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Sport Dusty Baker: Replacing Gerrit Cole's 'spot of excellence' is Astros' biggest concern

06:55  31 january  2020
06:55  31 january  2020 Source:   houstonchronicle.com

Pros and cons: Breaking down Astros' managerial candidates

  Pros and cons: Breaking down Astros' managerial candidates Jim Crane’s search for a new manager appears in its final days. The Astros owner said last week he hoped to narrow a wide list of candidates to “three, maybe four” by this weekend before making a decision “early this week.” Crane claimed that managing the 2020 Astros is “not going to be really difficult.” “You just have to fill in the (lineup) card,” he said. Hiring a manager before picking a general manager is  unusual, but Crane is combating an extraordinary circumstance. The team reports to spring training in less than three weeks. A leader is more urgently required.

3of38 Dusty Baker puts on his Houston Astros jersey with the help of owner Jim Crane, as he was introduced as the Astros new manager at Minute Baker finally broke his silence. “Probably, who’s going to take Gerrit Cole ’ s spot ,” Baker said. “That spot of excellence .” In his final season with

Dusty Baker during his first season with the Washington Nationals, in 2016.Credit Alex Brandon/Associated Press. Hoping to move past one of the biggest scandals in baseball history, the Houston Astros are turning to one of the most accomplished managers on the market: Dusty Baker .

The question left Dusty Baker silent, stunning on a day when he stole the show with loquacious, answers to queries of all kinds.

Dusty Baker is the perfect hire to clean up the Astros

  Dusty Baker is the perfect hire to clean up the Astros Dusty Baker could become the first manager to take five different teams to the playoffs after getting hired by the Houston Astros in the wake of their sign-stealing scandal.The Astros have been rudderless for nearly three weeks after firing both manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow. Both were suspended for the 2020 season by MLB for an elaborate electronic sign-stealing scheme that happened under their watch.

Dusty Baker said all the right things and appeared energized for the challenge of trying to win an One of the two reasons Astros owner Jim Crane hired Baker is his solid reputation in the game. 4) How will he replace Gerrit Cole ? When asked Thursday what his biggest challenge will be in 2020

The signing of Gerrit Cole by the Yankees likely swings the pendulum of power in the American League toward the Bronx, but Houston remains One of the two reasons Astros owner Jim Crane hired Baker is his solid reputation in the game. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone in baseball with something

What, a reporter wondered, was Baker’s biggest concern in taking the Houston Astros managerial job — one left vacant by an electronic sign-stealing scandal that’s transfixed the sport.

BRIAN T. SMITH: Dusty Baker knows rebuilding Astros’ image will take time

Baker barely knows his new team, which report to spring training in 10 days. His players will receive a brutal reception on the road during the regular season. Still, he must meet playoff expectations.

Concerns are seemingly aplenty. Baker finally broke his silence.

“Probably, who’s going to take Gerrit Cole’s spot,” Baker said. “That spot of excellence.”

In his final season with Houston, Cole authored one of the greatest seasons by a starter in franchise history, striking out a franchise-record 326 batters while leading the American League with a 2.50 ERA. He struck out 10 or more batters during his final nine starts, too.

Column: The Astros need someone to clean up their mess. Dusty Baker is the man for the job.

  Column: The Astros need someone to clean up their mess. Dusty Baker is the man for the job. If you’re looking for the perfect manager to deal with the fallout from an embarrassing cheating scandal, Dusty Baker is your man. Like a well-groomed, sharp-tongued character in a Quentin Tarantino film, he’d be the first guy you’d call on to clean up a mess, restoring order after an untimely disaster. Dusty Baker is the fixer the Houston Astros need. As it stood Monday, Baker was one of several candidates for the job opening created by the firing of A.J. Hinch. The others included fellow veteran managers Buck Showalter and John Gibbons, ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez and Cubs coach Will Venable.

Cole signed a record-setting 10-year, $324 million contract with the New York Yankees this offseason, making them the Astros’ foremost concern in their pursuit for a second straight American League pennant.

Replacing Cole’s production with one individual borders on impossible. Houston does return reigning American League Cy Young winner Justin Verlander and six-time All-Star Zack Greinke, but much behind them is unknown. Lance McCullers Jr. returns after Tommy John surgery along with Jose Urquidy, who had a stellar September.

“Every team I’ve ever been on, I’ve always looked for a surprise person who can come through, a young player who gets to figure something out over the winter,” Baker said. “I always leave a spot for a surprise. I really don’t know who that person or persons  may be, but I got my eyes open to try to find someone who all of a sudden got it together and hopefully be as good as Gerrit Cole.”

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New Yankees ace Gerrit Cole on Astros cheating: I have nothing to apologize for .
TAMPA — Gerrit Cole saw nothing, heard nothing and does not have anything to apologize for. Hours after his former Astros teammates faced the media for the first time in the wake of being busted in baseball’s biggest cheating scandal since the 1919 Black Sox, the new Yankees ace was excited to turn the page and settle in with his new team. “There’s nobody getting a win out of this. It doesn’t look very good and I guess I’m just fortunate to be able to be here and move past it,” Cole said. “And I guess get to experience all the great things about coming to a new team.

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