BAKER'S BACK

Houston Astros, manager Dusty Baker make it official

Here's hoping Baker gets another trophy. Photo by Marco Torres/@MarcoFromHouston

With all the frenzied speculation surrounding Houston Astros stars who may or may not return — Trey Mancini and Will Smith are now free agents — fans received some welcome news from the team on Wednesday, November 9.

Beloved manager Dusty Baker will return next year, Astros owner Jim Crane announced on Wednesday. While exact terms weren’t disclosed, Baker’s deal is a one-year contract through the end of the 2023 season, per the team.

“Hey man, we’ve got a chance to win back-to-back and this is what I’d like to do,” Baker said at a news conference on Wednesday, per MLB.com. “I’ve got work to do. You can’t be satisfied on where you are right now or you’ll never get past where you are right now.”

“I love winning more than anything,” he continued. “I’m spoiled by winning. That’s what I plan on doing, doing some more winning.”

Baker has been doing plenty of winning since he joined the Astros. His new deal comes off the Astros’ historic 2022 season, capped by the team’s Game 6 clinching of its second World Series title since 2017. Under Baker’s management, the Astros dominated the American League with a 106-56 record, the second-best in franchise history.

That domination continued throughout the postseason, with a 7-0 sweep in the American League Division Series and American League Championship Series.

As the nation watched, the Astros faced off with the Philadelphia Phillies for the Commissioner’s Trophy, rallying three straight wins, including the 4-1 win in Game 6 to secure the title in front of a raucous Minute Maid Park crowd on Saturday, November 5.

By the numbers, re-signing Baker is a no-brainer; he boasts a combined record of 230-154 (.599) in the regular season over his three seasons with the team, which tops the AL in that span.

A calming presence when he took over the team in 2020, Baker ushered the team to a mere one win away from the World Series. The next season, the Astros scored the AL pennant and headed to the World Series, where they were eventually bested by the Atlanta Braves in six games.

And this year? The run has been nothing short of magical… continue on CultureMap.

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James Harden returned to Houston Monday night and lost to the Rockets in double overtime. After the game, Harden complimented the maturation of the Rockets young players, and had some nice things to say about Houston.

Harden has a player option and can opt out after the season, which has some Rockets fans wondering if he would consider returning to Houston and taking over as the team's primary ball handler.

Plus, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta has said he wouldn't rule out Harden returning at some point.

Be sure to watch the video above as we break down all the angles involving a potential fit for James Harden with Houston's young core of players, and much more.

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