The Washington Nationals announced this afternoon that Dusty Baker will not be back as the Nats’ manager in 2018.
In a statement released by the Nationals’ PR team, the owners of the Nats thanked, “Baker for his two years in the dugout,” noting that the veteran skipper, “... led the team to the first back-to-back division titles in our history and represented our club with class on and off the field,” adding, “We wish him the best going forward.
In addition to noting that Baker won’t be back, the Nationals announced that, “... the contracts for the Major League coaching staff have also expired. The Nationals’ search for a new manager will begin immediately, and we will work with that person to build his coaching staff.”
[ed. note - “Please keep Mike Maddux.”]
According to an email from the Nationals, GM Mike Rizzo will hold a conference call later this afternoon to discuss the decision.
Baker led the Nationals to a 192-132 record in two seasons in D.C. after he signed what was reportedly a 2-year/$4M deal with the Nationals in November of 2015. He and the Nats reportedly discussed an extension at some point this season, but according to a report by Washington Post writer Barry Svrluga this week, “... Baker expressed some frustration about not having the deal done to The Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes, and that story displeased the ownership group of the Lerner family, and negotiations sputtered.”
Apparently, the Nationals will continue their pattern of changing full-time managers every two years, which stretches back to 2010. Is this a good idea? Did you value some continuity over the idea of having a new voice in the dugout and clubhouse?
Will the Nationals end up taking another Matt Williams-esque chance on a young skipper and come to regret it again? We should hear GM Mike Rizzo’s thoughts later...