How Did Dusty Baker Keep the Astros' Spirit High Despite a Tough 2023 Finale?



by FAIZAN CHAUDHARY

How Did Dusty Baker Keep the Astros' Spirit High Despite a Tough 2023 Finale?
© Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

In a stunning turn of events at Minute Maid Park, the Houston Astros’ journey to the World Series was halted by the Texas Rangers during an intense Game 7, marking a historical moment in the realm of major league sports.

The Astros have now become the first team across MLB, NBA, and NHL to endure a seven-game series loss, succumbing to defeat in four home games. This unforeseen circumstance echoes their previous encounter with the Washington Nationals in the 2019 World Series, and now, in this year’s ALCS against the Rangers.

Yet, amidst this unexpected outcome, the team stands united, fully backed by their seasoned 74-year-old manager, Dusty Baker. Baker exuded confidence and pride in his team, emphasizing that there was no room for shame in their performance.

“We have nothing to be ashamed of,” Baker proclaimed, asserting that the majority of teams in the league would readily trade places to experience the Astros’ remarkable success over the past four seasons.

This statement was highlighted and shared by KHOU’s J.BristolKHOU, underlining Baker’s unwavering support for his squad.

Baker's Bittersweet Season

Baker, who made a triumphant return from retirement in 2020, has been a guiding force for Houston, leading them to two pennants and securing his first World Series victory just last year.

However, this season concluded on a less triumphant note as Houston became the second team in history to lose four home games in a postseason series, following a challenging streak where they lost 22 of their final 29 home games, playoffs included.

Despite these setbacks, Dusty Baker’s reputation as an exceptional manager remains intact. With 26 seasons of major league management under his belt and a regular-season record of 2,183-1,862 victories, Baker’s expertise is undeniable.

He was appointed to bring stability to the Astros following a sign-stealing scandal that came to light shortly after their 2019 World Series loss to the Nationals. Baker rose to the challenge, leading Houston to victory in the 2022 World Series and securing his position as the oldest manager to win a title across MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL.

Baker’s unique achievement extends to being the only MLB manager to lead five different teams to the playoffs and a division title, accomplishing this feat with each team he managed. Amongst managers who are African Americans, Baker holds the record for the most victories, proudly standing at ninth place in the overall MLB managing victories.

His legacy and leadership continue to leave an indelible mark on the world of baseball, affirming that the Astros remain a force to be reckoned with, even in the face of adversity.

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