Years before Joe Maddon arrived in Chicago, Dusty Baker was the closest manager to breaking the Cubs’ long-awaited hiatus from the Fall Classic.
They were one run away from reaching the World Series before they lost in 2003. Three years later, Baker was fired from the Cubs and has definitely not forgotten.
As Baker searches for his first elusive World Series, the first roadblock of this postseason will be his former team. Yes, 11 years after his departure from Chicago, Dusty Baker is making this matchup personal.
“Almost everything is personal to me,” Baker told the Chicago Tribune. “I make it personal. It keeps me motivated sometimes, whether we’re playing the Cubs or not playing the Cubs. If you’ve been around as long as I have, there’s something about everybody that maybe they don’t like (you), or something about everybody that I may not like.”
Beating the Chicago Cubs is step No. 1 for Dusty to seek revenge after 11 years, but there is an over-arching narrative that includes two subplots which need to be remembered: the Nats have never won a playoff series, and Dusty Baker has never won a World Series.