Nationals Arm Race

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

First off-season shoe drops: Dusty Baker is not coming back

114 comments

Sayonara Baker. Photo via UPI

Sayonara Baker. Photo via UPI

In a move that surprised me, the Nats announced mid friday 10/20/17 that Dusty Baker would not be renewed.  I’m guessing that also goes for his whole staff.

I think he did an excellent job with the team this year, given the ridiculous number of injuries the team face.  He clearly stabilized the clubhouse post Matt Williams.  The knock on him prior to his Nats career was handling of pitchers, over-use of relievers, and a general lack of modern baseball strategy.  But his tenure here has seen none of these issues; there’s quibbles about starter over-use earlier in the year, but that was more about his decrept bullpen than him riding his arms too heavily.  The team shifts and plays modern baseball; I see no evidence that he’s a Mike Scoscia-level old-school hard  head.  So I’m not exactly sure why they felt the need to move on.

I don’t think you can pin the playoff loss on Baker either; when your team  hits .186 and loses two games where the starter threw 6-no hit innings … its tough to win.  Some people keep mentioning his sticking with Jayson Werth instead of Howie Kendrick … or his lineup construction choices batting Werth 2nd (nevermind that lineup construction theory has been proven to be practically negligible over an entire season).   I’m not sure I agreed with the quick hook of Scherzer in his start, much like I hated the quick hook of Scherzer in game 5 of 2016’s NLDS.  But otherwise, its hard to blame the manager for this playoff loss.  I mean, if Jose Lobaton‘s foot doesn’t come off the bag, do the Nats rally and win game 5 and we’re still playing playoff baseball right now?  If the ridiculous 5th inning sequence of events doesn’t befell Scherzer’s outing … are we having a different conversation?

Mike Rizzo took over in 2009 and he’s now set to be on his 6th full time manager.   I’m beginning to wonder about the workability of this front office.  Here’s the history step by step of Rizzo’s manager selections:

  • in 2009, He inherited Manny Acta and an awful team and whacked him mid-season.  Fair enough.
  • He elevated then-bench coach players’ manager Jim Riggleman to the job and let him lead a mediocre to bad team for another year and a half.
  • In 2011, when Riggleman finally had the team playing .500 ball, by all accounts Rizzo refused to even take a meeting with him to discuss his job status, leading to Riggleman’s resignation (my take on it here from the time).
  • He then appoints the guy he apparently wanted all along in Davey Johnson … who led the team to a .500 record the rest of the way, just as Riggleman was doing.
  • The team improves 18 games in 2012, but then slumps and misses the playoffs in 2013, at which point Johnson gets whacked.
  • Rizzo brings in his old Arizona buddy Matt Williams, who catches the team as it recovers from its injury issues and leads them to the 2014 playoffs, where he badly over-manages and the team loses in four.
  • By the end of 2015, the clubhouse is in absolute disarray, as documented by WP beat writer Barry Svrluga  here: Part 1Part 2Part 3.  There’s some amazing information here, and its no shock that the team not only missed the playoffs but whacked Williams soon after the season was over.
  • The team then had the embarrassing interlude with Bud Black.
  • then they hired on Dusty Baker and tried to save-face with the Black situation, saying Baker was their choice all along.
  • And now they’ve whacked Baker after a season where he’s possibly in line to be Manager of the year.

That’s 5 full time managers in 8 seasons at the helm.  Does this sound like a good strategy to you?  Look at some of the better teams out there; they’re not cycling through managers every two seasons.

Is this a concern?

114 Responses to 'First off-season shoe drops: Dusty Baker is not coming back'

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  1. “Surprised” is a good word for it. I just expected him to be back. Lots of scuttlebutt that Rizzo wanted him back but was overruled by the Lerners. Hard to know whether that was over the Lerners not wanting Baker back, or not wanting to meet Dusty’s salary demands.

    I’m worried about changing horses before the most critical season in franchise history. Will the Nats find someone demonstrably “better”? No. I’ve said before that I don’t think there’s a baseball managerial equivalent to Belichick, Phil Jackson, or Greg Popovich, someone clearly smarter than the rest. Joe the Genius just had a particularly bad postseason, and Tito Francona lost much earlier than everyone expected.

