NEW YORK (AFP) — Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker, who won World Series titles as a player and manager in a Major League Baseball career spanning several decades, reportedly plans to retire on Thursday.
In an interview with USA Today, the 74-year-old manager who guided the Astros to last year’s World Series crown said he will retire after 26 seasons as a manager following a 19-year career as an outfielder.
“I’m gone,” Baker told the newspaper.
“But I’ll be back.”
Baker said he still wants to be involved with an MLB team in an advisory position but is done being a manager.
“I’ve still got a lot to offer. Baseball has been my life,” Baker said.
“I have a lifetime of knowledge, much more than those who have never played the game.”
The Astros, who were eliminated from the MLB playoffs on Monday with a loss to the Texas Rangers, have scheduled a news conference for Thursday.
Baker, who won a World Series crown playing for the 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers, managed the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals before being dropped in 2017.
The Astros won the 2017 World Series but saw the achievement tainted by a sign-stealing scandal that erupted in late 2019, prompting the club to fire manager A.J. Hinch in the wake of the controversy.
Houston owner Jim Crane hired Baker, who came out of retirement, in January 2020 and he helped distract attention from the fact the Astros were booed and jeered as cheaters in every ballpark but their own — in addition to keeping the club a title contender until winning his first crown as a manager last year.