The Houston Astros are going with a veteran to right the ship in the wake of the franchise's cheating scandal.
While rumblings broke yesterday, reports are in that the team has agreed to bring in Dusty Baker as their newest skipper on a one-year deal with a club option for the 2021 season. The well-traveled Baker has been around the game a long time — he managed the San Francisco Giants for 10 seasons, the Chicago Cubs for four, the Cincinnati Reds for six, and, most recently, the Washington Nationals for two.
He'll replace A.J. Hinch in the dugout, who lost his job after it came out that the Astros, in a largely player-orchestrated scheme, were stealing signs with the aid of technology during the 2017 season in which they won the World Series. Baker will inherit many of the same players who were on that team; they won't be disciplined by the league, but will likely face scrutiny from opposing teams and fans.
The 70-year-old Baker has received some knocks for his in-game decisions, especially in the postseason, during his more recent stints, and he's often considered old-school in his approach to the game, which clashes with how Houston has achieved their success over the last few seasons. However, most people agree he's a great leader in the clubhouse, so the selection is receiving positive reactions so far.
Plus, despite some of that criticism over his strategy, Baker sure does win. He's got 840 career victories and has taken all four of his previous clubs to the postseason. This Astros team, despite their baggage, is arguably the most talented he's ever helmed, so he's certainly got at least two more shots to capture his first World Series.