Baker out as Reds manager

Cincinnati, OH ( - The Cincinnati Reds have fired manager Dusty Baker after six seasons.

Baker guided the Reds to the playoffs three times in the last four years, including a wild card appearance this season after a 90-72 campaign. The team, however, dropped a 6-2 decision at Pittsburgh in the wild card game after losing three straight to the Pirates at the end of the season with home-field advantage in the one-game playoff at stake.

In his six seasons at the helm, Baker posted a record of 509-463. The Reds won division titles in 2010 and 2012, but lost in the Division Series each year and had a postseason mark of 2-7 under Baker.

"This was a very difficult decision to make," said general manager Walt Jocketty in a statement Friday. "Dusty played an important role in the recent success of this organization, and we thank him for his contributions during his time here. We feel a change is necessary, however, if we are to continue to move the organization forward."

The 2012 Reds won 97 games and built a 2-0 series lead over San Francisco in the NLDS, but lost the next three games at home for a stunning collapse. Baker still received a two-year extension through 2014 after the season.

Before joining the Reds, Baker previously managed the Giants and Chicago Cubs. He has a career record of 1,671-1,504 with seven postseason appearances in 20 years and was the NL Manager of the Year with San Francisco in 1993, 1997 and 2000.

Baker led San Francisco to division titles in 1997 and 2000, and guided the Giants to the 2002 World Series as a wild card during his 10-year tenure. He joined the Cubs in 2003 and immediately helped Chicago capture a division title for the first time since 1989, but came up a win short of the World Series with a loss to the Marlins in the NLCS.

The 64-year-old Baker was a two-time All-Star as a player during 19 seasons with the Braves, Dodgers, Giants and Athletics.