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Reds' Baker just happy to have health back

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Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker laughs before Game 1 of the National League Division Series between the Giants and the Cincinnati Reds. - ERIC RISBERG/AP
  • Eric Risberg/AP
  • Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker laughs before Game 1 of the National League Division Series between the Giants and the Cincinnati Reds.

Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker received a standing ovation when introduced to the crowd at AT&T Park before Saturday’s playoff opener. Baker managed the Giants from 1993 to 2002, finishing his run here with a trip to the World Series.

Baker said he still has fond memories of making the move from Candlestick Park to the shores of McCovey Cove before the 2000 season.

“We helped put some bricks in this thing,” he said. “We came over from Candlestick when the new stadium was built. It means a lot to us. It looks the same, it’s been well-preserved. Any time you come back to your old home it means a lot.”

Baker was hospitalized with an irregular heartbeat and mini-stroke and was in the hospital when the Reds clinched the a playoff spot and the NL Central, but said his health is fine now, and that he gained some perspective while in the hospital.

“You appreciate everything you have,” he said. “You appreciate family, the moon, the trees, birds, everything. You realize how beautiful life really is. Sometimes you complain about things you really shouldn’t complain about.”

After managing the Chicago Cubs from 2003 to 2006, Baker took the helm in Cincinnati in 2008.