June 21, 2018

Nats Nightly: Nationals announce Dusty Baker as their new manager

Dave Nichols of District Sports Page and Patrick Reddington of Federal Baseball discuss the Washington Nationals hiring of Dusty Baker as their new manager and the fiasco with Bud Black being offered the job, then bungling the negotiations.

Nats lose Bud Black over money, turn back to Dusty Baker

Let’s take out of the equation, just for the moment, the idea that Dusty Baker is going to pick at Bud Black’s scraps and probably become the next manager of the Washington Nationals.

According to multiple sources now, the Nats offered Bud Black their managerial job last week during the World Series without mentioning this rate of pay, then over the weekend when they went to do the contract, they offered Black, a veteran manager, a two-year deal for less than $2 million per.

Or did they?

Huh? What?

To compare, the Miami Marlins, with the lowest payroll in all of baseball, offered Don Mattingly a four-year, $10 million deal to become their new skipper.

According to The Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore, Black was, and rightfully so, “deeply offended.”

From me and @barrysvrluga, via sources: Nats chose Black on Wednesday, first offer left him “deeply offended,” talks crumbled by Saturday.

— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) November 3, 2015

It’s hard to imagine just how dysfunctional this all looks.

The news broke last week that Black had been offered and accepted the job. Then the team goes back and offers him less than they will have to pay Matt Williams to not manage this team next year (Nats are on the hook for the $1 million option of Williams they picked up in the spring for next season).

This is obviously coming from ownership. It’s understandable that they’d be reluctant to have to pay two salaries for one job. But it’s the price of doing business, especially when their GM’s hand-picked lieutenant proved to be an inadequate field manager and less-than-respected in the clubhouse.

Black was the logical choice for the next manager of the Nats. He’s experienced, respected by players and industry folks, a former big leaguer and pitching coach, and has ties to the area (his daughter went to Maryland). It seemed a fait accompli that he’d be guiding the Nats back to the playoffs next year.

Now, all that is up in the air.

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Baker, who’s a three-time N.L. manager of the year, was told he didn’t get the job, now he’s looking like the front-runner again. How does any self-respecting person see what the Nats did to Black and decide they still want to be a part of it. And when Baker’s salary (or whoever becomes the next manager) becomes public, we’ll go through all the finger pointing yet again.

And Baker, by the way, is a dinosaur in this business. He’s as old school as they get. He’s the guy that said he didn’t want players drawing walks because all that does is “clog the bases.” He’s the guy that destroyed Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. But there are also studies that he’s very effective at getting the most out of his hitters, though a lot of that has to do with a bunch of guys named Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent and Sammy Sosa.

It’s an ugly and awkward situation that only gets messier when we’re talking about the amount of money the Nats paid Casey Janssen to buy out his option.

For several years, the Nats organization was the talk of the league. They were going about things “the right way,” building from within through the draft, shrewd trades and generally acting like adults. But the events of the season, the way the Drew Storen/Jonathan Papelbon and Papelbon/Bryce Harper things were handled, then the firing of Williams and now this, it leaves many more questions than answers.

Primary of which, is: Who’s running this show and what’s their motivation?

Washington Nationals: Hiring Bud Black Is A Smart Move At Face Value

Bud Black’s two greatest strengths were Matt Williams’ weaknesses.

An experienced manager with an extensive résumé, Black is known for his ability to manage pitching and maintain strong relationships with his players. In 2015, the downfall of the Washington Nationals came in the mishandling of the pitching staff and the schism in the clubhouse. [Read more…]

Report: Washington Nationals to hire Bud Black as new manager

The Washington Nationals will hire Bud Black to be their new manager, according to James Wagner of The Washington Post.

[Read more…]

Washington Nationals reassign several coaches

Part of the fallout from the Washington Nationals dismissal of manager Matt Williams was the release of his entire coaching staff. On Monday, the Nats announced that several of those coaches, and a minor league manager, were reassigned in the organization.

