WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (KXAN) — Many will say Houston Astros owner Jim Crane has made a lot of mistakes lately in regards to how he’s handled the sign-stealing scandal, but it appears he made the perfect hire to lead the team in these most unusual circumstances.
While the the rest of baseball still deals with the fallout from the sign-stealing scandal, in West Palm Beach, the Astros are doing their best to move on from it with the steadying hand of Dusty Baker.
Baker’s essentially on a one-year deal with Houston, but he’s about as well-respected in baseball as it gets — and a proven winner.
In 22 years as a manager, Baker has won over 1,800 games, earned NL Manager of the Year three times, made nine postseason appearances and led the San Francisco Giants to the World Series in 2002.
“Great communication. seems to command the room, but he’s also just one of those guys. It’s not an easy balance so to have him here, I think we’re all happy,” pitcher Justin Verlander said.
“He’s a cool cat. He’s happy to be here. I think it’s actually pretty funny. He asked us yesterday who’s got some bands for his wrist. It’s pretty cool. I grew up with him being a big league manager, so it’s pretty cool to have him here. I know he can’t wait to get going,” Astros outfielder George Springer said.
“I’ve been around the game a long time. most of them either knew me before I got here, or their dads knew me, or I played against some of their fathers or whatever. I come with a certain amount of reputation,” Baker said.
So far, through the first weeks, Astros players are giving Baker positive grades, but the real test will be when Houston faces its first adversity during the season.