Chicago Cubs: Feelings toward Dusty Baker are still complicated

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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Houston Astros hiring former Cubs manager Dusty Baker opens up that can of memories that a great many fans do not always want to remember.

It kind of felt fitting that the Joe Maddon-led defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs took out former manager Dusty Baker‘s Washington Nationals in 2017. The team had avenged the years of goats and black cats the season before faced a member of the franchise’s past which was part of a big chapter in the 108-year long story of Cubs futility.

Baker, now 70 years old, will be taking on another challenge after sitting out 2018 and 2019 in his new job with the Houston Astros. He will be managing his fifth team since he first became a manager back in 1993 with the Giants.

The numbers on his résumé are pretty impressive: a .532 winning percentage, nine postseason berths and 10 seasons of 90 or more wins in 22 years. Baker is following his managerial career after a very successful playing career in which he was a two-time All Star, two-time Silver Slugger and a World Series winner in 1981.

Yet, his reputation is largely based on what has gone wrong in his career as a manager. Most of which includes some brutal postseason losses and his managing of young arms. Resentment toward Baker is probably stronger in Chicago than any other place he has managed in. From the 2003 NLCS collapse, the 2004 regular season collapse, the fall of Mark Prior, and so on.

One question I often ask myself…how much of it was really HIS fault? We can backtrack and look.

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