By Mae A.
Houston, TX - Dusty Baker will return to manage the reigning World Series champions, the Houston Astros, for another year, Astros owner Jim Crane announced Wednesday.
In a meeting that lasted only 15 minutes at Minute Maid Park - where the Astros clinched the championship from the Phillies - Baker and Crane worked out the one-year deal on Monday shortly before heading out with their players to their victory parade in downtown Houston, according to the MLB website.
"I'm glad we got it done," Baker said Wednesday at a press conference. "It didn't take very long. I'm happy, my family's happy."
The Astros had won three of five games against the Phillies and closed the season Saturday in game six with a 4-1 win, giving them their second title - and Baker his first in his nearly 30-year MLB managerial career.
Baker joined the club in 2020 just after their sign-stealing scandal came to light and tainted their 2017 title. Baker was a stabilizing force for the team, leading them to the World Series in 2021 before taking it all on Saturday.
Despite the lingering resentment towards the Astros because of their cheating scandal, Baker is wildly popular - and not just among Astros fans. Sports lovers in the media and social platforms are lauding his win calling it a well-deserved crown to his long and distinguished MLB career. At 73, he is the oldest manager to clinch the championship, and the third Black manager to do so.
A highly regarded figure in baseball with a history of wins as both a player and a manager, Baker is wildly popular, with Houston fans often raising signs that read “Do It For Dusty,’ during the 2022 games. In the parade Monday, the crowds chanted his name as he alternated between waving and raising the trophy.
Baker pretty much tipped fans off about his intention to stay with the Space City team to go for a back-to-back World Series title when, just after game six, he said "if I win one, I want to win two."
"Dusty wanted another year, and that's what we gave him," Crane said at the news conference with Baker.
"We're really happy about it," Crane added. "I'm so happy for him. He finally got the championship, we got the championship, we're in a good spot."