"It wasn't scary," Baker said of the mini-stroke, "because I didn't feel like it was my time to go. "To be in the hospital when you have a mini-stroke, you know, you can't get any more blessed than that. The best sign to Baker is he suffered the mini-stroke in a hospital, noting he could have been driving on a highway or on an airplane if it had happened a few minutes later. The combination of an irregular heartbeat and subsequent mini-stroke might be seen as a too-close-for-comfort glimpse of mortality by some, but Baker didn't see it that way. "It wasn't scary, because I didn't feel like it was my time to go," Baker said. "I always had a pretty good perspective on things, but now it just makes me feel more appreciative of what I'm doing, it makes me more appreciative about my family, and I feel truly blessed," Baker said, in a pregame session in the Reds' clubhouse. The Reds were 7-4 under bench coach Chris Speier and were tied with the Washington Nationals for the NL's best record at 96-63.ST.
The word that Dusty Baker kept coming back to was "blessed." When Baker returned to his managing role Monday at Busch Stadium he looked fit, he sounded fine, and his perspective on life, which was always solidly positive anyway, was better than ever.