Dusty Baker

(Reuters) – The Cincinnati Reds have fired manager Dusty Baker, the club announced on Friday three days after the team was eliminated from the postseason in the National League wild card playoff game by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Baker, who managed Cincinnati for six seasons, had led the Reds to the playoffs three of the past four years but each time failed to clear their first hurdle.

“This was a very difficult decision to make,” said president of baseball operations and general manager Walt Jocketty, who said he informed Baker during a meeting at Great American Ball Park on Thursday.

“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.”

Baker, who managed the San Francisco Giants to the National League pennant in 2002 and directed the Chicago Cubs to the NL Central Division title in 2003, steered the Reds to NL Central titles in 2010 and 2012.