Dusty Baker says network responsible for mid-interview homer against Astros

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HOUSTON — Dusty Baker lived a modern manager’s nightmare on Friday night: Conducting a live TV interview while the opposition dealt his club a crushing blow.

The Houston Astros manager, never a dull conversationalist, was live on Fox when Boston’s Kiké Hernandez crushed a game-tying home run in the top of the third inning. Baker let slip what he considered a mild expletive – “Oh lord” – almost as the ball left Hernandez’s bat and soared into the Minute Maid Park seats.

He had a bad vibe about going on national television at such a crucial juncture in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.

“I blame Fox for that,” Baker said after his team rallied for a 5-4 victory to claim a 1-0 ALCS lead.

“Because invariably,” Baker continued, “when you are doing it live something usually always happens. My mom is watching the game, so – really, I think I said

‘oh, God.’ “

Despite the stakes, Baker, 72, managed to stay calm after Framber Valdez gave up the home run and produced a compelling call-and-response with Fox play-by-play man Joe Buck.

“This ball is up, and out!” Buck said.

“Yeah, way out,” Baker responded.

Buck: “And this game is tied!”

Baker: “He hung a breaking ball, and he usually doesn’t do that.”

Buck: “And Kiké Hernandez is having the week of his life!”

Baker: “I don’t know about the week of his life, but he’s had a pretty good first three innings.”

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker talks with home plate umpire David Rackley during the sixth inning of Game 1 against the Boston Red Sox.

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker talks with home plate umpire David Rackley during the sixth inning of Game 1 against the Boston Red Sox.

Hernandez would add another long home run later, but the Astros hung on for a 5-4 victory – the series lead in hand and Baker’s dignity very much intact, despite an unscripted moment turning against him.

“Yeah, it’s not a good feeling,” says Baker, “when you know you’re live on air and you see that ball leaving the ballpark.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Dusty Baker blames Fox for mid-interview home run against Astros



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