Lovie Smith is happy for his old friend.
Smith and the Texans coaching staff got back to work on Monday but when the Texans head coach met with the media during an afternoon press conference at NRG Stadium, he made sure to congratulate his counterpart with the World Series Champions.
"Dusty Baker's been such a great manager for so long," Smith said. "You just kind of assumed that he'd won the World Series and led his team multiple times. But for this to be his first one is pretty special. It couldn't have happened to a better guy. I'm excited for our Astros."
Houston defeated the Phillies to win Game 6 of the World Series on Saturday night, and Smith was excited for his old friend. The two were in Chicago at the same time, as Smith was the head coach of the Bears from 2004 through 2012, while Baker managed the Cubs from 2003 to 2006. After spending 19 years in the majors as a player, Baker embarked on a managerial career that's spanned a quarter century.
Smith reached out to Baker with well wishes, but knows it might be awhile before he hears back from his friend.
"Dusty Baker knows a whole lot of people," Smith said. "I'm way down the line. Have I communicated and congratulated him? Absolutely. Me, and probably like 2,000,000,000 other people have. We will eventually make contact. Right now, I'm just pumped up for what they're going through. That's a feeling I can't wait to get. I know it's going to be special."
Smith explained how Baker's time with the Astros has been a great example for him and others in professional sports around Houston.
"What Dusty is setting for us and all the other sports teams around here, on what you can do: come in, change some things, keep believing in the process," Smith said. "Keep getting better and adding pieces to the puzzle. Perseverance. That's what you also see."
Smith and the Texans will begin practice Wednesday at the Houston Methodist Training Center, and they'll leave Saturday for New Jersey. On Sunday they'll play the Giants.
Browse tickets for the next home game vs. the Washington Commanders.
Head coaches Lovie Smith (Texans), Stephen Silas (Rockets), Dusty Baker (Astros), Kelvin Sampson (Houston), Scott Pera (Rice), Johnny Jones (TSU), Clarence McKinney (TSU) and Mayor Turner met at the POST Houston.