Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

Nats offered Bud Black how little??

43 comments

The Shredder comes to town.  Photo via premierespeakers.com, his current gig.

The Shredder comes to town. Photo via premierespeakers.com, his current gig.

Boy, if there was something I didn’t expect to read this morning, it was that the Nats franchise has managed to embarrass themselves *yet again* in a basic baseball executive management function.  Its like the bad old days of “The Lerners are cheap” and “Jim Bowden is incompetent.”

As noted in this Nbcsports.com piece and in this David Nichols districtsportspage.com post (which contains some pretty damning tweets), the Nats offered Bud Black a ridiculously under valued offer, he was insulted and refused to take it.  It apparently was than $2M for two seasons (or less than what they’re going to be paying Matt Williams NOT to manage in 2016).  USAToday’s Bob Nightengale reports it at $1.6M and only guaranteed for two years.  By way of comparison, Don Mattingly got 4 guaranteed years for a million more per year despite having significantly less experience.  Unbelievable slap in the face for a guy with Black’s resume.

And so now we’re apparently looking back at Dusty Baker, aka the shredder, aka Mr “walks are bad?,” aka “back when I played RBIs were important.”  Yahoo and other places are reporting that he’s been officially hired … though we thought Black was hired last week too, so maybe i’ll reserve judgement until we see him putting pen to paper.

My opinion of this situation: Awesome.  (that was sarcasm, by the way).

The team inexplicably makes itself look amateurish and incompetent in one fell swoop (how do they NOT know the going rates of managers in this league??  Pick up the frigging phone and call around) *and* miss out on a candidate that I personally thought was a pretty good transition away from the Matt Williams debacle.

I defended Jim Riggleman in this space when he abruptly resigned in 2011, putting some blame on Mike Rizzo for poor management/communication and leaving him out to dry for so long as “interim” manager.  Now, with Rizzo dealing with his SIXTH manager in 6.5 years at the helm (inherited Acta, hired Riggleman, installed Davey Johnson, (not even counting the 3-game interim manager McLaren) hand-picked Williams as replacement, butchered negotiations with Black and now has hired Baker), at what point do you look firmly at the executive in charge here and start asking serious questions about his abilities to manage?  Maybe you put this entirely on the Lerners … but isn’t it the job of the GM to counsel his non-baseball lifer owners on what is and isn’t possible in this game?  How is it possible they so badly low-balled a senior professional candidate while so badly overpaid for sh*tty edge-roster guys over the past two years (ahem, Nate McLouth).  How is it possible that the Lerners *still* seem to have this team in some weird corporate-world budgetary constraint system where they have their “slot” pre-defined for managers, for payroll, etc?  I don’t get it.

You know, sometimes you get what you pay for.  Lets hope this team doesn’t “get what it paid for” in Baker for the next two years (two years that will represent a significant “era coming to an end” situation for this team).

43 Responses to 'Nats offered Bud Black how little??'

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  1. I would submit that the press broke the Black hiring before an agreement was in place. So when are they going to take responsibility for reporting something that was not signed and sealed? And maybe it was Black’s people who jumped the gun and leaked it? not a good way to negotiate, as Donald Trump would say.

    It is no different from when the Giants signed the Cuban outfielder. No, wait, it was the Cubs? How much of these apparent screwups are because someone in a front office or even a talent’s camp leaked something to a reporter in the competitive pundit class?

    As for Black and 1.6 million, that is 1.6 million more than he is getting now. I just cannot get my knickers in a twist over this. It’s an opportunity to manage in the major leagues, Holmes. If you, Bud Black, are “offended” by a lowball, then get over yourself and your losing record.

    Bob Miller was a Cincy exec when Baker was there, and when he was fired. No way do the nats even bring him in for an interview unless they came in there with an idea of where they want to take the team.

    And as far as I am concerned, if he is a speed manager with Trea Turner poised to hit leadoff and start at SS, halleluyah! This franchise has Mike Taylor, who if he can get on base should be running wild, Bryce Harper who can steal more than he has. And as critical as I have been of the depth in the farm system, he has three more prospects in the minors who are all 50SB+ capable guys set to play this year at AAA, AA, and A+. (Difo 2B, Bautista (CF), and Stevenson (CF).

