Scottsdale, AZ (Sports Network) - The San Francisco Giants have picked up the option on manager Felipe Alou's contract, meaning he'll be with the team through the 2005 season. The Giants also extended the contract of senior vice president and general manager Brian Sabean through the 2005 campaign.
The 68-year-old Alou, the winningest Latin manager in major league history, is going into his second season at the helm of the Giants. He led the team to a 100-61 record in 2003, but the Giants were ousted in the division series by the Florida Marlins. He became the first skipper in franchise history to help the Giants to the postseason in his initial year as manager. Alou also became the second Giants manager to win 100 games in his first season, joining Dusty Baker who won 103 in 1993.
"This is a day we've looked forward to, having a man with Felipe's baseball pedigree continue to lead our club," Sabean said. "When we first hired him, I told everyone that he was like baseball royalty and I think he showed everyone last year how special a manager he is. I'm looking forward to working with him over the next two seasons."
Alou was named 1994 National League Manager of the Year when he led the Montreal Expos to a 74-40 record before a work stoppage. He has a lifetime mark of 791-778-1 over 11 seasons as he was at the helm of the Expos from 1992-2001.
The 47-year-old Sabean was honored as Major League Baseball's Executive of the Year by both The Sporting News and Baseball America in 2003. He is entering his eighth season as the Giants' top baseball executive.
Under Sabean, the Giants have won one National League pennant (2002) and three NL West Division titles (1997, 2000 and 2003). The team also captured the wild card in 2002 when the Giants advanced to the World Series before losing to Anaheim.
"We're extremely excited to have one of the best general managers in baseball continue to be the architect of our team for at least the next two seasons," Giants president Peter Magowan said. "Having both Brian and Felipe committed to contracts through 2005 ensures that their great partnership will continue to work together to lead us to our ultimate goal--bringing a championship to San Francisco."
During Sabean's tenure as GM, the Giants have finished in either first or second place in the NL West each of his seven seasons,