There’s a lot of things we can say about Dusty Baker. Some good. Some not as positive. But I don’t think that anyone can really dislike a man who can pull off a suit like the one he’s wearing in this photo.
That’s Dusty on the far right. Maybe his pants don’t compare to Reggie Smith’s (far left), but the whole look is pretty fantastic. It looks like he’s about to play a crusading lawyer in a sequel to Shaft.
- So you’ve all heard that former Cubs, Giants, Reds and Nationals manager Dusty Baker is the choice to be the new Astros manager, although from all accounts the deal is not done yet.
- Craig Calcaterra explains why he thinks that Baker is the perfect hire for the Astros and no, it’s not because Calcaterra is a Yankees fan. (He’s a Braves fan, in case anyone was wondering.)
- Bob Nightengale agrees that Baker is the man the Astros need right now.
- Chandler Rome has the view on Baker from Houston.
- And you also know that the Reds have signed outfielder Nick Castellanos. (He’s gone back to being just Nick now.) Mark Sheldon looks at what issues the Reds must still address before Opening Day.
- David Schoenfield asks if the Reds are now the favorite in the NL Central. No, they aren’t. But they should be competitive.
- The Reds did get some bad news as third baseman Eugenio Suárez underwent shoulder surgery after injuring himself in his swimming pool. He’s expected to return “towards the beginning of the season,” which in baseball-speak usually means “before the end of April.”
- The Pirates traded outfielder Starling Marte to the Diamondbacks for two prospects.
- Jay Jaffe analyzes the deal for Marte.
- Hall of Fame outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. spoke out on the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal and he comes down pretty hard on Houston.
- Free agent first baseman Mitch Moreland has re-signed with the Red Sox on a one-year, $2.5 million deal.
- Right-hander Shelby Miller signed a minor-league deal with the Brewers. The former All-Star finished last season in the Brewers minor league system.
- R.J. Anderson explains why Twins fans should be very happy the team signed free agent Josh Donaldson.
- Rumors are that the Red Sox are inching towards trading outfielder Mookie Betts.
- Tom Verducci asks other front-office types to evaluate Betts and they explain what makes him such a unique player.
- In light of a possible Betts trade, David Schoenfield ranks the biggest offseason blockbuster trades since 1950.
- Michael McCann looks at why the Red Sox have to pay Dustin Pedroia, even though he’s not going to play and other legal issues surrounding guaranteed contracts.
- Richard Justice picks nine teams that “won” the offseason.
- Mike Axisa looks ahead and thinks that baseball will be very different in 2028. By then, commissioner Manfred will limit teams to one zombie attack per inning.
- Ben Clemens explains that 2019 saw a lot of “meaningless” games in MLB, but that 2020 should be better.
- There are rumors that both Jessica Mendoza and Matt Vasgersian may not return for Sunday Night Baseball in 2020. Mendoza will likely remain with ESPN calling other games. Alex Rodriguez is expected to continue calling the Sunday night showcase.
- Keegan Matheson looks at what Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is doing in the offseason to have a better 2020 campaign.
- Ben Clemens explains why Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. had such bad defensive statistics despite turning in many highlight-reel plays. (It’s because he’s not making the easy plays, only the hard ones.)
- A bipartisan congressional task force issued a resolution that asked MLB to drop its plan to contract the minor leagues. The commissioner’s office responded by telling them to jump in a lake. Not quite, but they did say that Minor League Baseball isn’t being reasonable by refusing to contract a quarter of their membership.
- Pedro Moura talks with Dodgers minor leaguers about all the odd jobs that they take to make ends meet. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Outfielder Adam Jones arrived in Japan to join his new team, the Orix Buffaloes, and was greeted like a rock star by the Japanese fans.
- There’s going to be a football game this weekend and one of the players on one of the teams is the son of former pitcher Pat Mahomes, who played for six different teams, including the Cubs. But Andy McCullough does an oral history of the time a high school pitcher named Patrick Mahomes threw a no-hitter. (The Athletic sub. req.) The pitcher his team beat that day was current White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech.
- And finally, you know how Steve Stone always has a tip for the youngsters? Well, call me Stoney because I have a tip for the kids. Never read the news for your high school, unless you really want to be a newscaster when you grow up. (And even then . . .) Because if you do, someone is going to find the video (like this one of Zack Greinke in high school reading the school announcements) and embarrass the heck out of you.
Of course, it could be worse than reading the news. You could be one of my wife’s students:
If any of those kazoo-playing kids ends up running for office one day, we’ve got blackmail material.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.