I sympathize with anyone selling this World Series. It would be fair to say that if you have to write about MLB's climax, it doesn't make sense. People will not pay attention if they are constantly repeating the same old refrain.
This is one of the most unlikable matchups that has ever been seen, but it's still worth your time to tune in. Although the Red Sox-Dodgers matchup of 2018 was not between two teams that are universally beloved, people will still tune in to watch them and eat their spite. They prefer to see them lose than ignore them. They have a large fan base throughout the country.
The Astros and Braves don't really do this. Due to their cheating scandal and inability to admit it, the Astros have been the league's most villainous team. This is combined with their fan-driven rush to create a Jesus-sized persecution problem. Texas and Jesus always walk hand in hand.
Although the Braves are a newcomer to the ring, you must admire their perseverance and effectiveness in doing so. It's one thing to overlook the problems associated with your logo, name, and fan favorite chant. It's quite another to embrace it, as the Braves did. This is the same sport in which Cleveland is changing its name for exactly the same reasons as Atlanta. It's there. Add to this the Travis Tritt story last week, the inherent problems with the Braves' move to the suburbs, and it is clear that very few people outside of TBS want to see any good happen to Cobb County Nine. (Isn't it odd how TBS was not reluctant to show The Chop during its coverage?) It was not due to the deep-rooted history between channel and team.
However, observers will still try to find angles that draw people in. The cliche drawer is always the first to open. We now have a BASEBALL MALE who has been playing for a while but has not won a World Series. Dusty Baker is the sentimental favorite because he checks all the boxes. This is the old man who has managed for so long, wouldn't it be great to see him win once?
It may be because I have been a baseball fan for so long that I was drawn to that story during the playoffs. I've been trained. But why?
Baker is liked by most people. I suppose I will have to believe them. We don't have any reports that he is outwardly a criminal. He has been there for media, I think. He hasn't always been liked. It's possible that it doesn't apply to his tenure in Chicago. He was prickly and paranoid. He called the broadcast booth to complain about the way he and his team were being criticized.
He used his son, who was only six years old, as a shield during press conferences in Chicago and San Francisco to avoid being asked about his playoff misdeeds and the cost of his team. He was actually more afraid of Lenny Harris then Mike Lowell, and he placed Darren Baker right next to the microphone after the game to make it difficult for anyone to ask why.
Baker was Baker really squeaky-clean? Not particularly. He could not have done more about Barry Bonds's activities when he managed the Giants. Nor should he have. And he should not feel compelled to rat out Bonds after the fact. Even if he could. Baker was not able to handle that situation well, and he reacted by firing at anyone who dared ask. Considering the differences in how we see PEDs today and 20 years ago, maybe we look at it differently. Baker was also a bit upset when it came time to defend Aroldis Chapman after his domestic violence arrest.
Baker is not a demon. This doesn't make Baker any more sympathetic.
Baker can be either an asset or a hindrance depending on how you view it. He is a winner for his teams, that's certain. His winning percentage for the Giants was.540. He brought the Cubs closer than anyone else to a World Series. In six years, the Reds reached the playoffs three more times. In two seasons, the Nats won 192 games. This is a remarkable record.
Baker was the main reason why the Giants and Cubs didn't make it as far as they wanted. Russ Ortiz in Game 6, Mark Prior in Game 6, Leny Harris, and Mike Lowell are examples of the unhinged nature that the 2004 Cubs display. There is no hiding from it.
Baker is a better manager of playoff baseball than he was with Washington, Cincy, and now the Astros. Kershawd was his 2016 acquisition. Max Scherzer can't help but give up a few flares and dribblers during Game 5 in 2017. These glaring mistakes aren't part of his repertoire. He is more open to modern thinking and goes to relievers when it is convenient.
It would be hypocritical or/or straight lying if i didn't mention that I should form a bond with someone who takes a job in a hated organization, because he wasn't available and no one else would. You are reading this site after all. Maybe that's it.
It's not so much that Dusty Baker has been a long-suffering figure. If you'll pardon the expression, he's just a long-standing figure. He's been around for a long time, both good and bad. This makes him seem more human. There aren't many people in this World Series who you can cheer for. Tyler Matzek? He's a reliever. Freddie Freeman? You are right? Ex-MVP, but still many years to go. Is anyone still around?
Baker does it by default, I suppose. There are very few, if any, better options. That's enough, I suppose. Maybe it's because we all use the same toothpick.