Home team falls short of World Series this year, but future is extremely bright for 2024
The Houston Astros were one game away from heading to their second straight World Series but fell short to the Texas Rangers to end another spectacular season under Astros skipper Dusty Baker’s outstanding managerial leadership.
Last November, the Forward Times reported that Dusty Baker stated that if he won one World Series as a manager, he planned to win two. Well, they won last season, and after signing a contract to return as the manager in 2023 by Astros owner Jim Crane, Baker’s prediction to win back-to-back World Series championships almost became a reality.
The Astros’ season came down to Game 7 at home and it was the deciding game that determined whether they would continue on in the postseason or if their exciting season would end, causing them to have to regroup and rebuild for next season.
Unfortunately, they ended up having to focus on the latter, as they fell short, but the Astros’ historic run as a franchise should not be ignored or downplayed. Very few Major League Baseball (MLB) franchises can tout the success that the Astros have had over the last decade.
Keep in mind that the Astros have only been in the American League for ten years, having moved to the American League West division in 2013, after spending their first 51 seasons in the National League. To do what they have been able to do has been nothing short of spectacular.
Some teams and their fans simply wish their respective teams just make it to the postseason, let alone get to the championship game, which is akin to making it to the semifinal game right before the finals. The World Series is the ultimate goal for every baseball team and their fans.
What is most impressive about the Astros’ magnificent run, is that in the last seven seasons alone, the Astros have gone to the American League Championship Series (ALCS) each of those seven years—having gone to four World Series and winning two of them.
That is an extremely impressive feat for any sports team to boast about, and the Astros can do just that. Their season-ending outcomes from 2017 to 2023 have been:
2017: Won World Series
2018: Lost ALCS
2019: Lost World Series
2020: Lost ALCS
2021: Lost World Series
2022: Won World Series
2023: Lost ALCS
As of this article, it is being reported that Dusty Baker has shared with several individuals within the Astros organization and outside of it, that this 2023 season will serve as his final season at the helm as manager. If this rings true, it is important to acknowledge how significant and important Baker has been for the Astros organization over the past four seasons.
Baker has been a phenomenal manager for the Astros since joining the club during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and was absolutely the person the club needed to help deal with the drama surrounding former manager A.J. Hinch, who was fired because of cheating allegations.
If Baker doesn’t return, he would leave the Astros organization, having taken them to four straight ALCS appearances and two consecutive World Series appearances—one World Series appearance that brought another ring to Clutch City, Texas.
The resume of Dusty Baker in his four years with the Astros is epic:
- One of three African American managers in MLB history to win a World Series
- Oldest manager to ever win a World Series (age 73)
- Oldest person to win a championship out of the four major American professional sports—baseball, football, basketball, and hockey (age 73)
- First Black manager in MLB history, and 12th manager overall, to win 2,000 career games
His overall resume as part of “Baseball Royalty” is equally as impressive:
- Won World Series as a baseball player with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1981
- Was on deck to bat when his teammate and close friend Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run to pass Babe Ruth for most home runs in MLB history
- Took San Francisco Giants to the World Series (2002)
- Only three-time Major League Baseball Manager of the Year honoree in history
- Drafted by Atlanta Braves and made his debut on September 7, 1968, at 19-years-old
- Atlanta Braves player from 1968 to 1975; Los Angeles Dodgers player from 1976 to 1983; San Francisco Giants in 1984; and Oakland Athletics from 1985 to 1986
- Finished his playing career having appeared in 2,039 games; with a .278 batting average; 242 home runs; 1981 hits; 1,013 RBI; and over 7,100 plate appearances.
- Played on the National League All-Star team twice
- Earned a Gold Glove Award for outstanding fielding and played in four postseasons.
The future for Houston remains bright in star players such as Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Justin Verlander, Ryan Pressly, Jose Abreu, Yordan Alvarez, Bryan Abreu, Jeremy Pena and several others. The Astros will probably have about four to five players to address relative to free agency, so they appear to be in shape for another postseason and World Series run in 2024.
New Astros General Manager Dana Brown, who was brought in this year to help lead the organization as the chief baseball executive, will be tasked with building around the talent that once again makes the hometown Houston Astros the team to beat in 2024.
Congratulations on another exciting and productive baseball season!