Phillies Manager Finalist Dusty Baker Inks Deal with Astros
Dusty Baker, one of the three Phillies managerial finalists this offseason, has joined the Astros on a one-year deal with a club option for 2021.
As it turns out, two of the three managerial finalists the Philadelphia Phillies interviewed this offseason will lead teams in the 2020 season.
Joe Girardi, of course, with the Phillies, and now Dusty Baker, through unforeseen circumstances leading to the departure of AJ Hinch, with the Houston Astros.
On Wednesday, the Astros hired Baker to a one-year deal with a club option for 2021 to become their 24th manager in franchise history, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
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Baker, 70, becomes the oldest manager in baseball. This will be his fifth managerial stint, after leading the San Francisco Giants (1993-2002; 840-715, .540), Chicago Cubs (2003-06; 322-326, .497), Cincinnati Reds (2008-13; 509-463, .524) and Washington Nationals (2016-17; 192-132, .593).
As MLB.com’s Sarah Langs notes, Baker will become just the ninth ever to manage a regular-season game at 70 years or older, joining Connie Mack, Casey Stengel, Jack McKeon, Felipe Alou, Chuck Dressen, Frank Robinson, Davey Johnson, and Joe Torre. Langs adds that Baker has managed teams to the postseason nine times, the most playoff appearances of any skipper to never win a World Series championships. Furthermore, Baker’s nine postseason appearances are tied for the fifth-most among managers all-time.
The three-time Manager of the Year Award winner’s 1,863 career wins are good for 15th-most all-time and the most among active managers. The Cleveland Indians’ Terry Francona comes in second at 1,667 victories.
As a player, Baker was a two-time All-Star, two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, one-time Gold Glove Award winner and 1981 World Series champion. Across 19 seasons, most of which spent with the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers, Baker slugged 242 home runs and 1,013 RBI through 2,039 games.
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Baker will be faced with the tough task of dealing with the Astros’ damaged reputation for their involvement in the sign-stealing scandal. Known for establishing connections throughout the clubhouse, it would be hard to find a better candidate than Baker at this point and state of the franchise.
The Astros will officially introduce their newest skipper on Thursday.