Q. Is Odorizzi available in long relief if needed?

DUSTY BAKER: Yes. Yes, he is.

Q. Can you characterize the mood of the guys on the charter coming home, and what was that like, and what advice do you have for them?

DUSTY BAKER: No, I don't have any advice for them. These guys have been through it before. Like I said, people talk too much sometimes, and people meet too much. Everybody wants to know what you are going to tell them. I'm just going to say, go play. You know what I mean? Sometimes you got to get out of the way and just let them play versus always telling them something or talking to them. Like, I talk to them when I think they need it or I talk to them individually or I talk to the pitcher separately or I talk to the catcher separately.

I used to be, but I'm not a big meeting guy because -- I don't know if you have any kids, half the time they shut you out. You are actually reaching half of them, so that's why I try to break it down in different groups. I think it's easier to talk to different groups.

The mood, I mean, it was cool. We had the wives and a lot of little babies and stuff. Then after a while everybody is just trying to sleep because we got in at 3:00 in the morning. I mean, we know what we got to do, and we're thankful to be in this position.

Q. Isn't this what you live for?

DUSTY BAKER: Yeah. One of the things I live for. You know, mostly I live for my family first, you know what I mean, and then I live for God first and then I live for my family and then for my team and my job.

Q. Has Lance started throwing?


Q. Do you anticipate that he would be able to start throwing in the next day or so?

DUSTY BAKER: Probably not. There's no change.

Q. In Chicago when I asked you about the other division series, you said you were locked in on your Joe's Stone Crab, so I hesitate to ask you about the other Championship Series, but what's your take-away, and when do you start worrying about that National League?

DUSTY BAKER: I don't worry about nothing really, to tell you the truth. One of the hardest things to do in life is to accept what's given to you, and so when I get through today -- like, we haven't been able to watch really portions of games because they overlap. You know, last night our game wasn't over, and then Atlanta had started already, and then we got on the plane. We got this fancy plane, man. It is, like, fancy, fancy, fancy. It's international, except we can't get network TV. So all the guys are, like, man, it's a great plane, but, man, we want to see the games, because it would have been perfect. You got three and a half hours to kick back. It's one of those seats that you can lay all the way down. You can see a lot of movies, but you can't see games.

So this afternoon I'm going to go home, I'm going to get some Filipino food. My wife and son are here. Kick back and watch the game and scout. That's where I do my own scouting. We have scouts, and then when I watch games. I mean, I enjoy watching games, and maybe I can pick up something to help us win.

Every time I talk to you, I'm going to go get some food. I just thought about that, huh?

Q. I'm waiting for the invite, Coach. We got stone crabs and Filipino food. What's it going to take?

DUSTY BAKER: All right, man.

Q. Dusty, what's the value of having a guy like Jose Siri with his energy and enthusiasm on a team like yours that has just so many older veterans and people that have been there? Just seeing that kind of newness that he is experiencing with y'all.

DUSTY BAKER: Like I said, it's like having children. They give me energy. They crack you up. I got on him last night. He almost ran me over. Was that last night or the night before? Going out to celebrate somebody with a home run. He goes, oh, no, I didn't do that. Yes, you did. I mean, we love having the guy around, and, plus, he can play, and he is only going to get better. He has only scratched the surface on what he can do. There's nothing on the field he can't do except he just needs to play some more and get more experience.

Q. Is there any update on Jake Meyers, and do you realistically expect him to play at all in this series?

DUSTY BAKER: Probably not play the field, no. He might pinch-run, pinch-hit if needed, where he may not have to go out and play the field unless it's just an emergency or maybe even left field because it's not a very far throw for him.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Dusty.

DUSTY BAKER: What about Metamucil?

Q. I can ask another one if you want.

DUSTY BAKER: No, because I take it every morning. You know what I mean?

Q. You know, back in the day that's how old I am, we used to ride with the Astros on the team charters, and so we had an idea of what the mood was on the charters. That's why I was asking.

DUSTY BAKER: Right. I got you. Hey, I was there too. We used to hang out and party with you guys, and it was fun. What happened off the field stayed off the field. I guess those were the days, I guess.

Q. Deacon Jones used to do a radio show at 35,000 feet.

DUSTY BAKER: I just talked to Deac two days ago. He was in the hospital, so he said he is doing good. Doing fine.

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