    Baker seemed to make a big difference with guys like Taylor, Difo, and Goodwin. I was never quite sure whether he connected with Bryce, but then Matt W. did connect with Bryce but left the rest of the team in ruins.

    Good luck to Dusty, who deserved a better fate. Good luck to the Nats as they try not to mess up a good thing.

    KW

    20 Oct 17 at 1:25 pm

  2. I’ll move forward my out-of-the-box managerial suggestion: Mike Maddux. He knows the team, knows the personalities, has worked wonders with Stras and Gio, and has the Vegas connection with Bryce. There aren’t a lot of former pitchers who are managers, but Bud Black is a notable exception.

    Regardless, if I’m Rizzo, my first call after bomb dropped was to Maddux, at least to try to retain him as pitching coach.

    KW

    20 Oct 17 at 1:29 pm

  3. Not surprisingly, the first reactions to his being let go are kind of disbelief. And ridicule of this organizatoin whacking a guy who just won two divisional titles.

    Todd Boss

    20 Oct 17 at 2:00 pm

  4. Wow, sorta surprised to see that my out-of-the-box idea may actually have some traction:

    https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/921422748299210752

    KW

    20 Oct 17 at 2:19 pm

  5. https://twitter.com/BNightengale

    Nightengale not exactly complementary about the nats moves today.

    Todd Boss

    20 Oct 17 at 2:23 pm

  6. Pundit = useless

    What’s the big deal? It shows a necessary restlessness by management that they will not rest until the team wins a World Series. I did not have.a strong feeling about it, but I sure am glad with the rationale the team used if they chose to fire him.

    A champion needs a mentality of Steinbrenner. That’s what is behind this decision, and I think it foretells a very active tinkering this offseason. Buckle up!

    forensicane

    20 Oct 17 at 2:36 pm

  7. Those who ridicule the decision have never run a business that demands performance + results in the crunch. Anyone on this board who has done so can completely relate to Rizzo’s official statement.

    As for the virtue signaling press, they can all take a knee and piss off. Want a long term pct here? Win a damn WS with a great talented team.

    forensicane

    20 Oct 17 at 2:39 pm

  8. I don’t want Ausmus or Farrell . . . or Terry Collins (Lord help us all). I really liked the looks of Ron Wotus, the Giant bench coach, when he interviewed two years ago. I think Dave Martinez, the Cub bench coach, interviewed four years ago. I’m surprised that neither of those guys has gotten a managerial job yet.

    KW

    20 Oct 17 at 2:44 pm

  9. One other thing – they know who is available. They searched only two years ago, and there is talent.

    Bob Geren
    Tony LaRussa
    Phil Nevin
    Alex Cora
    Chris Speier
    Many others they already know well.

    forensicane

    20 Oct 17 at 2:45 pm

  10. Ron Washington

    forensicane

    20 Oct 17 at 2:47 pm

  11. LaRussa is 73; Speier is 70. That’s not the direction they’re going. Cora is said to be the guy for the Bosox; if not, I’m sure the Nats will give him a look.

    KW

    20 Oct 17 at 2:50 pm

  12. Nevin has a good bit of minor-league managerial experience, more than a lot of these other candidates. Wotus does as well, which was one of the reasons I liked him two years ago.

    KW

    20 Oct 17 at 2:58 pm

  13. Buster Olney floats the Nat job ad:

    https://twitter.com/Buster_ESPN/status/921462135347019777

    KW

    20 Oct 17 at 4:14 pm

  14. Let’s give Baker credit for the good things; well liked by everyone in the clubhouse.
    Plus, it seems he singlhandidly turned Michael Taylor in to a star player.

    That said, games 3,4 & 5 of the playoffs were a classic case of managing ineptitude of the highest order. Total incompetence!

    The only question for Mike Rizzo was how much input the f.o. had in the lineups, which looked toward the end like they were put together by people who had never seen playoff baseball before.

