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Astros manager Dusty Baker enters rarefied coaching air with latest win vs. A’s

Joe McCarthy, Sparky Anderson, Tony La Russa, Dusty Baker, Houston Astros

The Houston Astros are on a roll, winning eight of their last 10 games, cementing themselves as the best team in the American League with a 95-50 record. Ace Justin Verlander was dominant in his return from calf injury, throwing nine strikeouts against only one walk in five innings pitched, allowing no hits in a 5-0 win against the Oakland Athletics. Dusty Baker has been on a roll with his man management, a testament to his ability to put his players in the best position to succeed

In the Astros’ latest victory against the A’s, Dusty Baker even made history, receiving one of the best forms of validation in his career.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Dusty Baker is only the fourth manager in MLB history to coach eight-plus 95 win seasons, tally 2000-plus career wins and win both the NL and AL pennants over the course of their career, joining the lofty company of Joe McCarthy, Sparky Anderson, and Tony La Russa.

Before Baker’s historic win, he told reporters that it was a “blessing” to get Verlander back quickly, and he’s right; in addition, for almost the entirety of Baker’s managerial career, he has been fortunate enough to coach some of the best to ever touch a baseball. He managed Barry Bonds, during his stint with the San Francisco Giants, which Baker led to the 2002 World Series only to fall short against the Los Angeles Angels.

Moreover, Baker’s also had the privilege of managing Joey Votto, Max Scherzer, Bryce Harper, Alex Bregman, Verlander… the list goes on and on. Nevertheless, it’s a testament to Dusty Baker’s ability to maximize his team’s talent that the Astros, as well as past iterations of the Cincinnati Reds, Washington Nationals, and Chicago Cubs, have been such a force to be reckoned with during his stints.

However, if there’s anything Dusty Baker is yet to achieve, it’s to win a World Series as a manager, after having done so in his playing days with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1981. Baker will have as good a chance as any to finally break his World Series duck, with the Astros rounding into form just in time for the postseason stretch.