Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker, entering his 20th season at the helm of a Major League team, wouldn’t mind leading Team USA one day, reports Danny Knobler:
Perhaps Baker will be the one to decide in the future. He said Saturday that he wouldn’t mind managing Team USA, once his major-league managerial career is done.
For now, he watches along with the rest of us. He sees the passion that players from other countries show.
Baker led the Reds to two NL Central crowns in 2010 and ’12, both ending in NLDS losses. Prior to that, he managed the San Francisco Giants from 1993-2002 with a .540 winning percentage and two NL West crowns, and the Chicago Cubs from 2003-06 with a .497 winning percentage and one NL Central crown.
Former Athletics and Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa is likely the next manager for the U.S., Baker acknowledged recently.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.