With Dusty Baker officially out, here are three candidates to be the next manager of the Washington Nationals.
After two seasons, two NL East titles and a 192-132 record, but two early playoff exits, Dusty Baker will not be back as Washington Nationals manager. He has not been technically fired, as his contract had expired and previous optimism about contract negotiations apparently dissipated quickly.
General manager Mike Rizzo was thought to want Baker back, but the decision appears to have come from above him.
While his lineup construction in the NLDS against the Cubs can be called into question, along with his history as a playoff manager, the Nationals run of postseason underachievement pre-dates Baker and can’t be strictly pinned on him. There’s also this, to show the consistent turnover in the Nationals dugout.
Switching managers every two seasons reeks of a “can’t fire the players” sentiment from management. Ownership seems to have made the decision to let Baker go, though Rizzo has quickly dismissed it had anything to do with souring contract negotiations or money and was “purely a baseball decision.”
Based strictly on the talent in place on the roster for next season, the Nationals have a desirable situation. They may have someone in mind to manage the team, on the heels of letting Baker go, so here are three candidates to be the Nationals next manager.
3. Terry Collins
The Mets let Collins go in a similar fashion to how the Nationals just let Baker go, with an expired contract which brought a move that wasn’t officially called a firing. He is older, at 68 years, but Collins said he has no plans to retire and wants to be in baseball somewhere next year.
That somewhere could now easily be Washington, as Collins is plenty familiar with the NL East and has been to a World Series (2015). It wouldn’t be the most inspirational move, but Collins would be a very safe hire for the Nationals.