    Otherwise, I have no other opinion on Baker other than to say that the guy coaxed championships out of his players and has been around and is mature. He wanted the job, and has accomplished enough to have an ego. Sometimes humility is overlooked in the proud. And sometimes arrogance is overlooked in the proud as well. Which is why Riggleman still isn’t making more than 600K, and who knows when he will. he can thank himself for the effects of his blowlout, which had no different an effect and was no less selfish than Papelbon’s.

    forensicane

    3 Nov 15 at 10:58 am

  2. Baker, Black – both meh in my opinion. Safe choices, but uninspired. I have a slight preference for Baker, mainly because I think he’ll be a slightly better speaker.

    But this process was bad and embarrassing, after a bad and embarrassing season and I find it annoying as a fan. I also wonder what it says about the Lerners and their involvement, and as a corollary, their trust in Rizzo. From Kilgore’s article “The man stuck in the middle is Rizzo. He has not returned calls or texts. People close to him believe he was embarrassed by the Black situation, over which he had little control. The managerial crisis will not prompt him to bolt, but his situation can be considered tenuous. Rizzo’s contract is guaranteed for 2016, but the Lerners hold team options for 2017 and 2018.”

    Wally

    3 Nov 15 at 11:47 am

  3. Rizzo plays the press like a fiddle and his hiding and communicating through his “sources” is exactly that. I am a big Rizzo fan but he has set up the Lerners to take the heat on things long ago. They are wise enough to know this and keep a peaceful house. The media are troublemakers and completely self-interested whores.

    Some write better than others, and they are useful idiots when they can trigger a Gio Gonzalez trade, but otherwise are far more human than the intellect and integrity you would think they have. And being in the media means never, never, never having to say you are sorry for every controversy you create to get your front page.

    forensicane

    3 Nov 15 at 12:34 pm

  4. For everyone saying it was $1.5M and that’s a lot of money, you’re completely forgetting that other teams want to hire Black too. If he takes the Nats job, he can’t take other jobs so it might be wise to wait–even an entire year–for another job to come along. The Lerners and Rizzo screwed the pooch on this one, hate to say it, but this is the same group of idiots that suspended Harper for getting choked by Papelbon, so shame on us for expecting more. Dusty gets along great with veteran players and some rookies, so he’ll be an improvement over MW there, but he might be an even worse tactician. I know he’s the worst I’ve ever watched day in and day out. Just terrible, this sucks….yay DC sports!

    JWLuml

    3 Nov 15 at 12:35 pm

  5. JWLumi; no argument here; to me Nats come off looking pretty bad. I guess i should do a Baker signing review; i think i’ll wait until I see “proof” that he’s actually coming here :-)

    Todd Boss

    3 Nov 15 at 12:53 pm

  6. Rizzo is now firmly on the hot seat. I never thought I’d say that a year ago.

    Andrew R

    3 Nov 15 at 12:59 pm

  7. In the first place, the media has no one but itself to blame for goofing the original reporting. And every motivation to then turn around and essentially blame it on the Nationals (“it wasn’t our fault! It was the Natinals!”). The sourcing for this sort of thing is invariably anonymous and generally from those with an axe to grind. The reporters swallowed the bait and ran with it before anything announced by the team. There were even articles in a variety of papers and web sites over the weekend taking the Nationals to task as unprofessional and rude for not informing Baker that someone else had gotten the job. A job, of course, that as it turns out was still open. Don’t expect coverage to dwell on that aspect, or a mea culpa from those who ran with the story.

    I also have little sympathy for Bud Black in this. Yes, he has more “experience” than Mattingly. But Black has had only two winning seasons in nine as a manager, and has never been to the playoffs at all. Mattingly has never had a losing season and has been to the playoffs three years in a row. For all their payroll, Mattingly’s Dodgers have outperformed their “Pythagorean” record each of the last two seasons (+3 this year; +2 last year). Maybe Black is Joe Torre II, and maybe he is Jim Riggleman II – but he’s hardly in a position, based on results, to get huffy about being offered $1.6M/year for two years.

    That said, it IS a black eye for the team to have this played out in public, with all the sharpened knives ready to come out again. It’s a tempest in a teapot, though, and will quickly pass.

    John C.

    3 Nov 15 at 1:04 pm

  8. Well, they passed on Mattingly because they did not want to pay that money. How do we know that they truly thought there was a lot of separation between the three managerial candidates?

