Bench Coach Chris Speier is managing the Washington Nationals with Dusty Baker at home in California for his son’s high school graduation this weekend.
Baker told reporters before the series finale with the Seattle Mariners on Thursday that he would rejoin the team in San Francisco, where the Nats start a three-game series on Monday afternoon.
“I’m going home after today’s game,” Baker said yesterday, as quoted by MASN’s Byron Kerr.
“My son’s graduating Saturday. Can’t get there and get back for the game Sunday. It’s a long ways. Fortunately for us, we play in San Francisco on Monday.”
He was asked after the loss in to the Mariners if he would be watching the three-game set with the San Diego Padres while he was away.
“I’ll watch them at home. I’ll watch them during the graduation. I’ll watch them probably in my sleep in the bed,” Baker said.
It will be Speier’s second stint managing the Nationals after he filled in for Baker when the manager was away from the team dealing with a death in the family late last year.
“I just try to do the things that I know that he would do, he would want me to do,” Speier told reporters in September, “and this situation is no different than that.”
Asked how he would approach his job, Speier said he would do things simply.
“Just let them play,” he said. “Don’t try to be too tricky. We have a lot of talent on this team, let the talent do it, try to put them in the right position to be successful.
“Don’t over-manage and this situation is, ‘Let’s not get anybody hurt.’”
Speier’s Nationals will take on a San Diego Padres team that’s 9-17 on the road this season and 18-31 overall on the season.