In the first official offseason move since the Washington Nationals’ 2016 campaign came to an end last Thursday night, the Nats announced via Twitter this afternoon that all seven of the members of Dusty Baker’s staff will be back in 2017.
Pitching Coach Mike Maddux, Hitting Coaches Rick Schu and Jacque Jones, Bench Coach Chris Speier, First Base Coach Davey Lopes, Third Base Coach Bob Henley and Bullpen Coach Dan Firova helped Dusty Baker lead the Nationals to 95 wins and the third NL East title for the franchise in the last five years.
Baker and the Nationals dominated their NL East rivals in the regular season, putting up a 51-25 record in the division, with their 51 wins the most by any team in franchise history.
Washington finished 95-67 overall, with an average of 15.8 wins per month that gave them the second-best record in the National League on the year, behind only Chicago’s Cubs (103-58) and tied with the Texas Rangers for the second-best mark overall in the majors.
Baker signed a 2-year/$4M contract with the Nationals last November. He’ll be back in D.C. for one more run in 2017, and he’s bringing all of his coaches back for one more attempt to win the World Series ring he’s been after since he started managing in the majors in 1993.
His Bench Coach, Chris Speier, talked late this season, when Baker was away from the team due to a death in the family, about how the manager changed since their time together in previous gigs.
“Earlier on, this game wore on him,” Speier said. “I could tell, and this time around he just seems a lot happier and a lot more at peace and he doesn’t take defeat, doesn’t take losses, doesn’t take down times as hard as he used to and that’s really refreshing and it makes us turn the page a lot quicker too.”
Now they have to turn the page on the 2016 campaign and get back at it in 2017.