With Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale healthy and dealing, the Red Sox were poised to steal game one and take control of the American League Championship Series.
However, the Astros 72-year-old maestro behind the mask with his rubber gloves on remained calm and his team showed that same poise until the AL’s best offense got it’s ALCS legs under them.
Dusty Baker’s cool transcends the Houston Astros clubhouse and the dugout.
On a night when the tone of the entire series could have shifted to New England, MLB’s new O.G. channeled his inner Tracy Morgan and his team rewarded him with a 5-4 comeback win in Game 1 of the ALDS, keeping home field with a big win in the series opener.
— Houston Astros (@astros) October 16, 2021
The complexion of the series hasn’t changed after one game. But there was a moment that may come to personify what the Astros are about and how Baker continues to stroke their brilliance as he manipulates his lineup card.
During his interview with Fox TV’s broadcast team (Joe Buck and John Smoltz) Baker could’ve lost it.
In the top of the third inning, while Baker was wearing a headset on the top step of the dugout in the midst of an answer, Red Sox center fielder Kiké Hernández jacked the first of his two homers.
Dusty knew it was gone that very second from Kiki Hernandez pic.twitter.com/t2W2JkM1iv
— TWDTV (@TWDTV1) October 16, 2021
As the game-tying shot began towering over the center field wall there was a glimpse of the demeanor that gives the Astros their swag which now has them within three games of another pennant.
His words in the moment without any provocation during what could’ve become one of MLB’s most embarrassing moments was simply, “oh God” to the live national TV audience.
Dusty could have flipped his lid. Instead, the O.G. was eloquent in the moment and recalled how he remained cool in it after the game.
“It was awful,” Baker said in the post game press conference. “I blame Fox for that. When you’re doing live interviews something invariably happens. It’s not a good feeling when you know you’re live on air and you see that ball leaving the ballpark.”
Baker was calm and that gave the Astros confidence which was as important as any managerial decision that was made in Game 1.
He didn’t flinch after a Jose Altuve’ error and was rewarded when the all-star second baseman responded with his 20th career postseason big fly in the sixth inning.
Perhaps the Astros are channelling the Digable Planets in a town where NASA monitors what’s going on in the heavens.
Baker has helped in the rebirth of cool that won them a division title, helped them advance through the wildcard round, and has them trending towards a return to the World Series.
Dusty is just cool like that, and so is his team!