    Too many people talking about Bud Black like he was Ned Yost.

    The Dodgers, like the Red Sox, are already legend from flushing money down the commode like it’s Monopoly money. You don;t win bidding wars with them. I wnder how many managers are making less money than 1.6 annum. Why should the Nats overpay if they are not in a bidding war with someone who separates, like an ace starting pitcher?

    And Loria is a psychopath who, watch your wallet, is the same Yankee obsessed clown that Expo fans like myself remember for signing Upperdecki Irabu.

    forensicane

    3 Nov 15 at 1:04 pm

  9. Far more stunning than this news is that John C has actually agreed with the position I am taking. Now that is quite refreshing.

    forensicane

    3 Nov 15 at 1:06 pm

  10. I will move this forward from the previous comments page:

    OK, I ran Dusty vs. Pythagoras just like I did Bud last week. What I found astounding is that across 20 years of managing, including with some bad teams, Dusty’s worst finish vs. Pythagoras was a -5 in expected wins. Matt was -6 in 2015, and Bud had a -8 on his resume’. (The Blue Jays in 2015 were -11.) Dusty has a -5 and two -4s, but nothing worse. On the flip side, he had a +10 season and two +6s, including one with the Reds in recent years. Overall, his average over 20 years is only +.5, but the bigger takeaway for me is that, despite his reputation in some circles, his teams almost never finished that much worse than they should have based on run differential, and sometimes they did much better.

    KW

    3 Nov 15 at 1:08 pm

  11. As for the wisdom of Black waiting a year and getting a better offer – OK, maybe. But I’m skeptical. His record isn’t all that and a bag of chips, and there are a lot more people looking for manager gigs than there are openings. And if he doesn’t get hired by the Dodgers (the buzz is around Gabe Kapler, but who knows?) then he’s not likely to get a job this year – certainly not with a big market team that’s going to pony up $$$. And that’s a lost year of wages that he would have to make up down the road. If he gets a $2M/year offer next offseason it’s going to take a few years before he overtakes the $1.6M/year job now even putting aside interest rates.

    John C.

    3 Nov 15 at 1:10 pm

  12. forensicane, our agreement will no doubt cause each of us to immediately re-evaluate our positions!

    John C.

    3 Nov 15 at 1:11 pm

  13. Soap opera aside, I liked Dusty better than Black, simply because he has won. I liked him better after I looked at his Pythagorean record and found that he has an excellent track record of not screwing up teams in the regular season. First, do no harm.

    As for arm harm, Neil Greenberg has a good post on the Post site about how Baker’s handling of pitchers has evolved. Let’s hope his approach to the rest of the game has as well. I saw something several weeks ago that said he had spent the last two years trying to get more up to speed on analytics. That may just have been marketing for him, but he is a smart guy. He owns an alternative energy company and a winery.

    As for his approach at the plate, for whatever it’s worth, Baker the player had a career OBP that was 30 points higher than Matt Williams’s, and he struck out half the number of times that Matt did. Dusty never struck out more than 89 times in a season. In other words, he values contact a lot more than his predecessor. He didn’t walk as much as he could have, but you would hope he learned something while watching the game’s greatest master of working a pitcher and squeezing the strike zone, Barry Bonds.

    We’ll see. The staff building will be almost as important as the managerial hire, particularly the pitching and hitting coaches. I wonder if having Black out of the picture opens the door for a possible McCatty return.

    KW

    3 Nov 15 at 1:12 pm

  14. The media’s job is to break news, not just regurgitate what teams hand feed them. And there’s no indication that James Wagner’s story was wrong. If anything, today’s news corroborates the original story: the Nats chose Bud Black, period. I never saw any stories that he’d already signed the contract. And without Wagner’s scoop, the Lerners might have gotten off the hook for the much bigger story: that despite paying top dollar for a WS caliber team, they still insist on skimping on managers. As Kilgore wrote after MW was fired, the team put a novice in charge of what was otherwise constructed as a championship team. Maybe this speaks to how unimportant the team feels that a manager is to winning, but that certainly isn’t consistent with what Rizzo’s been saying since he kicked MW to the curb.

    On a side note, I view Dusty as a downgrade from Black.

