The Washington Nationals announced on Friday that manager Dusty Baker will not return for the 2018 season and beyond.
Baker helped the Nationals to a 97-65 record and their fourth division title this season.
It’s the first time the Nationals won back-to-back NL East titles in franchise history.
The news came at a bit of surprise for Baker, who’s now lost 10 consecutive postseason closeout games, as he was expected to have further negotiations with the Nationals in regards to his contract situation.
"I'm surprised and disappointed," Baker explained to USA Today.
"They told me they would get back to me and I told them I was leaving town yesterday and they waited 10 days to tell me.”
The news on Baker found itself on Twitter’s trending list as fans and reporters reacted to the situation.
Dusty Baker did a good job with #Nationals. He's a good guy & a good manager. But is he the guy to get them to a WS? #Nats did right thing.— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) October 20, 2017
Dusty Baker's Last 5 Playoff Appearances:— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 20, 2017
Lost in NLDS
Lost in NLDS
Lost in Wild Card Game
Lost in NLDS
Lost in NLDS pic.twitter.com/sTXMxFhswi
Dusty Baker deserved better. This past season was his best as manager. The way he managed the first half (cont) https://t.co/C9Q5PLnxhO— William Ladson (@washingnats) October 20, 2017
The Nationals can spin it all they want, Dusty Baker is not to blame for another early postseason exit. He's not swinging the bat, pitching— Scott Abraham (@ScottABC7) October 20, 2017
Here’s the #Nationals’ statement on Dusty Baker. GM Mike Rizzo told me in August there was no reason that Baker should not be back in 2018. pic.twitter.com/Jxn72EvUdO— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) October 20, 2017
There’s now 1 African-American and 1 Latino manager in baseball. That, of course, is subject to change.— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) October 20, 2017
Btw I'm officially neutral on the Dusty move. Unlike most I think they could absolutely win WS w him. Also see that others might be better.— Eric Bickel (@EBJunkies) October 20, 2017
The Nationals will now be searching for their seventh manager in the last 14 seasons.
The Nationals will now have their 7th manager in 14 seasons. Nobody has lasted more than 2 1/2 years on the job since coming to town.— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) October 20, 2017
The #Nationals’ manager in 2018 will be their sixth in 10 years.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) October 20, 2017
“At the infancy of the Nationals we hired managers that could help us build through this thing, and as we got better, and as our expectations grew, we went with managers we felt that could get us to the next level,” Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo said in a conference call with reporters this afternoon, when asked about all the changes on the bench.
“That’s always been our goal, that continues to be our goal, but as the managers came and went, they were indicative of where we were in the developmental curve in the organization.”