The Houston Astros bid farewell to Dusty Baker this winter, which helped to usher in the Joe Espada era. Baker retired from managing after what will surely be a Hall of Fame career.
While things didn't end exactly how Baker would have liked after the Astros were eliminated by the Texas Rangers during last year's MLB playoffs, Houston's success in 2022 now allows the former skipper to have the words "World Series Champion" etched onto his eventual plaque in Cooperstown.
However, Baker didn't stay retired for very long. The 74-year-old joined the San Francisco Giants organization in early January. While Baker himself doesn't even quite know how to define his role, his reasons for going back to the Bay Area boil down to one word: family.
Dusty Baker reveals reason for leaving Astros for job with SF Giants
Dusty Baker was excited to be back in Houston for an event over the weekend. The former Astros manager referred to Houston as his "second home". When asked about his new job with the Giants, Baker talked about the need to get to know the players and personnel within the organization before committing to what he'll truly be doing in his role.
Baker, however, cited his family as the biggest reason for his return to the Bay Area. Baker was born in Riverside, California, which is just outside Los Angeles and only a few hundred miles from San Francisco.
His new position with the Giants will allow Baker to be closer to his family, including his brothers, sisters, and grandchildren. During an interaction with press at last weekend's event, Baker said, "Sometime or another you got to go home."
But while family was Baker's biggest motivation to return to San Francisco, he noted that he still has something to give to the game that has been so good to him over the years.
Dusty Baker pulled this Houston franchise out of the muck of the sign-stealing scandal that cost GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch their jobs, and brought a level of respectability back to the Astros organization. Baker was rewarded for his efforts with a World Series ring in 2022 and can now enjoy his semi-retirement back home in California.