    Mark L

    20 Oct 17 at 4:21 pm

  15. Yes, Wotus. And others.

    I know LaRussa is 73. But 73 does not have to be too old. I don’t want to start a political thread here, but Trump is 71, and he has all the energy onecan imagine, whether you hate him or not. I’m not saying LaRussa is the only option, but he knows the territory that we all want to reach.

    forensicane

    20 Oct 17 at 4:47 pm

  16. Long after we’re all gone, Dusty’s .593 winning percentage will still be the best in team history. (Well, unless they bring in someone who wins the WS but then they won’t give a raise after two years.) Dusty was absolutely, positively what this organization needed after the Matt Williams debacle. Was he the guy to get them to the “next level”? Maybe not. But he was the guy who got them to stop choking each other, gave Michael Taylor and Stras a heart, and restored Zim’s soul. He was loyal to a fault . . . and ultimately to being faulted, particularly about Werth and Gio. It was a near-great ride, and the Nats owe him a lot for restoring order and belief in the clubhouse.

    KW

    20 Oct 17 at 6:07 pm

  17. Very well put. Thank you Dusty.

    forensicane

    20 Oct 17 at 6:32 pm

  18. Surprised by this move. I thought for sure they’d bring him back. As I said earlier, he was ok but I think they can do better. I’m not sure who that is, but I believe we will get to read about them as naseum in the upcoming weeks.

    It makes me wonder about Rizzo though. It seemed like he gave a pretty strong indication a week or so back that dusty was coming back, so it has the feel of an ownership decision. Plus, if the rhetoric is about needing to win in the playoffs, doesn’t that apply to him? I wonder what kind of footing he is on with ownership. In my opinion, it would be unwise not to extend him, to say the least.

    Wally

    20 Oct 17 at 8:16 pm

  19. Olney floating Bob Sendley and Aaron Boone. Um, “no” and “hell no.” Boone has never coached, anywhere. Sorry, there are no training wheels attached with this job. You’re going straight into the Tour de France. As for Henley, I never really thought of him as being a real part of the “brain trust.” If you’re looking at an internal option, Maddux has to be at the top of that list, right?

    KW

    20 Oct 17 at 8:37 pm

  20. I don’t generally agree with Boswell’s takes on things … but he summed up the ridiculousness of this managerial decision pretty well in the WP article yesterday. Lots of national ridiculue, YET AGAIN. Why can’t we have a team that manages not to be a laughing stock every time it makes a decision?

    Meanwhile, Daniel Murphy had frigging Micro fracture surgery?? Uh, that’s not a tweak or routine off-season maintenance; that’s a major surgery. How long has he been hurting? Gee, maybe this explains why he struggled in the 2nd half comparataively speaking?

    Todd Boss

    21 Oct 17 at 7:52 am

  21. We live in such an instant-gratification world. Every college football coach in America, with the possible exception of Nick $aban, is just one bad loss away from being on the “hot seat.”

    One thing working against Dusty was that he, like Davey, was brought in as a short-term fix, at least in the eyes of management. Matt Williams was supposed to be the longer-term hire, but he was such a disaster of biblical proportions that they had no choice but to move on from him.

    Speaking of short-term fixes, the deals not made for David Robertson and Quintana look good in retrospect. Verlander sure has been worth every penny for the Astros, though.

    KW

    21 Oct 17 at 8:23 am

  22. Murphy surgery: yes, it explains a lot. He looked off balance and struck out a heck of a lot more than usual. So both Murph and Bryce were far from optimal health-wise. (And of course Murph got leg-whipped by Jay when he tried to turn the DP in what looked to me like a violation of the “Utley rule.”)

    KW

    21 Oct 17 at 8:29 am

  23. Are the Lerners and Dan Snyder friends?

    old guy

    21 Oct 17 at 10:16 am

  24. This feels like a Lerner decision to me, too. I wasn’t thrilled with Dusty’s hiring, but he more than earned my respect over the past two seasons. My larger worry, though, is the message this sends to managerial prospects. Dusty made no major mistakes in the playoffs, save (IMHO) starting Gio in Game 5 (I wouldn’t have put him on the playoff roster at all, based on his track record). The team couldn’t hit, but that’s not on the manager. Another manager couldn’t magically fix what ails this team in the playoffs. So what exactly would be expected of the next manager that Dusty couldn’t do? And finally, as Boswell asks in his column, who’s out there that’s better than Dusty right now?

