Astros can 'absolutely' end MLB drought without repeat World Series champs, 'Stros analyst says

Thursday, October 5, 2023
Astros bidding to end 23-year MLB drought during this playoff run
The Houston Astros are 11 wins away from continuing a dynasty from last year. They're also that many victories from snapping a two-decade-long drought in baseball.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The reigning World Series champions are 11 wins from a repeat.

"The closer you get to your goal, the more visible it appears that it could happen," Astros manager Dusty Baker admitted Thursday, two days before his team hosts Game 1 of the American League Division Series against Minnesota. "We're a lot closer than we were last week, and a lot closer than we were a month ago - closer than we were six months ago."

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But the true timing of the Astros' task is 23 years. That's how long it's been since a Major League Baseball team won consecutive titles, which is the longest drought in any of the four major sports.

Mike Stanton, an analyst for Space City Home Network and MLB Network Radio, pitched for the New York Yankees from 1997 to 2002. He won the World Series in 1998, 1999, and 2000 - the last teams to repeat. Stanton said the 'Stros have cleared the biggest hurdle.

"The grind is the regular season. That's where the real stress is," Stanton noted. "Once you get into the tournament, anything can happen. Major League Baseball is unlike any other sport, because you really can't predict it."

But Stanton can predict, and he said Baker and the Astros have what it takes to break a quarter-century drought and repeat as champs.

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"Oh, they absolutely can," Stanton said when asked if the Astros can match his Yankees and repeat as World Series champs. "The talent is still there, and they know what to do in the postseason."

"We're on the path," Baker added. "If you're off the path, you have no chance."

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Beef over banana pudding? That was one thing an Astros beat reporter put out to the world at one point of the season. It turns out, that dessert had Dusty Baker coming back for more.