Astros manager Dusty Baker says he’s retiring


Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker told USA Today on Wednesday that he is retiring, a decision that comes two days after the team lost to the Texas Rangers in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series.

A news conference is scheduled for Thursday.

“”I’m very grateful and thankful to Jim Crane and the Houston Astros for giving me this opportunity, and to win a championship,” Baker, 74, told USA Today. “I felt like they’ve been good for me, and I’ve been good for them.

“What I really appreciate is that Jim has been totally honest and transparent with me on all things.”

Baker was hired by Crane in the winter of 2020, after the sign-stealing scandal erupted and led to the firings of manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow.

Baker did exactly what Crane had hoped for, deflecting attention away from a group of players who were besieged by boos in all parks other than Minute Maid, while fostering continued success. The Astros reached the AL Championship Series in 2020, secured the AL title in 2021 and won the World Series — Baker’s first as a manager — in 2022.

After signing a one-year extension, Baker guided the Astros to a 90-72 mark during the regular season — winning the AL West division title via tiebreaker on the final day of the season — before taking the club to its seventh consecutive AL Championship Series.

Baker also won the World Series with the 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers during his 19 seasons as a player.

“I love winning,” Baker said after winning the World Series last season. “I’m just telling you, I love winning probably more than anything else. I’m spoiled by winning.”

Baker was 320-226 in his four regular seasons in Houston. He went 34-19 in the postseason with the Astros, surpassing Hinch (28-20) for most playoff wins in franchise history.

Baker, who ranks seventh all-time with 2,183 wins, will be eligible for the Hall of Fame in three seasons. He is the 12th manager in major league history to reach 2,000 wins and the first Black man to do it. Ten of the 11 other managers who have accumulated at least 2,000 wins are in the Hall of Fame — Rangers manager Bruce Bochy (2,093), who isn’t yet eligible, is the only exception.

In addition to the Astros, Baker was skipper for the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals.

Baker told USA Today on Wednesday that he’d like to still be involved with baseball, perhaps as an advisor.

“I’ve still got a lot to offer; baseball has been my life,” Baker said. “I have a lifetime of knowledge, much more than those who have never played the game.”

He added: “I’m gone, but I will be back.”

ESPN’s Buster Olney and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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