Former Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker may have reached the end of the line for his managerial career after the Houston Astros were eliminated by the Texas Rangers in Game 7 of the American League Championship series.
The Astros loss to the Rangers on Monday signaled that for the first time since 2016, neither the Astros nor the Los Angeles Dodgers will be playing in the World Series. Of course, 2016 was the season that the Cubs broke their World Series curse and won their first title in 108 years.
It was a curse that Baker seemed primed to break in 2003 as the Cubs were on the doorstep of reaching the World Series before collapsing in the National League Championship Series against the Marlins.
Baker managed the Cubs through the 2006 season before ultimately being fired after consecutive losing seasons.
What has perhaps been most remarkable about Baker's managerial career is his ability to re-invent himself. With older managers such as former Cubs' manager Joe Maddon failing to embrace the modern advancements of Major League Baseball, Baker has embraced the change and is a large part of the reason why he has continued to be a pivotal voice in any clubhouse that he is in.
Baker finally secured a World Series title in 2022 as manager of the Astros and there was a belief that would pave the way for his retirement. Instead, Baker returned to the Astros in 2023 but the team was unable to make the World Series after falling short to the Rangers.
For Baker, retirement may be what his next move is. The Athletic reports that Baker has told several people that 2023 would be his last season managing. If Monday was indeed the last time that Baker would step foot in a Major League clubhouse as a team's manager, then there is no doubt that a lesson can be learned from his ability to adapt to the modern age of baseball.