    Clark17

    3 Nov 15 at 1:12 pm

  15. The soap opera: This is really hinting at Rizzo vs. the Lerners, isn’t it? Who mishandled what? Will we ever know? Do we really care now that it’s a done deal? Rizzo looks hung out to dry by the ownership on this, although as forensicane notes, this may be the story he’s spinning. Will this incident cause him to look elsewhere in a year or three?

    I’m of two minds here. One is that, for all the faults and drama, the Nats and the organization are 1,000 times better than they were when Rizzo took over. At the same time, success has led to hubris, the absolute worst example being the Williams hire, which was a Rizzo deal from start to finish. I’ve seen a bunch of quotes recently from guys inside baseball who thought Williams never had the personality for the job. But Rizzo did, and he rammed it through.

    The Williams debacle has kept on giving here because it led the organization (the Lerners? Rizzo? All of the above?) to back themselves into the corner of only wanting an experienced hire. That really left them with a handful of meh candidates: Baker, Black, Gardenhire, and then Mattingly, after the Nat search was already rolling. (Mattingly’s record actually strikes me as that of a latter-day Baker, winning pretty well in the regular season when he has the horses, but not able to advance in the playoffs.) The Nats interviewed some good possibilities without MLB managing experience – Wotus impressed me the most on paper – but they were always going to hire someone with the previous managing credential, in large part because the Williams mess had backed them into that corner.

    So here we are, with egg on the organizational face, but in the end with a manager who the players apparently will really like. Now it’s time to get serious about more important things, like middle relievers!

    KW

    3 Nov 15 at 1:27 pm

  16. Maybe I’m just partial to negotiators, but I come back to say, “how many managers are making more and less than 1.6 m a year?”

    And since when do we have entitlement for the Lerners to spend gaudily with no television contract resolution?

    The Royals just won the World Series. I’m done blaming the Lerners for the team shortcomings. They have great players who got hurt and otherwise underperformed and worse, choked.

    As for Rizzo, the Papelbon deal did not work out. He gambled. There is no indication that Storen would not have tanked if they traded for Kimbrel or Chapman, either. Too much rage against Rizzo and we just have to take stuff in stride. It was not our year. The guy has an ouvre spanning a few years that includes the Souza trade, the Karns trade, the Escobar trade (yes, the Escobar trade), the Morse trade, the Span trade, and lots more that have shown good player evaluation. That they gave up only Nick Pivetta is a credit to the organization as well. They still have Difo and Lopez and Turner and all of those pieces.

    I don’t think there is any conflict between the Rizzos and Lerners. I think it’s just the press doing what they do, which is create drama to get themselves noticed. It’s like the drama queens of ESPN and their presumptuous forays into pop culture. Just give us the f’in scores. It’s not about you — Keith Olbermann is just so yesterday.

    Rizzo gets a lot more control than he would get elsewhere. His is a symbiotic relationship with the Lerners. He just happens to be able to manipulate the press to do his bidding, quite the symbiotic relationship there, too.

    This will all be done by the time we are talking about qualifying offers this week. Obviously Bryce Harper is pretty happy. So is FP Santangelo, and that says quite a bit.

    forensicane

    3 Nov 15 at 3:36 pm

  17. The press blows coverage of a story…and blames the Nationals. Everybody is criticizing Baker…and all he has been is a very good ball player and a successful manager. Microscope Baker all you want and the facts are the same. He’s been good at what he does. Read these posts and he has killed the career of every pitcher he has managed and doesn’t know a thing about modern managing principles. But he has been successful. I guess competence is appreciated only if one agree’s with your own narrow minded approach.

    Mlloyd

    3 Nov 15 at 4:01 pm

  18. If you loved Matt Williams & his in-game management, you’re going to love Dusty ‘blow it out’ Baker.

    Here we are again with Alvin Dark & Gene Mauch.

    Mark L

    3 Nov 15 at 5:01 pm

  19. Boz lays everything on the Lerners, but more gently than Kilgore. I don’t really care that much and am ready to move on. I will, however, echo John’s point about the lack of an alternative market for Black. If he doesn’t get the Dodger job – and the internal buzz there has always been for Kapler (talk about a lack of experience) – Black’s probably not working, unless he takes a pitching coach gig.

