Reds extend manager Dusty Baker’s deal for 2 years

Topics: From the Wires,

Reds extend manager Dusty Baker's deal for 2 yearsFILE - This Oct. 6, 2012 file photo shows Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker laughing before Game 1 of the National League division baseball series between the San Francisco Giants and the Reds, in San Francisco. The Reds and Baker have agreed to a two-year contract extension. The Reds said a formal announcement will be made Monday afternoon, Oct. 15, 2012.The 63-year-old manager led the team to its second National League Central Division title in three seasons this year. He has been with the Reds five seasons. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)(Credit: AP)

CINCINNATI (AP) — Dusty Baker missed the Cincinnati Reds’ division title celebration, still recovering from a heart issue and a mini-stroke in a Chicago hospital. One win away from the NL championship series and another celebration, he came up short.

The Reds are giving him another chance to take his team deep into the postseason.

The 63-year-old manager agreed to a two-year contract extension Monday, the same length as his last deal. The Reds have won the NL Central title in two of the last three years under Baker, losing in the first round of the playoffs.

The Reds have won 169 games in the last three seasons, their best such showing in 30 years. Their two division titles in three years mark their best stretch since Sparky Anderson led the Big Red Machine to back-to-back World Series titles in 1975-76.

The next challenge is to take that next step — the Reds haven’t reached the NL championship series since 1995.

“In Dusty’s five seasons here, he’s taken us to the postseason twice and has proven he can lead our teams to championship-caliber play on the field,” owner Bob Castellini said. “He’s the right manager to continue the building process that will take us deeper and deeper into the playoffs in the future.”

During his first two seasons, Baker presided over the club’s rebuilding from a team reliant upon homers — an offense built around Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn — to one that wins with pitching and defense.

The Reds reached the playoffs ahead of schedule in 2010, then got swept by the Phillies as their inexperience showed. They took a step back last year, when three of their five starters got hurt or became ill during spring training.

The Reds won 97 games and the NL Central again this season and took the first two games of their division series in San Francisco. They also suffered a significant setback when 19-game winner Johnny Cueto pulled muscles in his right side during the first inning of the playoff opener, which cost Cincinnati its ace.

The Reds dropped the next three at home, a devastating collapse as Baker reached the end of his deal.

“It was disheartening to have my club go through this,” Baker said.

He acknowledged that he wasn’t sure whether ownership would bring him back. He got his answer quickly.

Baker was hospitalized for four days in Chicago in September for an irregular heartbeat and a mini-stroke, missing the team’s clinching win. He returned for the final series of the regular season and the playoffs.



Baker was a hard-hitting outfielder with the Atlanta Braves, getting his first promotion to the majors in 1966. His greatest moments as a player came with the Dodgers. He helped Los Angeles reach the World Series three times and win it in 1981. He played 19 years overall with the Braves, Dodgers, Giants and Athletics, making the All-Star game six times. He won two Silver Slugger awards and one Gold Glove.

He has set himself apart as a manager.

Baker is one of only six managers to win division titles with three teams, along with Billy Martin, Joe Torre, Tony La Russa, Lou Piniella and Davey Johnson. When the Reds got their 90th win this season, it gave him seven seasons of reaching the mark.

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 10
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie

    A contemporary romantic comedy set to Elvis Costello and lots of luxurious and sinful sugary treats.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Welcome to Temptation" by Jennifer Crusie

    Another of Crusie's romantic comedies, this one in the shadow of an ostentatiously phallic water tower.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "A Gentleman Undone" by Cecilia Grant

    A Regency romance with beautifully broken people and some seriously steamy sex.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Black Silk" by Judith Ivory

    A beautifully written, exquisitely slow-building Regency; the plot is centered on a box with some very curious images, as Edward Gorey might say.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "For My Lady's Heart" by Laura Kinsale

    A medieval romance, the period piece functions much like a dystopia, with the courageous lady and noble knight struggling to find happiness despite the authoritarian society.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Sweet Disorder" by Rose Lerner

    A Regency that uses the limitations on women of the time to good effect; the main character is poor and needs to sell her vote ... or rather her husband's vote. But to sell it, she needs to get a husband first ...   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Frenemy of the People" by Nora Olsen

    Clarissa is sitting at an awards banquet when she suddenly realizes she likes pictures of Kimye for both Kim and Kanye and she is totally bi. So she texts to all her friends, "I am totally bi!" Drama and romance ensue ... but not quite with who she expects. I got an advanced copy of this YA lesbian romance, and I’d urge folks to reserve a copy; it’s a delight.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "The Slightest Provocation" by Pam Rosenthal

    A separated couple works to reconcile against a background of political intrigue; sort of "His Gal Friday" as a spy novel set in the Regency.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Again" by Kathleen Gilles Seidel

    Set among workers on a period soap opera, it manages to be contemporary and historical both at the same time.   Read the whole essay.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>