The Houston Astros are reportedly set to hire Dusty Baker as its 24th manager. Although the decision is sound, he must be able to adapt to today’s era. Why?
The Houston Astros have been deep in their managerial search since the firings of AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow a few weeks back on the heels of a sultry sign-stealing scandal that has rocked the baseball world to no end.
Houston Astros‘ owner Jim Crane had to make the move to fire both because the organization needed to heal from the wounds from such a wild allegation that has actually turned out true and held it’s top two leaders accountable for the actions that occurred, even though both weren’t reportedly aware of what was going on.
So the Houston Astros have brought in a variety of candidates to interview — or had an interest in — that included Jeff Banister, Brad Ausmus, John Gibbons, Will Venable, Eduardo Perez, Buck Showalter and Mark Kotsay.
Baker hasn’t managed since the 2017 season, when he was the skipper of the Washington Nationals (2016-17) but his storied career and experience will likely serve him well in his new job.
His managerial stops have included the Cincinnati Reds (2008-13), Chicago Cubs (2003-06) and the San Francisco Giants (1993-02), his longest one of his most successful stops to date, which was his first opportunity to manage in the MLB.
There’s no question that Baker is baseball lifer, having a career that has spanned six decades, including nearly two as a talented outfielder.
The biggest question that I have for the 70-year-old Baker is how he’s going to be able to adapt and relate to these players, who are relatively young and are in the prime of their careers.
This team’s success was built on the adage of thinking outside of the box to build a winner and I can’t for sure say if Dusty would want to embrace something like that and continue to be set in his ways.
There’s no question that he will be able to lead this team magnificently, strategize appropriately with each game that passes by but I worry about his longevity, if he’s the guy that’s going to manage this team for the foreseeable future.
Fans will point to his lackluster postseason record, which is definitely a demon that he will have to
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exorcise if he’s to absolve any doubts of his ability to have success in October. There’s no question that this team will be there and he’s got to get it done.
I can’t say that for sure and I’m seeing this hire as temporary, one to calm the troubling waters of the greatest public relations crisis that this franchise has faced.
Most importantly, let me reiterate that I have nothing but tons of respect for Baker but I have to be forthright and say that he’s not the best fit for the guys.
I’m really hoping that he can prove me wrong because one of the most glaring absences on his resume includes not winning a World Series championship. If he can do that, it would be the accentuation to his career and it might be just enough to get him into Cooperstown. But, as you know, it depends on the voters.
Baker has managed nearly 3,000 games in his career with a 1,863-1,636 record (.532) with a 23-32 record in the postseason (.418).
Good luck to you Dusty and I wish you nothing but the utmost success.