Veteran major league skipper Dusty Baker is the new manager of the Astros. The team will formally introduce Baker in a news conference Thursday at Minute Maid Park. The 70-year-old Baker has managed in the big leagues for 22 seasons, winning three manager of the year awards and leading the San Francisco Giants to the 2002 World Series. He most recently managed the Washington Nationals to back-to-back division titles in 2016 and 2017. Baker's 1,863 career victories are the most among active managers and rank 15th all-time in MLB.
Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane and Baker released statements through the team upon making the announcement.
“Throughout his successful career, Dusty has embodied the qualities that we were looking for in a manager,” Crane said. “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 ballclub.”
“I’m extremely thankful for this opportunity,” Baker stated. “This is a great ballclub 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 becomes the 19th manager in Astros franchise history. He replaces A.J. Hinch, who was fired Jan. 13, one hour after Major League Baseball suspended him one year for his role in the team's 2017-18 sign stealing scandal. General Manager Jeff Luhnow was also suspended one year and fired that day for his role in the scandal.