Houston Astros, Washington Nationals

Dusty Baker brings ‘swagger’ and ‘integrity’ back to Astros, says Nats GM

The Houston Astros have reportedly hired Dusty Baker and Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo thinks he’s just what the embattled club needs.

Dusty Baker is back in baseball, reportedly having been hired by the Houston Astros, and his most recent boss is happy to see him return to the dugout.

Baker’s last managerial post was with the Washington Nationals in 2017 and Nats general manager Mike Rizzo, speaking to FanSided‘s Mark Carman in Miami ahead of Super Bowl 54, praised the Astros decision to hire Baker.

“Dusty Baker is a Hall of Fame manager in my book,” Rizzo said. “He’s one of the great guys in the game, one of the great managers in the game.

“The minute he walks into that clubhouse, swagger returns, integrity returns, and he’s a pretty damn good manager too.”

Baker is tasked with leading a Houston club that is dealing with the fallout from their sign-stealing scandal. There have even been calls for MLB to vacate the Astros 2017 title.

For his part, Rizzo didn’t want to wade too deeply into that debate. “I think talking about that problem – ’17, ’18, the Astros and the Red Sox – dilutes and takes away what we did in 2019 and I’m not going to do that,” Rizzo said.

Baker managed the Nationals for two seasons from 2016 to 2017, winning 95 and 97 games along with divisional titles both seasons.

In 22 seasons as a big league manager with four different clubs, Baker has a .532 win percentage. He has reached the postseason nine times, at least once with each team, and won one National League pennant. He has won NL Manager of the Year three times.

Next: Nationals GM on World Series title and preparation to face the Astros

Mike Rizzo spoke with FanSided on behalf of Budweiser.

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