    Clark17

    21 Oct 17 at 12:12 pm

  25. Rumor is they asked to speak to Alex Cora. Untested but he gets pretty high marks. Just hard to imagine they hire another rookie manager with a veteran win now team. If they’re going to go that route, I stand by my earlier comment that I’d like to see Randy knorr get a chance.

    Wally

    21 Oct 17 at 12:21 pm

  26. We’re never going to know the full story here. There’s a lot of scuttlebutt that Rizzo spent the week arguing with the Lerners to keep Dusty. True? Who knows . . . besides the principles, who won’t tell. Does it look bad? Yes. Do the Lerners have the right to make that decision? Yes. Are they risking pissing off Rizzo? Yes.

    So onward we go . . . again. The word is that Alex Cora is in the bag for the Red Sox. If not, sure, talk to him. But if the Astros win tonight, is Cora so good that he’s worth waiting on through the WS while other teams are circling other candidates?

    One point I haven’t seen discussed: While a lot of folks are pointing out that the Nats have a veteran clubhouse, I don’t think it’s as challenging a clubhouse for a younger or newer manager as it used to be. There’s no more Werth or Pap. Max is probably the most demonstrative of the players returning, but he doesn’t come across as a contrarian at all. Murph and Zim seem the epitome of “team” players. Bryce marches to his own drummer.

    In some ways, I’m almost more worried about replacing Maddux than I am about replacing Dusty. Would Maddux re-sign with the Nats before the new manager is known? Is he a managerial candidate? He is in my book, and others are mentioning him.

    KW

    21 Oct 17 at 10:11 pm

  27. Nightengale just crucified the Nats over this. And I agree with him. Once again, echos of “lerners are cheap” are back in action. Awesome. Cora just got offered a 3 year deal, whcih means the Nats are out. Odds are he got offered good money too, meaning the Nats are out. they won’t give anyone more than $2M/year and a 2 year deal; so who exactly is going to take that? Not when Bud Black gets a 3 year deal, not when marquee guys like Mattingly are getting more per year and more guaranteed years.

    Who exactly is the team going to get that is going to be better than who they j ust jettissoned?

    Todd Boss

    21 Oct 17 at 10:29 pm

  28. The Lerners have wanted to have things both ways: hire managers on the cheap, then hold them to the top-level standard of not only making the playoffs, but winning series.

    If you don’t pay market level, you limit yourself to either untried guys that other teams really aren’t pursuing (Matt W.) or veteran managers who most teams aren’t interested in anymore (Dusty, Davey).

    The manager market is curious, though. There were some guys out there in 2013 and 2015 who everyone was convinced were going to get managerial jobs, but they didn’t, and they still haven’t. I’m thinking of guys Dave Martinez, Ron Wotus, DeMarlo Hale, maybe Phil Nevin. Martinez’s name has come up for nearly every opening for the last four or five years, but no one has hired him. Are those guys getting “desperate” enough to take a Lerner low-ball for the chance at their dream job, with a rocket-fueled team? Yeah, probably. They still may hold out for a three-year contract, though.

    KW

    21 Oct 17 at 11:05 pm

  29. Come on Todd. This was the right move. Dusty is an old guy brought in to win the WS – how many more years did you want to resign him for? Plus, his strategy WAS weak and waaay old school. Move on. It’s not like any other team will see what a great manager he was and sign him!

    Dusty was a good clubhouse guy and steered the ship well across the long voyage. But he wasn’t equipped to make tough decisions in the playoffs.

    Time to get a young guy who believes in managing while paying attention to statistics.

    Andrew R

    22 Oct 17 at 12:23 am

  30. Lots of buzz out there that the Bosox will announce Cora as their new manager before the World Series, and that he will get a three-year contract.

