New Astros manager Dusty Baker takes a shot at the Nationals

Chris Lingebach
January 31, 2020 - 11:58 am
New Astros manager Dusty Baker takes a shot at the Nationals

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports


Nobody wins over a crowd like Dusty Baker.

Nationals fans know it well. They instantly fell in love with him when he was introduced as Washington's manager in Nov. 2015.

Those days over. Every integral player involved in that brief love affair is a changed person now. After two straight NLDS exits – and two straight 95-plus-win seasons, to be sure – Dusty was summarily dismissed in Oct. 2017, ushering in the Dave Martinez era in Washington, which, after a rocky start, led to a World Series title.

Now the champs, the Nats offer a different view to Dusty, who was introduced as the Astros' next manager on Thursday.

Now 70, Dusty takes over a Houston club that not only lost to Washington in the World Series, but almost immediately came under fire from Major League Baseball for cheating their way to their own World Series title in 2017. That is, after all, the reason Dusty is even in this position.

The Nationals and Dusty are now enemies, with the new terms of their relationship defined by one passing remark: "Plus, man, this is a great team. This was a great team before I got here. Don't tell the Nationals. I was rooting for this team to beat the Nationals."

And there it is. The cold, calculated, gripping reality. He must have gone to bed upset.

Dusty has but one accomplishment left to tick off in his enviable managerial career. He has yet to win it all. And this is his last ride, a point illustrated no better than by the man himself.

As he was driving around with his 20-year-old son Darren – who's now an All-Pac 12 defender at Cal–Berkeley – they listened to Too Short.

"You may not know him," Dusty quipped of the rapper to reporters.

"Too Short was singing that this is his last album," he said. "And this is my last album."

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