    Moving on, let’s talk some actual offseason baseball. We’ve already been having the QO debate seemingly all season. I say that the Nats make offers to Zimmermann and Desmond and not to Span and Fister. I think making an offer to Span would be a win-win, with either a draft pick or another year of Span, but I don’t think they’ll do it. In previous close calls on QOs, they haven’t made the offers.

    Meanwhile, the O’s have announced that they are putting the QO on Matt Wieters, which should considerably dim whatever interest the Nats might have had in him. Boras will put a high price tag

    In other news, the Nats announced that they aren’t picking up the options on McLouth and Janssen, ending two of the more painful recent debacles. They’ll have to pay buyouts on both to make them go away.

    KW

    4 Nov 15 at 5:20 am

  20. I think they’ll make a QO to all three. Span’s is medical dependent, so we may not have clear visibility there. And I’d vote not to sign a FA that causes them to lose a pick; Todd’s articles show the need to restock the system, and Rizzo does well with high picks, and it’s supposed to be a good draft year. Keep the pick.

    Span is the only guy that I hope actually comes back. He fits a need for the Nats as a quality starter/4th outfielder and LH bat (and he’s a known commodity). But all the beat writers talk about him as gone, so I assume he is.

    But, and I’ve said this before, I do not like the idea of Stras in his walk year. Players react differently to the stress of that first FA year, and he is a high strung kid that may put much too much pressure on himself. Plus, the Nats as an organization do not have a deft touch with managing people. So I’d say he needs to be extended or traded (I’d vote to extend, if possible).

    Wally

    4 Nov 15 at 7:28 am

  21. Good for Bud Black; what everyone seems to have forgotten is that he has full salary for at least 2016 and he walked away rather than be insulted by low class owners.

    Span didn’t hire Scott Boras to accept a qualifying offer. Tbe only reason the Nats don’t Q.Om him is if the Lerners are afraid of Boras, which they’ve shown to be in the past.

    Mark L

    4 Nov 15 at 8:38 am

  22. QOs to Zimmermann, Desmond and Span. Denard Span didn’t hire Scott Boras so that he could take a QO and a one-year deal; he hired Boras to craete a market for his services and coax one more longer-term deal out of baseball before he starts hitting his real decline years. So the Nats should take advantage of the system.

    Of course … here’s the caveat. Clearly to this observer Boras has the Lerner’s ear, and putting a QO on Span will *really* hamper his market. He was already going to struggle to get serious money just based on the kind of player he is and then he went and missed the entire season with injuries. Who is going to pay that man? Boras has to know this, having made incredibly ill-advised recommendations to his other customers (Stephen Drew, Kendrys Morales especially) to skip QOs and then get completely screwed in the FA market. So what are the odds that Boras calls his buddies Lerner and says, “he man, do me a solid don’t give Span a QO and I’ll make it up to you later.”

    Todd Boss

    4 Nov 15 at 8:57 am

  23. Trading Strasburg instead of letting him pitch out his walk year: you could argue either side of course. You could do Boras a favor and trade Stras mid-season and thus prevent him from having a QO, but it’ll be really hard to do that wile the Nats are in a pennant race (lets be honest; the Mets likely take a step back next year offensively and nobody else in the division will be good, so the Ntas by default will be in the race).

    Lke we’ve said; everyone is on the table. If the Nats get some amazing deal for Strasburg, yeah go ahead and take it. Otherwise his September plus his overall track record plus his projected pay versus anticiapted performance still makes him a no-brainer to keep.

    Todd Boss

    4 Nov 15 at 9:00 am

  24. Hooray, talkin’ baseball!

    EJax + Boras = no QO

    Soriano + Boras = no QO

    Just sayin’. Sure would be nice if they could get a quid pro quo for not Qoing Span, though, like talks for a Harper contract extension.

    KW

    4 Nov 15 at 9:40 am

  25. I’ve done 360s, or 720s, or whatever thinking about a Stras trade. It’s very hard to see him walking away with just a draft pick in return, and I agree with Wally that Stras likely will stress about his contract year even more than Desi and JZim did. However, the rotation would take a big hit with him gone (and might necessitate signing a FA hurler), and I do NOT want to trade him primarily for prospects. The window is open now, and we need players who can help now.

    When seeing some names bandied about who might be on the block, one potential deal did strike me: Stras (+ a couple of prospects, possibly up to the level of Lopez) for Puig. That would be a gamble, with both injury history and personality, but he also has tremendous potential and extra years. I don’t know whether I would do something like that or not, but that’s the type of deal I would want to see, getting a true star-level talent in return.