    Meanwhile, more details are coming out about Farrell and his affair with a reporter. I’d say he’s crossed off the list as well.

    Ausmus’s record in Detroit wasn’t that great. I would think his chances of getting into the Nat sweepstakes depend heavily on what Scherzer thinks of him.

    The Cubs are now in the market for a pitching coach. I sure hope they don’t end up with Maddux. The Nats need to act quickly on Maddux, as he’s sure to get a lot of phone calls.

    KW

    22 Oct 17 at 9:13 am

  31. Cora officially off the market, while the Mets turn to a pitching coach as the new manager, Mickey Calloway. Both are getting three-year deals. (Hint, hint to the Lerners.)

    It’s interesting that both guys are in their early 40s. The previous generation of “hot” assistants seems to have been passed by: Martinez, Wotus, Hale, et al. They’re all in their 50s. So is Maddux. Nothing wrong with a little more experience, particularly in dealing with a veteran club like the Nats.

    I would not mind Kevin Long of the Mets getting a look here. He was the hitting guru who turned Murphy into a superstar.

    Anyway, the Nats are now playing catch-up. Time to get moving on this.

    KW

    22 Oct 17 at 4:06 pm

  32. I don’t feel impatient. Alex Cora hasn’t managed and gets a three year contract. How does that make the Nats a bad organization when he has not even won yet?

    As for prospects available to the Nats because they don’t offer long contracts, that’s just silly. There are so many great baseball men. And many would give their left nut to manage this team. With or without Harper. And show me how many 69 year old men make 2 m a year?

    The WaPo is running their anti-Lerner tripe again, without disclosing that Baker was Chelsea James’ leak. But of course, sanctimony is always equated with expertise, be it the WaPo or Sports Illustrated or Dave Nightengale (whose trade rumors always prove to be pulled out of his hole).

    forensicane

    22 Oct 17 at 6:50 pm

  33. I’m ready to move on from the Dusty situation. Some are glad he’s gone, some aren’t, some think the organization embarrassed itself, some don’t.

    I do think Chelsea is right with this contention in her most recent piece: if the Nats go with a veteran manager, they’re going to have a hard time selling the clubhouse and the fan base on someone who has been less successful than Dusty. Farrell has won a WS but seems to have multiple strikes against him. Collins has been to a WS, but come on, most of us would be furious if he’s the pick, me among them. The most successful “experienced” guys, like Leyland and LaRussa, make Dusty look like a spring chicken. (Plus I’ve always thought LaRussa is a jerk.)

    I think Fore is right in his skepticism of younger guys who have never run anything, like Cora. The Nats tried that approach with Acta, albeit with a far worse team. There are always a bunch of younger guys out there attracting a lot of attention, and with two of them managing in the WS this year, more teams are probably going to be looking for the next lottery ticket. If the Nats look to go that route, keep an eye on Gabe Kapler. That would be a gamble with a veteran team, though. Phil Nevin is a little older and has minor-league managing experience.

    I think the sweet spot is guys in their 50s who have been passed over before: Martinez, Wotus, Hale, Sandy Alomar Jr., Maddux. All of those guys have been to the WS as coaches. I’d be pleased with any one of those to run the Nats.

    Fore mentioned Bob Geren at some point. He’s getting a lot of credit for running the analytics side of the Dodger dugout. Looks like his communications skills weren’t good at all when he managed the A’s, though. Do you bet that someone has figured out how to communicate better? I’m not sure that I do.

    So start the carousel, or the roulette wheel. All you have to do is charm old-man Lerner, agree to work for peanuts, and don’t plan to be here for more than two years.

    KW

    22 Oct 17 at 8:57 pm

  34. And Kevin Long — good reputation as a communicator, minor-league managing experience, and star pupil to introduce him to the Nat clubhouse.

    Chip Hale will probably pop up as well, if for no other reason than the AZ connection. I don’t know enough about what fell apart for him with the Snakes, but it certainly did fall apart, and rapidly.

    KW

    22 Oct 17 at 9:07 pm

  35. Ausmus inherited a really good Tiger team and tanked it. Not what we’re looking for here. Max was there for his first season in DET, so he’d be a good source.

