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October 23, 2022

Dusty Baker

New York, New York, USA

Yankee Stadium

Houston Astros

Pregame 4 Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with questions for Dusty.

Q. What have you been told about the weather? And just given McCullers' history and his injury history, how detrimental could that be if you have to start him and then get in a delay and something happens like that?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, we'll kind of worry about that when we get there because we can't do a whole bunch about the weather. If that happens, it just depends on how long the rain delay is and all the circumstances.

Q. In a situation like this, is MLB coming to you with information or are you seeking it out? Are the players coming to you? Can you explain what this process is, obviously not being at home?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, we have a meeting with the league in about 45 minutes to go over the situation, go over the weather. Eduardo PĂ©rez, while he was in my office he called Jim Cantore, you know, who I respect a lot and watch the Weather Channel all the time, so what Cantore says, I believe.

Q. What did he say?

DUSTY BAKER: Can't tell you. (Laughing.)

Q. You've been here for three years. What do you say about the organization as great players have left, like Correa and Springer, and you lost Verlander to injury, Charlie Morton, and they keep running really good players back through the organization, even before your time, to keep this team fresh and winning.

DUSTY BAKER: Well, I'm hoping that, I mean, my presence here has been about continuing the process and enhancing the organization. I would like to think that most places that I've been I left the organization in better shape than when I got there. So it's a mindset. Some of the nucleus is still here. Some of the guys have taken over a more leadership role than they had before. Most of these guys were leaders where they came from. It's just that somebody else was leading in the process.

So we have some great guys here. They accept the young. They teach the young. They show the young on how to play the game and how to go about your business. It's a very exciting time for me and the organization. And also these guys have come to expect winning. Winning breeds winning.

Q. There was also a time here when Bregman and some of the English-speaking guys in the organization were learning Spanish so they could converse with the Latin players on the team. Is that continuing? Is that kind of spirit still there?

DUSTY BAKER: Yeah, it's still there. I think it would behoove most people to learn how to speak Spanish because of the amount of Spanish-speaking people that we have in baseball. I don't know the exact numbers, but I would imagine it's somewhere probably around 40 percent.

Q. About 35 percent.

DUSTY BAKER: About 35 percent. So it's here to stay. The guys accept, like I said the other day, guys accept listening to salsa, merengue, but also the Latin guys accept, I know Framber told me he likes 50 Cent. And so 50 Cent came on last night during the game and I looked down at Framber and he started singing some 50 Cent.

So that's what kind of makes the world go around for us accept each other's cultures and take a person for who he is and not where he's from.

Q. Question on Justin Verlander for you. Since this was your first year as his manager really being able to watch him pitch regularly, be around him regularly after his surgery, what did you learn about him that you maybe didn't know previously?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, he's highly competitive. He is a great team guy. I've been familiar with him through Jim Leyland years ago because he was one of Leyland's favorites, and Leyland had told me quite a bit about him. I mean, he loves to pitch. He loves it. He has the enthusiasm of a very young player but the mindset and knowledge and wisdom of an experienced veteran.

Q. I haven't heard anything today about Gary Pettis. Do you have any update on how he's doing?

DUSTY BAKER: Yeah, he's doing great. He's doing a lot better. So he should be able to join us when we get back home.

Q. Curious about Yordan. Have you seen the Yankees pitching him differently than the Mariners were early on in that series?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, yeah, this is the same thing kind of happened last year. I think he was the MVP of one series and then had a tough series the next go round. You could tell that they probably said, Hey, man, don't let Yordan beat you. And they're kind of flirting in and out of the strike zone with him. That's where Bregman and the guys behind him really come in.

So, I mean this guy is very similar to probably Judge and Rizzo and Stanton, where you're going to have to pitch him very, very carefully. Because they could win the game by themselves.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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