    More likely, though, I think they’ll keep Stras. An extension is out of the question. Just look at the ’17 FA starters. He has the top-tier field to himself and likely will be looking for at least $200M unless he craters this year.

    KW

    4 Nov 15 at 9:53 am

  26. KW: I agree, hence my caveat. Jackson’s lack of QO was far more egregiously bad a decision. Soriano, not so much (since he didn’t even sign a guaranteed deal til mid-way through the next year).

    Here’s the question: where exactly is the benefit back to the Nats for giving the richest agency in the business these deals?? Is it the deferred money in the Scherzer deal?

    Todd Boss

    4 Nov 15 at 9:54 am

  27. Todd Boss

    4 Nov 15 at 9:55 am

  28. Puig: huge clubhouse cancer (makes Papelbon look like a JV cheerleader). And he’s right handed in a lineup full of right handed guys. And he only plays RF, which means you move harper to Center, which i’m ok with of course but then you definitely can’t bring Span back (meaning, no QO on the off-chance he does take it) and you push Taylor’s development back a year.

    Just doesn’t seem like a good fit. If we move Strasburg (who, lets remind ourselves, is *still* one of the 15-20 best starters in the league over the past 3-4 years by practically every measure you can think of except subjective ones criticizing his makeup) then I want real stuff back. Start with the trades for Price and Shields and if they don’t add up, then don’t make the deal. Hell, look what KC gave up for Johnny frigging Cueto for a mid-season move for a guy who isn’t nearly the arm that Strasburg is. That’s my starting point.

    Todd Boss

    4 Nov 15 at 10:07 am

  29. I don’t get all of the placating Boras talk. He gets the best deals for his clients and negotiates, period. He gets his clients money from where they want to go. No one is throwing a bone to anyone. That’s business.

    As for Boras and who owes whom, it was Boras who sandbagged the Nats on Werth’s shoulder. Just looking out for his client, at the expense of the team. If Rizzo and the team are anything suggesting the vindictiveness of trading Blevins over an arbitration battle, then, I wonder what is in store for the Nats and how they handle their outfield situation, and Werth’s job, this winter and with a strong manager in place.

    Another note on Baker. he clearly has a strong hand. For those who have long pined to have another strong personality in the braintrust who does not roll over for Rizzo, this might be your healthy treat. Maybe the Lerners knew exactly how to get their way if Rizzo was pushing his man Black. They are billionaires, after all, and earned it, were wiley to set up the Scherzer deal and are far from the cheap doddering nursing home residents that the Rizzo toadies at the WaPo make them out to be.

    I think Span gets a QO. And he should. It’s lot lower risk than the likelihood that they will eat all of Werth’s salary next year. There is no comparison to Jackson or Soriano (untuck! while I hurl) or even Haren, each of whom was and is less valuable to the Nats than even Matt Thornton.

    forensicane

    4 Nov 15 at 10:17 am

  30. How about Boegarts and a pitching prospect for Stras and Yunel or Espy?

    Andrew R

    4 Nov 15 at 10:18 am

  31. Todd, I am with you on Strasburg. I happen to think Rizzo will get that offer, and he will take it. But he may have to wait until folks like Zimm, Cueto, and Price sign their deals.

    forensicane

    4 Nov 15 at 10:19 am

  32. Terry Collins must be OFFENDED! Why, 3 million for two years for going to the World Series! It’s enough to just make one call up Stan Kasten to see if he can interview Collins for the Dodgers’ job! Not.

    Goodbye, Black.

    forensicane

    4 Nov 15 at 12:01 pm

  33. Todd, I agree with all the stuff about Puig. But I’m interested in that level of proven player if the Nats trade Stras.

    As for the LH bats, my dream deal would be to somehow get Kipnis and Brantley from the Tribe, but I’m not holding my breath on that one. Failing that, I’d be calling our old friend in O.co about Vogt and Reddick. Reddick only has one year left, so you would think Billy will be wanting to move him.

    KW

    4 Nov 15 at 12:57 pm

  34. Collins contract: nobody forced him to sign it, and he just got an extension right? I have no idea what the circumstances were for Collins to sign that deal but clearly he agreed with the terms. Black did not; he valued himself more highly than Baker did, who took a 50% pay cut to “get back in the game.”

