When the Houston Astros hired Dusty Baker as their manager in January, he immediately had to take on a lot of hate. He became the leader of the team who was caught stealing signs electronically during their 2017 World Series run.
As the Astros prepare to take on the A’s in Game 1 of the AL Division Series, the villain role is one Baker has more than embraced.
Dusty Baker: "The role of the villain was given to us, it wasn't something we took on, even though most of it was merited. Hey, man, I've been the villain most of my life. Might as well join the group."— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) October 5, 2020
“Might as well join the group,” Baker told reporters Monday morning.
Naturally, throughout the 2020 season, Baker has been asked numerous times about the villainous role the Astros played in their cheating scandal. While Baker has said he hopes the story wouldn't be rehashed and the team could leave it in the past, it's much easier said than done.
With the MLB season initially being halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, time passed and the memories of trash-can banging and buzzers weren’t as intense. But they still remained, and while multiple A’s players have said they’ve moved on, many baseball fans haven’t.
It appears Baker understands what he was coming into when he signed up for the job. However, the 70-year-old’s 23 years of managerial experience has seen it all. This is nothing.
The Astros brought Baker on after former manager AJ Hinch was fired after MLB’s findings of the team following the cheating allegations. General manager Jeff Luhnow also was let go.
Now, the Astros find themselves in an important series against the AL West rivals with the cheating saga only a part of the story.