The Houston Astros, who have earned the title of reigning World Series champions, are expected to make it to the playoffs with a 76 percent chance, as seen in the current MLB games schedule. Despite their success, there seems to be uncertainty regarding the return of manager Dusty Baker to the team in 2024.
Jim Crane, the owner of the Astros, is known for his tendency to make sudden changes to the team’s staff. The former general manager, James Click, who played a key role in leading the team to win the 2022 World Series, is widely regarded as one of the most skilled talent evaluators in the MLB. Despite this, the Astros did not offer him a multi-year contract for the current season, leading to Click’s departure from the team.
- Dusty Baker record (Houston Astros): 317-226 (.584), 28-14 in postseason
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Houston has not lived up to expectations under the leadership of their new general manager, Dana Brown. The team is projected to lose the AL West to the Texas Rangers, which would be only the second time since 2017 that the Astros have not won their division. Furthermore, if they don’t secure the sixth AL Wild Card spot, Houston will miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 season.
Houston’s manager, Baker, boasts an impressive managerial record in MLB and has led the team to the World Series twice. He has also managed to turn around his postseason performance, achieving a 28-14 record in October. Despite his successes, Baker now faces potential consequences due to internal conflicts within the team.
According to a report by Ken Rosenthal from The Athletic, a conflict arose between Dusty Baker and Brent Strom over rookie catcher Yainer Diaz’s playing time earlier this season. Another report from The Athletic by Chandler Rome in September revealed that some members of the Astros’ front office were frustrated with Baker’s decision to limit outfielder Chas McCormick’s playing time.
The Houston Astros continue to deny any involvement of their player, Jose Altuve, in the 2017 cheating scandal. Despite ongoing scrutiny and accusations, the team maintains their stance and stands by their player.
According to Rosenthal, Houston’s potential playoff appearance may not be enough to secure Baker’s job. The writer suggests that a premature exit from the playoffs could be the tipping point for Crane to make a decision about Baker’s future with the team.
According to Rosenthal, in the event that the Astros decide to let go of Baker, Brown might consider the Atlanta Braves as his next team to manage. Brown has previously worked with the Braves and shares a great rapport with coaches Eric Young Sr. and Walt Weiss. However, there is also the possibility of Astros’ bench coach Joe Espada being considered as a candidate to replace Baker.
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