Dusty Baker’s been hired by the Houston Astros and the “Old Ball Coach” will be roaming the dugouts in a city near you.
Baker is tasked with restoring honor to one of the best franchises of the last decade. The deal is for one year and includes a team option for the 2021 season.
“I’m extremely thankful for this opportunity,” Baker said in a statement. “This is a great ball club with outstanding players that know how to win. I applaud Jim Crane for the leadership he has shown in recent weeks and look forward to working with him and the players to bring a championship to the city of Houston.”
Baker, 70, will become the oldest manager in the MLB. He last managed the Washington Nationals in 2017. The future Hall-of-Famer ranks 15th in career wins with a 1,863-1,636 over 22 seasons. In 2002, he was the head man of National League Pennant Champions the San Francisco Giants. Baker is also a three-time National League Manager of the Year.
“Throughout his successful career, Dusty has embodied the qualities that we were looking for in a manager,” Owner Jim Crane said in a statement. “He’s a winner, and more importantly, a strong leader who has earned the respect of not only his players, but of virtually everyone that he has touched in baseball. We’re extremely excited to name Dusty as the new leader of our ball club.”
Baker will replace A.J. Hinch, who was fired along with general manager Jeff Luhnow. The firings come on the heels of MLB findings that the team used electronics to steal signs during the 2017 season. The team won the 2017 World Series championship and continued their now infamous cheating scandal into the 2018 season.