It was reported last week that the Washington Nationals had hired former San Diego Padres Manager Bud Black to be their skipper for the 2016 season.
The announcement was never made by the Nats themselves, and today, an official announcement was made by the Washington Nationals naming Dusty Baker as their new manager.
The deal with Bud Black reportedly fell through because the Nationals weren’t prepared to offer Black the contract he wanted. He declined a one year, 1.6 million dollar deal, and another one for two years with team options.
Dusty Baker, 66, has managed 3,176 games, and the only active manager with more games as an MLB skipper is the Giants’ Bruce Bochy. During Baker’s 20 year career at the helm of MLB teams, he has won the NL Manager of the Year Award three times, and has a .526 winning percentage.
Dusty is also well-known for turning around struggling teams. In his first year as manager with the Giants, Cubs, and Reds, the teams averaged 18 more victories than the previous year.
SI.com reports that Baker’s deal is good for two years and two million dollars.
It’ll be interesting to see if Dusty’s old-school ways of managing work with such a young group of players, who seem to be playing the game in a completely different way than Baker did.
One thing is for sure, Dusty Baker knows his stuff when it comes to running a big league team. If the young guys jump aboard in Spring Training, and let the veteran skipper take the helm, the Nationals could go deep into the playoffs next season.