The Houston Astros reaching the World Series for a fourth time in the past six seasons has created a bit of a dichotomy because of the franchise’s history with a cheating scandal and popularity of manager Dusty Baker.
He’s long been regarded as one of the more popular figures in the sport, dating back to a 19-year playing career. That included time with the Los Angeles Dodgers and winning the World Series in 1981 against the vaunted New York Yankees.
Although the Astros have recent history of cheating the Dodgers out of a World Series, Baker has the support of former teammates and others with ties to the organization.
Among them is Kenny Landreaux, who has long been cheering for Baker, via Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:
“Come on, man,” Ken Landreaux said with a laugh this week. “I’ve been rooting for him since he got with the Astros.”
Steve Garvey is supporting Baker as well, but he also has a relationship with Philadelphia Phillies All-Star Bryce Harper and wouldn’t be opposed to either team winning the World Series:
Former Dodgers star Steve Garvey is rooting for Baker too, but he’s also rooting for Bryce Harper, a family friend and the Phillies’ star slugger.
“May the best team win,” Garvey said.
Meanwhile, Eric Karros is much more partial to Baker, who he played for during his lone season on the Chicago Cubs:
“Oh, man,” Karros said. “Absolutely I’m rooting for Dusty.”
Baker hasn’t hid from the acrimony the Astros face because of their cheating history, but he’s been quick to note several of the players from the 2017 team are no longer on the roster.
Baker also hasn’t concerned himself with whether or not fans would take out their frustration with the Astros organization on him.
Dave Roberts disappointed Dodgers fans booed Dusty Baker
When Baker managed the American League All-Stars at Dodger Stadium this year, he did not receive a warm welcome from fans, which disappointed Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.
“If I had it, I wish they wouldn’t have booed Dusty,” Roberts said at the time. “Dusty had nothing to do with it. If anything, he’s been a great voice for baseball, he was a great Dodger,” Roberts added. “So if I could take that back and prompt fans not to do that, I wish I would’ve done that.”
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