Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker back after missing 5 games with COVID-19

HOUSTON — Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker returned to the finals of a series against the Texas Rangers on Thursday after being absent for five games after testing positive for COVID-19.

Baker, 73, said he never felt ill and had only mild symptoms, which he attributed to seasonal allergies, before testing positive.

“I’m very happy that I had both my recordings and the two boosters,” he said. “So I really hope everyone goes and gets the shots and boosters because if you get (COVID-19) hopefully it’s mild like mine.”

Baker tested positive on Friday while the team was on a road trip in Cleveland. He isolated himself in his hotel room all weekend and did not return to Houston with the team on Sunday night.

He returned to Houston on a private jet Monday but was not allowed to return to the shelter until Thursday.

First, Baker welcomed the rest amid a hectic season that saw him not getting any time off during the All-Star hiatus because he was the manager of the AL roster. But after a few days boredom set in.

“I’ve been listening to music, watching TV, on the phone and researching things all day,” he said. “I’m not bored, but after five or six days you want to get out of here.”

He kept up with the team by watching games on TV and being in constant contact with bench coach Joe Espada, who managed the team in his absence. He didn’t see one game – Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Cleveland – because it was being broadcast on NBC’s streaming service, Peacock, and he didn’t know how to watch it from his hotel room.

He wasn’t so mad about it, however, because he used the extra time to watch a Bob Marley documentary on Netflix while watching the game on his phone.

“It was a pretty good afternoon,” he said, adding that he’s seen the great late reggae in concert twice, including once in Jamaica.

Baker said he’s never been as concerned about testing positive despite being in a high-risk age group.

“Not really, because I didn’t feel anything,” he said. “And I’ve always waited to feel something.”

The Astros, who started Thursday 71-41 with the Yankees for the best record in the American League, went 2/3 while Baker was out.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34384198/houston-astros-manager-dusty-baker-back-missing-5-games-covid-19 Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker back after missing 5 games with COVID-19

Emma Bowman

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