    It isn’t just about “the money” since yes its still a TON of money. Its about your own perceived value and what you are and are not willing to work for. Joe Maddon wouldn’t have signed a one-year deal for the money that the Nats offered, right? Would we have criticized him similarly?

    Todd Boss

    4 Nov 15 at 2:18 pm

  35. FWIW, Heyman is reporting that Baker was actually the FIRST choice but didn’t like the money. The Nats then had the drama with Black but went back to Baker. None of the WaPo reporters have picked up on this spin, though.

    At any rate, I agree that with a WS manager extending at $1.5M per, the Nats suddenly don’t look so cheap. (Ham-handed, but not so cheap.) Is there collusion forcing the salaries down? My guess is that all the newbie managers who have signed for so little (including Matt W.) have diluted the pay scale.

    Now back to talkin’ baseball!

    KW

    4 Nov 15 at 2:31 pm

  36. Maddon would have negotiated. Black got “offended” and walked.

    I think my bigger point is that when you look at Collins, suddenly the Nats offer doesn’t seem so irrational/insulting/cheap.

    As for someone getting back in the game, he is more than getting back in. he is getting a major league managing gig with the Washington Nationals. I am reminded that Dennis Erickson, also in his 60’s and veteran coach and winner of two national football championships, took a co-offensive coordinator job this year at Utah. To just get back near the guys.

    Dusty is getting plenty. Not 4m, but then, he was fired after 2013. So he didn’t make 4m in 2015.

    One day you’re Barry Zito. Th next day, you’re Barry Zito.

    forensicane

    4 Nov 15 at 2:37 pm

  37. Mike Maddux coming. Good start. And a good sign that the franchise is attracting high talent, despite the local WaPo writers ragging on management.

    The good thing about being around for a long time and being a teacher, is that you get to know who the other good teachers are. So Dusty is making a nice mark already and the Nats are going with more new and proven blood. Maddux’ staffs overperform and he has been a pitching coach for many many years.

    Hard to forget the fiasco this team had at hitting coach for so long, pre-Schu. Let’s see who the roulette wheel stops on. Ladson says many coaches are calling to get on board.

    forensicane

    4 Nov 15 at 3:29 pm

  38. Nats lost the MASN case. Whoops….

    Wally

    4 Nov 15 at 8:03 pm

  39. I’m very pleased with the Maddux hire. He got a shaky Rangers staff to the playoffs, so let’s see what he can do with a much better class of pitchers. Plus I’d give anything to be a fly on the wall when brother Greg drops by and gets chatted up by Scherzer.

    Not surprised by the MASN ruling, as I thought the Nats had asked for too much. I hope the thing will go to arbitration – where it should have gone years ago – and move on to settlement.

    KW

    4 Nov 15 at 8:50 pm

  40. MASN issue deserves a whole post by itself… for sure.

    Todd Boss

    5 Nov 15 at 9:10 am

  41. Actually, I think that Angelos is much more likely to appeal the MASN case than the Nationals are. Angelos lost on every substantive ground he alleged except the representation of the law firm. The court also held that, because the problem was “exclusively” the Nats’ lawyer, if the Nationals hire a new lawyer they can go right back to the MLB arbitration panel. Angelos tried to say that the process should go to a neutral third party arbitrator, but the court said that the parties clearly agreed to an “inside baseball” process and that the court had no authority to rewrite the agreement. Further, the court held that the so-called “Bortz Methodology” (however applied) does not control. This was the lynchpin for Angelos low-balling the valuation of the rights’ fees.

    The court basically said that MLB and the law firm should have fixed the problem in any number of simple ways, but didn’t. If they fix the representation issue, that’s the “all clear” for a binding award. Angelos won the battle, but I think he lost the war.

    John C.

    5 Nov 15 at 9:15 am

  42. Agree with JohnC: My quick reading of the release seems to indicate that they will just go back to the arbitration panel and try to find a more impartial group. doesn’t sound like MASN is out of the woods yet.

    Todd Boss

    5 Nov 15 at 11:23 am

  43. That’s a more positive spin. I hope you guys are right. I’m just glad to see some movement on the case, as it has been sitting far too long.

    KW

    5 Nov 15 at 12:31 pm

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