photo from newsday.com: Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker addresses the media Thursday at Minute Maid Park as Baker takes over the helm amongst the sign stealing scandal that rocked the team
Dusty Baker: The Calm After The Storm
That’s Amaury News and Commentary
Johnny B.Baker Jr, (Dusty) has landed in Houston. He is now the new manager of the Houston Astros, and this is a calming and healing effect as he is coming right after the biggest baseball scandal of our lifetime. The sign-stealing scandal that culminated in the firing of the manager and general manger of the Houston Astros, manager-to-be in New York Carlos Beltrán and implicated the name of some of the games biggest stars and some managers. As baseball continues their investigation there might be more shoes to fall.
Dusty is a winner he has managed,for 10 years with Giants, Cubs, Reds and Nationals with a total record of 840-715 a .540 percentage. But he was also a winner and a very good player who played the outfield for 19 years and retired in 1986 with the Oakland Athletics,the year when José Canseco won the American League Rookie of the Year, and when the A’s began their last great championship run.
He was always a team player,he won the National League pennant for the Giants in 2002 and took them to the World Series. As a player he was a good hitter, who ended with a .278 average. His best season 1981 with the Dodgers hit for .320 with 29 home runs and 97 runs batted in. Many times in Spanish,and as a player and manager later in the 1990’s when I was working for the Giants I always interviewed him in Spanish, which he is fluent. Was lucky to travel with the Giants towards the end of the 1990’s,he was always accessible and even after tough loses, which every manager encounters,he always had a kind word
The ultimate player manager, he is liked by the players,he is a manager that brings great enthusiasm to the game, he is humble and with the baseball knowledge ‘he bring to Houston that old school mentality. One of the most remembered things on Dusty’s career was when Hank Aaron (The Real and most beloved Home Run King) on April 8, 1974, he was on deck when Aaron hit home run 715 to pass Babe Ruth in career home runs.That was a well documented moment in history,which he always remembers and feels proud to have played along the great Hank Aaron.
With roots in California and here in the Bay Area one of the handful of players that have played for the A’s and the Giants. His last four years managing, where with the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals he won between 90 to 97 games each year. This is also a great opportunity for Dusty with a team that together with the A’s are the two best clubs in the Western Division going into this season. It could be a great race.
Dusty Baker is exactly what the Astros needed, he brings that healing factor. He is not a computer manager, he is a human manager, and this is the best thing the Houston team has done since the scandal. Like attorneys would say “the Astros are trying to re-rehabilitate their image” and Dusty is the “hombre perfecto” for that job.
Felicidades Dusty, we will see you late March during the first home stand of the Oakland A’s as the Houston Astros are scheduled to visit following the first series of the season against the Minnesota Twins.
Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Oakland A’s Spanish radio play by play talent on KIQI 1010 San Francisco and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com