The 2023 Major League Baseball season concluded with several memorable stories. Among them was the historic first crown for the Texas Rangers in franchise history, as well as the remarkable campaign of Ronald Acuña Jr. and his potential for MVP honors. Additionally, the emergence of players like Elly de La Cruz and the impressive performance of Cuban baseball players overall were noteworthy highlights. Another significant moment was the retirement of esteemed Houston Astros manager, Dusty Baker.
Dusty Baker, one of the most respected coaches in the Big Leagues, boasts an impressive managerial career spanning 26 seasons. With a record of 2,183-1,862, Baker became the 12th manager to achieve over 2000 victories. It is worth noting that of the 11 other managers who accomplished this feat, 10 have been inducted into the Cooperstown Hall of Fame. The only exception is Bruce Bochy, who is still active but is widely expected to join the esteemed group alongside Baker.
Following Dusty Baker’s retirement announcement, the Houston Astros management office sprung into action. On October 28, a list of seven potential candidates to fill the managerial vacancy was unveiled. A few notable names on the list included AJ Hinch, Joe Espada, Will Venable, Don Mattingly, Buck Showalter, Craig Counsell, and Walt Weiss.
Among this talented pool of candidates, Joe Espada emerged as a frontrunner for the Houston Astros managerial role. Espada had previously served as a third-string coach for the Miami Marlins and the New York Yankees. He had also been associated with “The Sidereals” in 2017 and 2018.
It is reported that Houston Astros’ General Manager, Dana Brown, is strongly advocating for the promotion of bench coach Joe Espada to the managerial position, replacing the legendary Dusty Baker. Ben DuBose, a writer for USA Today who covers the Houston Astros, shared the insight provided by Brown: “…is pushing for bench coach Joe Espada to be promoted to manager to replace Dusty Baker.”
The search for a new leader for the Houston Astros continues, with the imminent decision poised to shape the team’s future endeavors. Conclusively, the 2023 Major League Baseball season was defined by memorable stories, remarkable performances, and the passing of the torch from one esteemed manager to the next.