Report: Dusty Baker hired to manage the Astros

  • In Sports
  • 2020-01-28 16:10:14Z
  • By NBC Sports

Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting that Dusty Baker has been hired to be the new manager of the Houston Astros. The report has not yet been confirmed by the club.

Baker recently interviewed with Astros owner Jim Crane who, as you know, was in the position of having to find a new manager on the quick given the suspension and subsequent firing of A.J. Hinch in the wake of the Astros' sign-stealing scandal. Crane also interviewed Brad Ausmus in recent days.

In Baker the Astros are getting a manager who needs no training and needs no introduction. He has won basically everywhere he has managed, taking the Giants to the World Series in three postseason appearances, taking the Cubs to the postseason once, taking the Reds to the postseason three times and taking the Nationals to the postseason in both years at the helm. In 22 years as a skipper he has a record of 1,863-1,636. His worst single-team winning percentage is .497 with the Cubs. He was a .593 manager in Washington, a .540 manager in San Francisco, and a .524 manager in Cincinnati.

Baker has a track record of taking over poor-to-decent clubs and, almost immediately, making them winners. He did it in Washington, he did it in Cincinnati, he did it in San Francisco and, though it was only in his first season before running into some bad years, he even did it in Chicago. No one has the market cornered on assessing manager skill and quality, but the fact that Baker has won everywhere he's gone probably means that, if they do eventually figure out what the special sauce is, Baker will be found to have possessed a vat of it.

He certainly has an interesting challenge in Houston. Unlike his past gigs, he's taking over a monster of a team, winners of 107 games and the AL pennant last year and, of course, winning the 2017 World Series. With the exception of Gerrit Cole, who departed via free agency, basically all of the players who took the Nationals to Game 7 of the 2019 World Series will be back in 2020.

Which makes figuring out the expectations we should have for Baker an interesting thing. On the one hand, when a team loses Game 7 of the World Series like the Astros did, all but one outcome is a step back. Given that winning a World Series is no guarantee, ever, there's a chance that even if Baker does an amazing job in Houston he ends his tenure being cast, again, as some sort of disappointment. A guy who couldn't get it done in the postseason.

On the other hand the Astros have just been busted in a massive cheating scandal and - if you believe they were still cheating in 2019, which some do believe - they will have lost an advantage they once had. Between that, the departure of Cole and the overall fallout of the sign-stealing scandal and the scrutiny under which the team will be in 2020, it would not be at all shocking if they take a step back regardless of who was hired to manage. Which means that if Baker does win it all with Houston, man, it'd be a hell of an accomplishment. Or he could fall short of a World Series win and still be considered a massive success by virtue of keeping a team with every reason to be distracted to stay focused and play good baseball.

No matter how this plays out on the field, however, the fact of the matter is that, in addition to winning everyplace he's ever been, Baker has long been praised for his management of the clubhouse. For motivating players and keeping them on an even keel. For bringing calm to places where one might expect storms. Win or lose, that's exactly what this team needs right now. It's exactly why, in our view, Baker is the perfect hire for the Houston Astros.


More Related News

Reddick says he, teammates have received death threats
Reddick says he, teammates have received death threats

On the day Houston outfielder Josh Reddick said he and other players have received death threats in the wake of the team's sign-stealing scandal, union head Tony Clark said safety had become an issue for some of his members. ''There are undoubtedly concerns out there based on some of the

MLB 2020 odds and American League West win total predictions: What to do with the Astros?
MLB 2020 odds and American League West win total predictions: What to do with the Astros?

The sign-stealing scandal has impacted the Houston Astros MLB odds, with their season win total set at 94.5. The rest of the American League West will be out for blood, which could provide some added MLB betting value in the division. Andrew Caley previews the AL West and gives his MLB picks for each

Giancarlo Stanton says he
Giancarlo Stanton says he'd hit "80-plus" homers if he knew what pitch was coming

Stanton also believes that the Astros' 2017 title should be taken away

Stanton: I would have hit 80-plus homers if I knew pitches
Stanton: I would have hit 80-plus homers if I knew pitches

New York Yankees star Giancarlo Stanton imagined having the advantage the Houston Astros gained in their scam. Stanton agreed with teammate Aaron Judge that the Astros should be stripped of their 2017 World Series title and that they kept on cheating during the 2019 season. Major League Baseball concluded

The Astros are leaning into the role of villain
The Astros are leaning into the role of villain

Josh Reddick: "At some point, you have to move on and not give a s***"

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


  • slotxo
    (2020-01-29 10:00:04Z)

    Make money easily, just come to play the game with us. Click slotxo


Top News: Sports