3. Dusty Baker
I know some of you are looking at this pick confused, but let me explain. Dusty Baker took over a club that was absolutely stacked, having made the World Series in two of the previous three years.
The argument can be made that he was gifted a great team, and did not have to work very much in the years after. I think that is an invalid argument, as Baker inherited a club loaded with controversy, and one that was hated by everyone outside of Houston.
However, Baker was up for the job and would do anything to defend his guys. This is why the clubhouse loved him, and will continue to throughout his tenure here. The prime example of this is how he handled Joe Kelly’s antics in 2020.
I will not go over what happened, but you can look it up on YouTube if you have not yet seen it. Besides this controversy, Baker also had to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, a shortened season and no Spring Training in 2020.
Despite all of these troubles, he has led the ball club to two playoff appearances, and an AL Pennant in 2021. He has an overall record of 124-98, and finished 3rd in AL Manager of the Year voting in 2021.
Plus, he is not done yet. With rumors swirling that bench coach Joe Espada could take over in 2023, it will be very interesting to see how Baker does in 2022. I will say though, he needs to work on when the right time to replace pitchers is.