Dusty Baker in as Astros Manager
The Astros are ready to put the cheating scandal behind them.
After the firing of manager A.J. Hinch, the team needed a new manager and they needed one fast. A lot of the big names in managing (Joe Girardi and Joe Maddon in particular) got snapped up by teams (Phillies and Angels) before the scandal saw the Astros, Red Sox, and Mets needing new skippers, so they turned to beloved veteran manager Dusty Baker.
Baker, now age 70, played for 19 years in the majors through the late 1960’s – 1980’s, and went on to manage for 22 years. In his time as a manager, he was with the Giants, Cubs, Reds, and finally the Nationals. A three-time NL Manager of the year while with the Giants (1993, 1997, 2000), he has a managerial record with all four of his teams of 1,863 wins and 1,636 losses. He’s not very successful when it comes to the post season, but he’s got a lot of experience leading his teams to get there. He led the Giants to the World Series in 2002, where they lost to the Angels. But his most notorious post season series loss came by way of the Cubs losing the NLCS in 2003 (probably) due to the Steve Bartman incident.
How Houston coaxed Baker out of retirement is beyond me, but the move was a smart one as they move forward and try to rebuild their reputation. Much of the talent is still there from their now-tarnished 2017 World Series team, and they still have most of their 2019 AL Championship team (minus Gerrit Cole). With the right manager in place, they will be trying to prove that they are good enough to win without the aid of a high-tech system alerting them to the pitches coming at them.
The Astros have yet to find a new general manager after also firing Jeff Luhnow as a result of the sign-stealing scandal.