- The Washington Times
Tuesday, January 28, 2020

The Houston Astrosagreed Tuesday to hire former Nationals skipper Dusty Baker to manage the franchise in the wake of the team’s cheating scandal that rocked the entire sport, according to USA Today.

Baker, 70, spent two years as the Nationals’ bench boss from 2016 to 2017. The Astros are his first managerial job since then, and he’ll be responsible for guiding a contending team that was punished earlier this month for stealing signs throughout the 2017 season.

As a result of the scandal — which involved the Astros using a camera from centerfield to relay pitch calls to the batter — Houston fired general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch.

In 2017, the Nationals fired Baker for not advancing in the postseason. Through Baker’s two years with Washington, he went 192-132, but the team did not win a playoff series. The Nationals then hired Dave Martinez, who missed the postseason his first year and won the World Series the next.

The Astros, of course, are coming off a World Series defeat to the Nationals.

Baker has a strong reputation for providing steadiness to MLB clubs. While he has never won a World Series as a manager, he is 1863-1636 all-time over the span of 20-plus years. Besides Washington, he also managed the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds.

Baker first interviewed with the Astros last week.

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