CINCINNATI -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke had a brief telephone conversation Tuesday with his Reds counterpart and onetime mentor, Dusty Baker, who had just released a statement revealing he suffered a "mini-stroke" last week in Chicago. Baker has improved dramatically since then, according to the Reds, but will not manage until the team's final regular-season series at the earliest. "He sounded great," said Roenicke, who had texted Baker several days earlier to wish him well.
The two go way back to the late 1970s, when Roenicke was a young Dodgers prospect and Baker was in his prime. Roenicke said Baker, outfielder Rick Monday and reliever Terry Forster were particularly influential when Roenicke broke into the Major Leagues in 1981. Now, they manage in the same division. Roenicke is well aware of the stresses that come with a job Baker has held since 1993. "He's been doing it a long time, he's got a great temperament for it, the players enjoy playing for him," Roenicke said. "So, for him, it's certainly not as stressful as for some other people." Roenicke said he takes his own diet and exercise seriously, and he is actually five pounds lighter today than at his Major League playing weight. Will the Reds miss a beat? "It's hard on the guys," Roenicke said. "They like 'Bake,' and he's part of what you do. When you don't have that part around, it's different. Hopefully, he'll get back and be fine at the end, and he'll be able to take them into the playoffs."