Dusty Baker inks deal to become Astros manager

Dusty Baker inks deal to become Astros manager

Dusty Baker inks deal to become Astros manager

Ending weeks of uncertainty, the Houston Astros announced Wednesday that Dusty Baker will become the club's new manager.

One lesser discussed narrative is the fact that Baker's age makes him a good candidate to captain the ship for the next couple years as some of the team's veterans - Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, Yuli Gurriel, Michael Brantley - reach the end of their contracts and the Astros begin to re-build a minor league system affected by trades that improved the team the last couple of seasons.

Baker will replace AJ Hinch, who was sacked along with general manager Jeff Luhnow on January 13, following Major League Baseball's findings that the team illicitly used electronics to steal signs during its run to the 2017 World Series championship and again during the 2018 season.

The 70-year-old Baker becomes the oldest manager in the big leagues.

Manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were ousted by ownership after the revelations of the Astros' cheating scandal.

Certainly, he was the most accomplished, winning 1,863 games in his 22-year career with seven first-place finishes and a National League pennant.

Now he's getting one last chance with the Astros. The Astros also have interviewed former San Francisco Giants GM Bobby Evans.

Dusty Baker's reputation as a leader of men is going to be tested in 2020. That honour goes to the manager of the reigning league champion, and Hinch was scheduled to lead the team in July in Los Angeles.

In addition to his 10 seasons managing the Giants, Baker spent four seasons with the Chicago Cubs and six seasons with the Cincinnati Reds before his two-year stint with the Nationals.

His hiring is a stark departure from the youth-oriented recent history of the Astros, who hired Hinch when he was just 41.

Baker had a 19-year major league career as an outfielder and was a two-time All-Star. The game will be at Dodger Stadium, and Baker won a World Series as player with L.A. back in 1981.

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