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Baker gets extension

CINCINNATI — Dusty Baker, the 63-year-old manager of the Cincinnati Reds, got a two-year contract extension Monday, giving him another chance to take the Reds deep into the playoffs.

They've been there twice in the last three years, failing both times to get past the division series.

Baker missed the Reds' NL Central title celebration this year because he was hospitalized with an irregular heartbeat and a mini-stroke.

Baker is feeling much better, and the Reds have the nucleus of their 97-win team returning next year, including one of the deepest pitching staffs in the major leagues. When the club offered another two-year deal — same as the last one — Baker quickly agreed.

Baker did one of his best managing jobs this season, guiding the Reds through one major setback after another.