When veteran manager Dusty Baker talked to MLB.com's Barry M. Bloom after his three and a half hour interview for the manager's job in the nation's capital a couple weeks back, he said it was an opportunity for the Washington Nationals' organization to really get to know him personally.
Baker, 66, who hasn't managed in the majors since 2013 when he was relieved of his duties on the bench after his sixth season on the bench with the Cincinnati Reds, but does have a 20-year-old on the bench with the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs and Reds, told Bloom he thought it went well.
"It was extensive," Baker said of the meeting:
"I mean, they really didn't know me there. 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."
When reports surfaced that Bud Black was getting the job surfaced last week, Baker told San Francisco Chronicle writer John Shea he was happy for Black.
"I’m happy for Buddy. I mean, Buddy played for me," Baker told Shea. "But naturally, I don’t think anyone would have been as good for the job as me. It seemed like a perfect fit. The town. The diversity of the races. People from all over the world.
"That’s OK," Baker added. "The way I look at it, hey, man, if it wasn’t to be, it wasn’t to be. Is this the end? I don’t know. But I keep on living. You can’t stop."
Baker said, as Shea wrote, that he was disappointed about, "missing out on the Nationals job, which he heard about from his wife, Melissa," but the San Francisco Chronicle noted that, "[a]s of Friday afternoon, he hadn’t heard back from them even though news surfaced Wednesday of Black’s hiring."
CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman is reporting tonight that he may be hearing from the Nationals soon, if he hasn't yet, because negotiations with Black hit a snag:
Breaking: in stunning twist, nats may turn to dusty baker. https://t.co/ha460TNJXx— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) November 3, 2015
Heyman writes tonight that, "[i]n a stunning twist, the Nationals manager job isn't completely settled, and word is, the club has reached out to Dusty Baker, and has offered him the job."
"Nats people were said to be leaning toward Baker even over the weekend," Heyman notes, "though multiple reports suggested the job was already Black's."
"The Nats were said to have been in talks with Black, but word is, nothing had ever been settled, despite the reports. The team had keen interest in Baker from the start."
USA TODAY Sports writer Bob Nightengale is apparently hearing the same thing:
More info when it's available...