2022 World Championships: Manager Dusty Becker cements legacy with Astros ring

Houston – 2022 Houston Astros They are world champions. This is territory familiar to a few of them – Justin Verlander. Jose Altov, Yuli Gurrell, Alex Bregman and Lance McCullers Jr., as for the head coach, though, he’s not. This is Dusty Baker’s first World Championship in 25 seasons as a manager.

It’s the pinnacle of his Hall of Fame life in the game. What a baseball life it was and still is.

Johnny B. was born. “Dusty” Baker in 1949. In 1967, he was selected in the 26th round of the Major League Baseball draft and has been in the league ever since. Now 73 years old, Baker has been playing baseball for the overwhelming majority of his life.

as a player

He made his major debut on September 7, 1968 at the age of 19, joining A brave The team that featured legendary Hank Aaron as well as big names in baseball such as Felipe Allo, Joe Tory and Phil Negro. Baker wouldn’t stick to the majors regularly until 1973, when he hit 0.321 with 142 OPS+. That was the start of a very impressive playing career that would see him form two All-Star teams, win two Silver Sluggers teams, finish in the top seven in the MVP vote twice (topping 4th place) and win the Golden Glove.

His career .278/.347/.432 hitter collected 1,981 hits, 320 doubles, 242 Homers, 1,013 RBI, 964 runs and 137 base hits. he was the Dodgers Three-hole and left-hander when they won the 1981 World Championship.

Those are shy of his Hall of Fame credentials as a player on their own, but suffice it to add to his managerial career and say that it should be a total hard blow for Cooperstown. Once he’s retired for five years, he’ll be on the Era Committee’s ballot and should be a unanimous vote during the winter meetings.

Let’s continue on his journey into the Hall of Fame while noting the naysayers he picked along the way.

Management giants

After his retirement, Becker had no plans to even go into coaching or management. Instead, he spent his first few years after playing as a stockbroker before eventually being named the Giants’ first base coach for the 1988 season. He was the boss in 1993, managing a team of 102 Giants, winning the NL West Championship twice (1997 and 2000) and lead the Giants from a famous place to the World Championships in 2002.

Of course, he left a bad taste after the Giants blew a five-game lead into Game 6 of the World Championship and then lost Game 7 as well. At the time they never won the World Championships in San Francisco and Baker was blamed for mismanaging the show in the final rounds of Game 6.

He’ll be a subject, creating a rift between how much people in the game love him, and ultimately four less than fondly fandoms.

Management Cubs

The Cubs hired Baker away from the Giants in time for 2003, because he was a hot commodity, rightfully so. They won the NL Central that year and advanced to the NLCS, their first qualifying series win since 1908. We know all about the breakdown from the 3-1 lead in that series and we don’t need to relive it.

The remainder of Baker’s time in Chicago often saw him as the target of fan outrage and the local media. He has been blamed for stadium injuries, specifically Mark Pryor and Kerry Wood, and the breakdown in the final weeks of the 2004 season made things worse.

However, he won the division in his first year and earned the Cubs in one World Championship match while winning a playoff series. Given that the Cubs won the World Championships in 2016 – and every disappointment that led to that ultimately made the breakout even sweeter, at least for me – I can’t get my head around the venom left over from some of the Cubs fans. Life is too short, man. If Pryor Wood doesn’t hate him, why? Get rid of it.

Management reds

Baker took charge of Cincinnati for the 2008 season and oversaw them becoming contenders again for the first time in a while. Prior to Becker, the Reds had not had a winning record since 2000 and had not played in the playoffs since 1995. Under Becker, they had won more than 90 games in three of his last four years and won twice at NL Central. Since they fired him, they’ve had a record two wins: 31-29 in the abridged 2020 season and 83-79 in 2021. They only made the playoffs after Dusty in 2020 and that was due to a stadium expansion.

And I tell you, in the entire time he’s been there, whether it’s on social media or local radio shows where they’ve been getting calls from fans, I’ve rarely seen a positive word about him from the fan base. Although there were clearly outliers, fans didn’t like it en masse. And the team got good on their watch while instantly collapsing as soon as he was gone.

He’s not perfect, but he routinely gets the most out of his rolls. The Reds’ successes and failures over the past 30 years or so are a good example of that.

Becker led the national team in 2016 and 2017, when they won 95 and 97 matches, respectively. He lost both his playoff streak there and that was enough to knock him out. They won 83 games the year before his arrival and 82 the year after his dismissal. They made a surprising lead at the World Series in 2019, so the naysayers have an easy story to follow: He’s an awesome regular season manager who can’t win the playoffs. I always thought this was unfair, but the simple fact is that he will follow him until he hacks and wins everything.

star management

In the wake of the signal-stealing scandal, the Astros have fired their general manager and director. The new front office was tasked with trying to clean up the organization’s reputation and Baker was a local employee on that front.

It is very elegant. He is loved by almost everyone in baseball that I had the pleasure of crossing paths with. He is good at taking bullets for his players at press conferences. He was the absolute perfect man for the job.

He had no trouble winning a playoff series like the Reds and the Nationals have. He has won consecutive AL Banners after making the ALCS in 2020 and is now a world champion. He actually has a record of 28-14 in playoffs with the Astros.

The narrative continued, however, as the Astros lost to the Braves in six matches last year at the World Championships. The Astros pitching crew was in smoke for that series while Alex Bergman was playing injured and could barely strike. With that, Dusty was the head coach, so he can’t win the big match, right?

He didn’t help himself at the start of the 2022 World Championships. Justin Verlander left for the third time through Phyllis The beating order when Verlander already showed signs of fatigue. They ended up losing that game, the first time a team from the World Championships has blown a lead by five runs since…yes, the 2002 Baker Giants, as noted above.

In Game 3, Lance McCullers Jr. left for too long. It was particularly annoying when it was only 4-0 and Kyle Schwarber was left to see McCullers for the third time. If that score stayed 4-0, Velez would have used his best soothing. Instead, they saved them all. It was a tactical blunder that could have cost his serial team. He ran like it was the regular season while Phillies coach Rob Thompson went day in and day out when needed.

It’s no longer a matter of biting Baker, though, as the Astros threw harmlessly in Game 4 and Verlander was good at getting out of the jams in Game 5.

Look, you said he wasn’t perfect as a manager. That doesn’t mean it’s worthy of scorn from its multiple fan bases.

Baker is now one of nine managers to win with a flag from both leagues. No other manager has won a division with five different teams. His 2,093 regular season wins are ranked ninth in history (more than ever for a black manager). Of the top 11, he is the only one not yet inducted into the Hall of Fame. His 12 playoff matches have ranked him fourth all-time. Only Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Toure have earned more than nine Dusty titles.

More than anything, Baker’s lasting legacy has to be that he is one of the greatest humans in baseball. I’ve talked to many people about this and the feeling is basically this: everyone who has ever met Baker loves him or deeply loves him. The only people who don’t like him are the fans who have never met him and think he cost their team playoff games.

Jeremy Peña said after game five: “Dusty Baker is a legend in this game, he’s been amazing to me since the first day we met. He took me into spring training, he gave me great advice. He brought in the best of his players. He gives you all the confidence. in the world and you can’t expect more from any coach.”

Yes, it is a legend. A true giant of the sport. And now he has his ring as manager. His complete biography.