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— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) November 3, 2015
Hey, Nats fans, remember when Bud Black was going to be the manager last week? Surprise!
Talks with the former Padres manager reportedly went to hell over the weekend and that expected Monday announcement became eerie Monday silence from the team. Apparently, Black was insulted by an offer of less than $2 million per year.
Overnight, the Post and other outlets began reporting on rumors of Dusty Baker‘s hiring. The Nationals official blog has all of the new skipper’s details.
“We were looking for a manager to help us achieve our ultimate goal of competing for a World Series championship,” said Theodore N. Lerner, Managing Principal Owner of the Nationals. “During our broad search process we met with many qualified candidates, and ultimately it was clear that Dusty’s deep experience was the best fit for our ballclub.”
Baker, an All-Star, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, and World Series-winning player, has produced seven postseason teams during his 20-year managerial career, including five division championships (San Francisco, 1997 & 2000; Chicago, 2003; Cincinnati, 2010 & 2012), and two wild card appearances (San Francisco, 2002; Cincinnati, 2013). Baker, a coach for the 1989 Giants World Series team, managed the 2002 San Francisco Giants to the World Series, clinching the National League pennant over the St. Louis Cardinals in five games, before falling in seven games to the Los Angeles Angels.
For a team that was expected to contend for the World Series, Baker is supposed to be the missing piece. Here, then, may be the most unsettling statistic for Nats fans: In 20 years of managing, Baker has one NL pennant and zero titles.