Dusty Baker Out As Cincinnati Reds Manager Despite Playoff Appearances in Three of Last Four Years

Dusty BakerDusty Baker is out as manager of the Cincinnati Reds, three days after his team lost the National League wild-card game to Pittsburgh.

A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that the Reds will announce Friday that Baker will be replaced. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because there had not yet been an official announcement. It was not immediately clear whether Baker was fired or chose to step down.

The 64-year-old Baker had one season left on a two-year contract he signed last October.

Baker guided the Reds into the playoffs three of the last four years, but they never advanced.

Cincinnati went 90-72 this season and finished third in the NL Central behind St. Louis and the Pirates. The Reds lost their final five games of the regular season and cost themselves a chance to host the wild-card playoff, which they dropped 6-2 at Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.

Baker has managed 20 years in the majors with San Francisco, the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati. His teams have won five division titles, and he is a three-time NL Manager of the Year.

The Reds won the NL Central in 2012, but Baker missed the celebration because he was hospitalized with an irregular heartbeat and a mini-stroke. He was admitted to a Chicago hospital during a road trip and missed 11 games.

Cincinnati then took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five division series before losing three straight home games to San Francisco, the eventual World Series champion.

Baker took over the Reds in 2008 and revitalized them. He led Cincinnati to the NL Central crown in 2010, but the team got swept by Philadelphia. At the time, Baker became one of just six managers to win division titles with three teams, joining Billy Martin, Joe Torre, Tony La Russa, Lou Piniella and Davey Johnson.