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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Baker, Reds agree to three-year deal

ESPN.com news services

Dusty Baker has agreed to become the next manager of the Cincinnati Reds and is expected to be introduced to Cincinnati at a news conference Monday.

Baker, a former Cubs and Giants manager and current ESPN analyst, accepted a three-year deal to skipper the team, beginning with the upcoming season. He will continue to work with ESPN through this season's League Championship Series and World Series.

The 58-year-old Baker's contract wasn't renewed by the Cubs after they finished last in 2006. Lou Piniella replaced him and led the Cubs to the division title this season. Chicago was swept in its first-round playoff series against Arizona.

By choosing Baker, the Reds have broken with their recent history of picking managers with little experience. They also have hired someone with a history of handling superstars -- Baker managed Barry Bonds in San Francisco and Sammy Sosa in Chicago.

Baker managed the Giants for 10 years, leading them to the World Series in 2002. He left San Francisco after a falling out with ownership and went to the Cubs, leading them to the NL Championship Series in his first season.

Chicago had another winning record in 2004, its first back-to-back winning seasons in more than three decades. But the team unraveled in his last two years, and the Cubs let his contract expire after an NL-worst record of 66-96 in 2006.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.


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