Last season when Dusty Baker and the Houston Astros accomplished their mission and took home the World Series Championship, it was more than the franchise’s first title since 2017. It was a clearing of a dark cloud and cleansing of a reputation.
Dusty Baker was not the manager of the 2017 team that was caught in a cheating scandal that rocked the sport and stained championship history.
His leadership brought back a reasonable level of respect that eliminated the “asterisk” from any sentence containing Houston Astros and World Series for the time being.
Baker became the third Black manager in MLB history to win a World Series. Cito Gaston (Toronto Blue Jays) and Dave Roberts (Los Angeles Dodgers) being the others.
Now the question is…How does Dusty Baker’s resume stack up in the annals of MLB history if the Astros win the World Series again?
Based on what has happened throughout the course of the season and the latest of current events, if the MLBbro manager does pull it off, it would be content for a baseball reality series or documentary. Dusty Baker has been criticized heavily for peculiar lineups. Now when it comes to Astros outfielder, Chas McCormick, the criticism goes past the media and fans to members of some within the organization.
An article from The Athletic’s Chandler Rome last week details some reasons for Baker not playing one of the Astros’ top players with weight being one of them.
The lack of consistency of McCormick in the lineup being spotlighted has Dusty speaking out before the weekend…
“As far as my not liking Chas, I don’t understand where that’s coming from at all,” Baker said. “It’s caused kind of a (expletive deleted) out there which is unnecessary, totally unnecessary. It seems like if somebody has something against me, they ought to use it against me and not use my players against me. That is so wrong.
As far as Chas not playing, you can ask Chas, I told him before he got hurt ‘Chas you can have this job if you want it. I’m not going to give it to you but if you want this job you can take it.’ Then he got hurt. He was out 20 days. Twenty days. Imagine how many more at-bats he’d have then.
He played he’s played 42 out of 50 games, that’s one day off a week, every seven days. That’s a lot of playing. I pride myself in putting guys in a situation where they will most likely succeed — offensively, defensively.
I take care of my guys and I appreciate if people would stop trying to help me manage because I think I know what I’m doing. I take care of my players the same way they take care of me.”
McCormick to his credit has not added to the fire. He’s been a professional and plays when he’s called upon.
“Right now, we’re OK. It’s really all about winning each game here on out (with) no distractions. We’re good,” McCormick said.
If that is the case, McCormick should be good with the Astros back at the top of the American League West as of this writing with a 82-63 record, two games ahead of the Texas Rangers.
Dusty Baker is facing a challenge that shouldn’t happen to a reigning World Series championship manager. The Astros have battled injuries, a rotating door of pitchers in and out of the lineup, social media managers, media leaks and an organization questioning lineup decisions only to be in first place in the division.
Our MLBbro manager will be entering the postseason with an expiring contract for the third year in a row after Baker signed a one-year extension in November. With contract negotiations likely starting at the end of the season, this is probably the strangest of situations for any manager with as successful a run as Dusty Baker. Is it unfair? It’s debatable. If Baker does win back-to-back World Series, he will accomplish a feat that almost never happens.
But no matter what the future holds, using the World Series platform last year being the ONLY MLBbro representative in the Fall Classic to call out the lack of diversity in the sport will always show Dusty Baker for who he is…the best this sport has to offer in terms of being a baseball lifer…