Former bench coach Randy Knorr, who’s been with the organization in just about every role possible and who was thought to be a managerial candidate (again), was named Senior Assistant to the General manager, Player Development. Third base coach Bobby Henley was appointed Senior Advisor, Player Development. Bullpen coach (and former Nats player) Matt LeCroy will manager AA-Harrisburg, and former Harrisburg skipper Brian Daubach will become hitting coach at AAA-Syracuse.

There was no information on whether the rest of the coaches, including long-time pitching coach Steve McCatty, have been offered other positions in the organization.

It’s presumed that when GM Mike Rizzo appoints a new manager –especially if he comes with experience — he’ll be able to interview and hire his own staff.

The list of candidates is growing by the day. There have been area and national reports tying the Nats to former managers Bud Black, Charlie Manual and Dusty Baker, longtime coaches Phil Nevin, Dave Martinez and Don Wakamatsu and even retired legend Cal Ripken, Jr.

After disappointment, where do Nats go from here?

So, where do they go from here?

The past season for the Washington Nationals couldn’t have been more disappointing. Injuries led to rust, which led to collapse, which led to overcompensation, which led to dysfunction, which ultimately led to clearing house.

Before next season starts, the Nats have a veritable laundry list of things to accomplish (in order of severity): [Read more…]

Nats Nightly: Matt Williams fired as manager

Dave Nichols of District Sports Page and Patrick Reddington of Federal Baseball discuss the Washington Nationals dismissal of manager Matt Williams and the entire coaching staff.

Check Out Baseball Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with District Sports Page Nats Nightly on BlogTalkRadio

Washington Nationals fire manager Matt Williams, entire coaching staff

“This is not an easy thing. This is a business and as such requires some very, very tough difficult choices and this certainly was one of them.” — Mike Rizzo

MANAGER OF THE YEAR AWARD IN 2014, MISSES PLAYOFFS IN ’15

Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo announced today that field manager Matt Williams was relieved of his duties.

Additionally, bench coach Randy Knorr, pitching coach Steve McCatty, hitting coach Rick Schu, third base coach Bobby Henley, first base coach Tony Tarasco, bullpen coach Matt LeCroy, and defensive coordinator Mark Weidemaier have also been informed their contracts will not be renewed.

“A tough day for me personally,” Rizzo said at Monday’s press conference from Nationals Park. “A tough day for our entire organization, but these are the first of the decisions that we felt we needed to make as we meticulously evaluate why the 2015 season didn’t go the way we had hoped. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 162 Review: Turn out the lights, the party is over

HARPER GOES 1 FOR 4, FINISHES SECOND TO GORDON FOR BATTLING TITLE

Curtis Granderson hit an eighth inning solo home run off reliever Blake Treinen and the Washington Nationals season — which started with so much promise but ended in disappointment and dysfunction — came to a close with a 1-0 loss to the playoff-bound New York Mets at Citifield in Queens.

Maybe in just the faintest bit of irony, Tyler Clippard (5-4) earned the win for the Mets, pitching a perfect eighth inning and striking out two.

The Nats (83-79) managed just two hits on the day — Clint Robinson’s single off Jonathan Niese, and Bryce Harper’s ninth-inning two-out opposite field double — which extended the season one more batter, allowing Jayson Werth to fly out weakly to center to end the season. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 160/161 Review: Scherzer Throws No-Hitter as Nats Sweep Mets

SCHERZER STRIKES OUT 17 IN NEAR-PERFECT GAME TWO AS NATIONALS SWEEP DOUBLEHEADER

Geoffrey: My you chivalric fool… as if the way one fell down mattered.
Richard: When the fall is all there is, it matters.

The Lion in Winter, James Goldman

I ran into a friend at the grocery store between games today. Tony’s a long-suffering DC sports fan, and as we passed each other in the parking lot, he said, “Of course, now we can beat the Mets.

That’s how a lot of Nats fans must have felt on Saturday.

Not Max Scherzer.

After a 3-1 victory in the first game against the Mets, the Nationals sent Scherzer to the mound for the nightcap, and Scherzer pitched as if the Nationals were still in it. They might not have been, but Scherzer could’ve fooled anyone.

Even the most meaningless baseball isn’t devoid of meaning. [Read more…]

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