Reds hire Baker as manager

Reds hire Baker as manager

CINCINNATI -- The Reds officially named Dusty Baker as their new manager on Sunday, signing the veteran skipper to a three-year contract through the 2010 season. Terms were not revealed.

A noon ET press conference has been scheduled on Monday to introduce Baker, with owner/CEO Bob Castellini and general manager Wayne Krivsky expected to attend.

Baker, currently an ESPN baseball analyst, has 14 seasons of managerial experience with the Giants (1993-2002) and Cubs (2003-06) and is a three-time National League Manager of the Year. He will remain with ESPN until the end of the postseason.

Krivsky could not be reached for comment.

Baker, who owns a 1,162-1,041 career record as a skipper, will become the first African-American manager in Reds history. The 58-year-old reached the World Series with the Giants in 2002 and was let go as Cubs manager after his team went 66-96 during the 2006 season.

Cincinnati selected Baker over interim manager Pete Mackanin, who posted a 41-39 record after Jerry Narron was dismissed on July 1.

Throughout the search, Krivsky had refused to name candidates other than Mackanin, who was an advanced scout before taking over the club. It was not known what role Mackanin will have going forward.

Mackanin lacked the big name that many in the organization, as well as fans, desired to take over the club. Baker, who was the first manager named from outside the organization since Lou Piniella in 1990, provides instant name recognition.

Over his managerial career, Baker has led four playoff clubs. His teams have won 90 games in a season five times and finished first or second nine times. He's known as a favorite among veterans and has experience working with superstars like Barry Bonds in San Francisco and Sammy Sosa in Chicago.

Baker is a proven winner known to have a good rapport with players and members of the media, but he also has his detractors. In Chicago, he was criticized for sticking too long with fading veterans in lieu of younger players who were often better. He's also drawn fire for overworking his pitching staffs.

Over a 19-season playing career, mostly with the Braves and Dodgers, Baker also made a name for himself. A .278 career hitter, he was a two-time All-Star in 1981-82 and participated in four postseasons.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.