Astros manager Dusty Baker expected back in 2022

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker is expected to sign a contract extension to return to the dugout in 2022, but pitching coach Brent Strom said he won’t be back.The Astros’ season ended Tuesday night with a 7-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves in Game 6 of the World Series.Baker’s contract was good through the 2021 season. USA Today reported Baker and Astros owner Jim Crane were set to meet Wednesday, and Baker sounded like a manager planning to come back.”I’ve still got some unfinished business,” Baker, 72, said after the Game 6 loss. “I mean, I love these guys over here. I love the town of Houston. The fans are behind us.”These guys, they gave it their all. They played through adversity, through a lot of stuff this whole year. We just kind of ran out of gas pitching-wise. Our guys, nobody complained, nobody alibied. And I’m not going to alibi. We got outplayed. What can you do, except go home, take a shower, figure out how you’re going to come back and win it next year.”The Astros hired Baker before the 2020 season, signing him to a one-year deal with a team option for a second year. The veteran manager was called upon to stabilize a franchise that had been rocked by the sign-stealing scandal that led to the dismissals of manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow.Baker has managed four other teams — the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals — and has a career regular-season record of 1,987-1,734 in 24 seasons.Baker apparently will have to go next season without Strom to manage the pitching staff. The 73-year-old Strom said after Game 6 that he intends to take time off without going so far as to say he’s retiring from baseball.