The Houston Astros and manager Dusty Baker announced a new agreement on Friday that will keep him at the helm for another season. Owner Jim Crane made the announcement. Baker's contract had expired with the end of the World Series, which the Astros lost to the Atlanta Braves in six games.
Baker, 72 years old, was originally named the Astros manager in early 2020 after the organization fired AJ Hinch for his role in the team's sign-stealing scandal. (Hinch, who had previously been suspended by Major League Baseball, has since resurfaced as the Detroit Tigers manager.) At the time, Baker received a one-year deal with a club option for this past season. The Astros exercised that option in July 2020.
Baker has guided the Astros to a 124-98 record, or a 55.9 winning percentage, over the past two seasons. For his career, he's won 53.4 percent of his games. He's just 13 regular-season victories away from reaching 2,000. Additionally, Baker is the only manager in MLB history to lead five different franchises to the postseason.
Even after the Astros lost to the Braves, Baker was adamant about returning for another spin.
"I've still got some unfinished business. I mean, I love these guys over here. I love the town of Houston. The fans are behind us," he told reporters after the Game 6 loss. "...What can you do? Except go home, take a shower, figure out how you're going to come back and win it next year. Look, last year we got one game short of the World Series, and this year we were two games short of the championship. So I guess that's progress."
Baker has accomplished almost everything that someone can accomplish in MLB. The exception is winning a World Series as a manager. Now, it appears that he'll get another chance to mark that off his list.