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Reds complete contract extension with Baker

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Manager Dusty Baker got a two-year contract extension through 2012 for leading the Cincinnati Reds to their first playoff appearance in 15 years.

Baker was in the final year of his three-year deal. He said he wanted an extension of two years in part because he's superstitious.

"I've had some of my best success on two-year contracts," Baker said Monday. "I don't know why."

Baker's coaching staff also was offered two-year extensions before the club worked out, attended a downtown rally and headed to Philadelphia. The Reds open against the defending NL champions on Wednesday.

The Reds were the biggest surprise of the division champions, winning the Central despite a young and inexperienced lineup and pitching rotation. Baker kept it together during one of the tightest pennant races in years. The Reds and Cardinals weren't separated by more than three games from mid-May to mid-August.

The front office approached Baker about an extension during the season. They talked last week and wrapped up details before heading to their first playoff game since 1995 under Davey Johnson. The Reds went through five more managers before hiring Baker, who ended the franchise's nine-year losing streak this season.

"I think we got here sooner than a lot of people thought -- to the playoffs," general manager Walt Jocketty said. "I think a lot of it is due to Dusty's leadership."

Baker led the Giants and the Cubs to the playoffs before coming to Cincinnati. He joined Bill McKechnie as the only managers to take three NL teams to the playoffs. Nine have taken three different teams to the playoffs overall -- McKechnie, Johnson, Tony La Russa, Jim Leyland, Billy Martin, Lou Piniella, Joe Torre and Dick Williams also did it.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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