Astros manager Dusty Baker infamously said, “if I win one, I want to win two.”
The veteran manager wasn’t talking about just any win, he was talking about World Series championships. Baker and the Astros won one together over the weekend and after a couple of days of uncertainty, it took him and owner Jim Crane about 15 minutes to iron out the details of a one-year contract extension.
That means 73-year-old Baker will get a chance to run it back with the Astros in 2023.
“I’m certainly excited to have Dusty back,” Crane said. “Great season. I don’t need to talk about Dusty. He’s a legend.
“He’s really done a lot for the team.”
Baker became the oldest manager to win a World Series championship when the Astros defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 4-2 for his first Fall Classic victory in his decorated managing career. Baker is also just the third African-American manager to win a World Series.
Baker and Crane weren’t able to come to an agreement during the season so they tabled the discussions until after the season.
“I’m happy to be back,” said Baker, who has signed a series of three one-year contracts with the Astros since coming aboard in 2020. “I had an idea I’d be back. We wanted to complete the tasks that we had at hand and complete the quest for the championship. I wasn’t worried. Like I said before, I really didn’t want any distractions. I’m glad that we got it done. It didn’t take very long. I’m happy, my family’s extremely happy. And we’ll see where we go from here.”
Baker right now is the toast of the town after leading the Astros to their first World Series since 2017 and just the second championship in franchise history. He did it at a time when a cloud was hanging over the club after a sign-stealing scandal tarnished the team’s reputation and their run to the title in 2017.
Baker, who got his 2,000 career win as a manager in May, did more than stabilize the franchise when he came out of semi-retirement to take over. He has guided the Astros to two AL pennants and a World Series title during his three years on the job.
He hopes to make another run in 2023. With many of the team’s top players set to return, the Astros should enter next season as the favorites to repeat.
“I wasn’t just talking. I meant what I said. I’d love to keep my word,” he said about his previous comment to win two.