According to veteran skipper Dusty Baker, the reports of his five-hour meeting with the Washington Nationals were slightly exaggerated.
Baker, 66, and a veteran of twenty seasons on the bench in the majors with the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds, told MLB.com's Barry M. Bloom this weekend that he spent 3 ½ hours with Washington Nationals' officials last week introducing himself to the organization and going through the intense process of interviewing for the job opening in the nation's capital.
"It was extensive," Baker said, and it gave Washington's executives an opportunity to get to know him personally:
"I mean, they really didn't know me there," Baker said of his interview with the Nationals. "People think they know you through word of mouth, but it's somebody else's opinion. I mean, they don't really know you until you talk to somebody. Then, it's like, 'Wow, I didn't know you were like that.' So it was good."
Baker also dismissed concerns about his age, telling the MLB.com writer he's the coolest 66-year-old around:
"[Age] doesn't matter. How old was Casey Stengel? I'm younger than Tony La Russa. I'm younger than all of those dudes [Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, Jim Leyland] when they left. Plus, I've got a 16-year-old that keeps me hip about how to deal with everybody.
"Age is all relative. There are some young dudes that act older than old men. I think I transcend almost all generations."
Today, it's reportedly 57-year-old manager Ron Gardenhire's chance to meet with the Nationals, who are searching for Matt Williams' replacement on the bench in D.C.
Gardenhire joins Phil Nevin, Baker, Bud Black and Ron Wotus on the list of potential candidates who are reportedly in the race to become Washington's seventh manager.
• "One of Gardenhire's mentors was Davey Johnson, who managed the Nationals from 2011-13. According to the Orlando Sentinel, it was Johnson who helped Gardenhire get back to the big leagues as a player in the early 1980s." - "Nats to interview Ron Gardenhire for manager" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com
Ron Gardenhire reportedly next to interview with Nats for managerial opening: Nationals general manager Mike R... https://t.co/ipVLW3SFJJ— Chris Johnson (@masnCJ) October 20, 2015
Nats expected to interview former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire today. Giants longtime bench coach Ron Wotus went yesterday.— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) October 20, 2015
NATS BEAT: Roster reviews + more; Harper's vacation
• "Taylor was supposed to play this season in Class AAA Syracuse, where he would develop and wait his turn as Denard Span’s Nationals tenure wound down." - "Nationals 2015: Who overachieved, underachieved, or neither?" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post
Byron Kerr: Jose Marmolejos-Diaz has the lefty power bat the Nationals love http://t.co/2wntHKkv0T— Byron Kerr (@masnKerr) October 17, 2015
• "Ramos has proven he can make it through an entire season intact, but here’s the question: Is he actually better off playing a little bit less?" - "Roster review: Wilson Ramos" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
• "Left-hander Sammy Solis was one of five Nationals pitchers to make their major league debuts in the first month of the season alone." - "Nationals Pastime: Sammy Solis flashed in rookie season and finished strong" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com
• "Though he may not like it, Espinosa does have real value coming off the bench. His willingness to learn all those new positions this year makes him a good backup option for several other regulars." - "Roster review: Danny Espinosa" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
• "While Daniel Murphy and the Mets were continuing their playoff run in the NLCS, Bryce Harper was enjoying himself at the Happiest Place on Earth." - "Bryce Harper goes to Disneyland with his former fiance" - Scott Allen, The Washington Post
AFL Updates: Everybody loves Chris... Bostick
• "It is a small sample size, but Bostick has crushed two homers and has gone 3-for-8 in two games. He has scored four runs, has four RBIs and has stolen two bases." - "AFL update: Estevez joins Salt River; Bostick off to good start in first week" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com
• AFL Monday: Salt River 2-1 over Surprise - Spencer Kieboom - 1 for 4 - AFL Box Score
NATIONAL(S) BEAT: Spring Training update; Mets beat on Harper; Cafardo's rumors
• "The reason Wotus should be hired as manager by the Nationals? Instant credibility." - "Sunday Baseball Notes: Who can generate power for the Red Sox?" - Nick Cafardo, The Boston Globe
• "The Astros and Nationals have told the county the budget is increasing to at least $144 million, an increase that will be covered by the teams." - "Astros, Nationals major league baseball stadium key vote today" - Joe Capozzi, www.palmbeachpost.com
• "How is Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper avoiding watching the Mets face the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS? That's a Mickey Mouse question, bro." - "How Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper is avoiding watching Mets" - Charles Curtis, NJ.com
• Who is he?: "Injuries shortened his seasons, and he then spent all of 2013 in the minor leagues for the Washington Nationals." - "For Game 4 of the A.L.C.S., a Matchup of Former Mets Is One for the Bookish" - David Waldstein, The New York Times
• "The crowded studio cast also included Max Scherzer, who pitched two no-hitters this season for the Washington Nationals, and Raul Ibanez, who finished his 19-season career last year with the Kansas City Royals." - "Alex Rodriguez and Pete Rose Sharing a Studio Set, if Not Opinions on Banishments" - Richard Sandomir, The New York Times
NL EAST UPDATES: Harvey's insurance; Dom Brown outrighted; Gordon's future
• Braves: "This past year saw a slash line of .265/.321/.338, a batting average and on-base percentage that represented his best of any full season in the majors." - "Short Hops: Braves shortstop review/preview" - Corey McCartney, FOX Sports
• Marlins: "If the Marlins are willing to get into the high-stakes bidding for a starter, Cueto would make sense. I just don't see him winding up in Miami..." - "Inbox: Multi-year deal for Dee Gordon?" - Joe Frisaro, MLB.com
• Mets: "All looks good in Harvey's world as he inches past 200 total innings. But just in case, agent Scott Boras has taken out insurance on Harvey to secure his future..." - "Inside Baseball: Mets' Harvey bought arm insurance; plus more MLB notes" - Jon Heyman, CBSSports.com
• Phillies: "Brown, 28, an All-Star in 2013, was among four players outrighted off the 40-man roster on Monday. Teams have until Dec. 2 to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players." - "Phillies outright Dom Brown off 40-man roster" - Ryan Lawrence, Philadelphia Daily News