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Reds' Baker ready to join team after hospital stay

CINCINNATI — Reds manager Dusty Baker headed back to Cincinnati on Sunday after spending four days in a Chicago hospital getting treated for an irregular heartbeat.

Baker missed Cincinnati's 6-0 win over the Dodgers on Saturday that clinched the NL Central title. Doctors wanted to keep him one more night to make sure he had fully recovered.

The manager, 63, was allowed to go home Sunday but wasn't expected to attend a night game against the Dodgers at Great American Ball Park.

The Reds are off today, giving Baker a day to rest before the start of a home series against the Brewers.

"I'm managing (Sunday night) and hopefully with the day off (today) and him getting a good, relaxing night at home, (we'll) come back on Tuesday and see how he feels," bench coach Chris Speier said of Baker. "So yeah, it's great news."

Baker's 13-year-old son, Darren, was in the clubhouse without his father.

Baker was hospitalized on Wednesday when the Reds were in Chicago playing the Cubs. He has had an irregular heartbeat for some time. The Reds had hoped he'd be back in time to see the team clinch its second division title in the past three years with Baker as manager.

GM Walt Jocketty texted him when the game ended Saturday night, and the players toasted Baker in the clubhouse before spraying each other with beer and champagne.

CLEMENS SAGA: Roger Clemens hasn't ruled out a return to the majors next season.

Clemens, 50, who made two starts for the Atlantic League's Sugar Land Skeeters this summer in his first pro appearances in five years, has a personal services contract with the Astros and will report to Kissimmee to work with young pitchers. He might do a little more than that, he told the Houston Chronicle.

"I might be going again here in February or something like that," Clemens said. "I'll be throwing. I don't think it's going to be competitive, but you guys know with me, I'm never going to shut the door on anything. Who knows what might happen."

HAMILTON STILL OUT: Rangers manager Ron Washington is still unsure when OF Josh Hamilton will be back in the lineup. Hamilton was not with the team for its weekend series in Seattle. The former AL MVP returned to Texas on Friday for further evaluation of a sinus problem that is affecting his vision.

ATHLETICS: CF Coco Crisp missed his sixth straight game because of conjunctivitis.

CARDINALS: C Yadier Molina, who left Saturday's game with lower-back spasms, felt no stiffness the next morning and hopes to play tonight.

D'BACKS: 3B Chris Johnson left in the second inning after being hit by a pitch from Rockies LHP Jeff Francis. A team trainer checked Johnson's left hand and wrist.

METS: Closer Frank Francisco, who hasn't pitched since Sept. 16 because of inflammation in his right (pitching) elbow, will be unavailable for several more days and could be shut down for the season.

RED SOX: CF Jacoby Ellsbury was scratched from the starting lineup against the Orioles after failing to make it through a pregame throwing session. Ellsbury has missed three games with a left shoulder injury.

Reds' Baker ready to join team after hospital stay 09/23/12 [Last modified: Sunday, September 23, 2012 9:50pm]

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