Dusty Baker didn’t know the secret handshake needed to get into Yankee Stadium. Fortunately, someone came along who recognized him.
“It’s hard to get in this bad boy,” Baker said Friday before his Reds took on the Yankees. “Some guy asked me today, `Could I help you?’ I was in the front, trying to get in. I said, `Yeah. I’m here for the game.’ He goes, `The gates aren’t open yet.”‘
“I said, `OK, man. I’m the manager,”‘ Baker explained.
“The baseball team.”
“Yeah, what’s your name?”
Nope, try again.
“He didn’t know,” Baker said. “I didn’t wait long. Another guy came over. He recognized me. And this other guy apologized. He said, `I’m sorry, man. He didn’t know.”‘
Baker took the slight delay in stride and entered the park. As for whether all of his players are accounted for, that’s still unclear. Earlier this week, with the Reds taking on the Mets, one of the team’s players, whose identity Baker was unwilling to reveal, ended up taking a cab to Yankee Stadium, instead of Citi Field, prior to a game.
Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.
Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.
With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.