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Dusty Baker Newsbeat

Saturday, October 23, 2021

How Dusty Baker, Brent Strom and Martín Maldonado Seized the ALCS From the Red Sox

It was during that game that Strom, the chief navigator of pitching, decided to tack to the starboard side. The change Cora referenced was a decision by Strom to have his pitchers attack the Red Sox with fastballs.

“Yeah, very much so,” Strom said. “Basically, the Red Sox were spitting on so many non-competitive breaking balls in the first couple of games. We were falling behind [counts]. I basically told the group, ‘If you’re going to get beat, throw your best stuff over the plate, then you can sleep at night. Rather than dancing around the strike zone.’ Young pitchers start dancing, and you can’t do that.”...

Baker has evolved and adapted, which is why this time he quickly yanked Garcia, who is notoriously shaky the third time around, for Phil Maton.

“It’s a combination of observing other games, knowing yourself and trying to stay modern on how the game is played and how the players expect the game to be played,” Baker said before ALCS Game 6 when explaining how he has evolved with pitcher use. “You know, when I took Russ Ortiz out in that game, today that would have been the move to make. But then it was, ‘Why’d you take him out so early?’ So who knows? Maybe I was ahead of my time.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 23, 2021 at 03:00 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dusty baker

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Dusty Baker feels the weight of being loved and hated by baseball

Baker has won more than most in his 50-plus years in the major leagues. He played in four World Series with the Dodgers in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He won one of them. As a manager with the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Nationals and now the Astros, Baker is 1,969-1,719 with a .534 winning percentage. His teams have made the playoffs 10 times in 24 years. One of them won the pennant.

But Baker is, to this point, known as much for the games he hasn’t won — Game 7 of the 2002 World Series with the Giants, Game 7 of the 2003 National League Championship Series with the Cubs, Game 5 of the 2016 and 2017 NL Division Series with the Nationals. Baker remembers every one of them, every missed call, every bad bounce — every confluence of baseball circumstances that colluded to make him the most prolific manager to never win the big one, or something like that.

Baker was fired by the Giants after he led them to their first NL pennant in more than a decade. The Reds fired him after they failed to advance past the NLDS in consecutive years. The Nationals did the same, despite a full season of assurances that Baker would return. Of all the teams he has managed, Baker says, that’s the one team he didn’t feel ready to leave at the end — the one split that still stings.

“They make you want to feel like you’re a failure,” Baker said. “But I haven’t failed at all.”


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 31, 2021 at 10:08 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dusty baker



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