    KW

    22 Oct 17 at 9:16 pm

  36. No manager is paid peanuts
    All minor league managers are paid peanuts
    As are, by comparison, active coaches.

    For every Kapler that is smart enough to get a decent paying. Roadcast gig, there are 50 others who would work for peanuts to be on a coaching staff, and do.

    Negotiating with the press as your agent is a successful ploy, because only the media is dumb enough to realize that for many of these guys, the alternative is a low paying ml coaching job and for some more, a nonexistent unemployment check while waiting for the phone to ring. Ask Ron Gardenhire how much he made while waiting for the phone to ring.

    I have no strong opinion about Dusty, but as for the maudlin shmaltz of dupes like Nightengale, they overlook the fact that the alternative to ANY offer for Dusty Baker is him simply being just another senior citizen on Medicare living off his investment assets, as opposed to fielding offers to be an Associate at Goldman Sachs. It’s all so breathtakingly stupid.

    Does anyone think Mike Matheny is bitter that he got a 750k contract? Ah, no. He would have been otherwise just like Chris Bosio. One loss away from riding the bus.

    forensicane

    22 Oct 17 at 9:31 pm

  37. Nightengale is a hack. I don’t think it benefits anyone to read him. And Dusty is notorious for negotiating and leaking to the media. I thought he was ok as a manager, but none of his gigs end well. I’m not going to think too hard about it.

    I really have no idea who they’ll get. I’m not a big believer in the value of managers. I definitely think there can be bad choices, and I certainly hope they avoid that. But the rest of them are largely similar. Some of the new guys can work out. I think Texas and SD have done fine with rookie guys. But the retread guys can also work out, like Hurdle, Yost and Hinch. I really just want the guy to do two things: don’t piss off the players and play the best players. And since sometimes they conflict with each other, I think the second one is more important.

    Wally

    22 Oct 17 at 10:41 pm

  38. Oh yeah, one more comment.

    Collins? F@#! No. Now that would get me angry.

    Wally

    22 Oct 17 at 10:43 pm

  39. Somewhat to my surprise, I can’t find a full list of manager salaries on the ‘net. I had seen someone mention that Dusty’s salary ranked 9th out of 30, but I don’t know how accurate that info is. Yes, there seems to be quite a disparity, and yes, it’s surprising that most teams seem to value (pay) their managers less than they do veteran utility infielders. Stephen Drew made more than all but a couple of managers in 2017.

    And yes, Wally, you’re right: there’s no reason to bid against yourself if no other team is going to value the services of the guy you want at the same or higher level.

    Beyond the salary, both Cora and Gardenhire have gotten three-year deals, something the Nats seem reluctant to do.

    KW

    23 Oct 17 at 7:41 am

  40. All things equal, I would prefer an NL guy. I know it’s not rocket science to schedule pinch hitters and double switches, but there’s still a rhythm to it, and those are the decisions that seem to be most criticized in the playoffs if they go wrong. It would also seem to be useful just to have someone who is familiar with the players in the league and their tendencies.

    Maddux would be at the top of my list if he’s interested. He’s been so good with the Nat starters, knows the clubhouse, and has the Vegas connection with Bryce.

    After him, if we’re looking at NL guys, you’ve got Martinez (special insight into the Cubs), Wotus (three WS rings, faced Dodgers regularly in NL West), Long, and maybe Geren (Dodger insight) and Nevin.

    KW

    23 Oct 17 at 7:58 am

  41. AndrewR: this would have been the right move … AFTER 2018. When the lineup is set to face a significant overhaul and the team clearly will be going young. THAT is when you bring in a new voice.

    That’s my point. And that’s a lot of people’s points. Now you’re faced with bringing in a rookie manager to try to improve upon a guy who just won 95 and 97 games with an entrenched, veteran, expensive roster. Why does anyone thing this is going to be easy??

    And yeah, he was a great clubhouse guy. What did this team desperately need after the Williams debacle? Why does everyone think that modern managing is just about reading stat sheets and doing lineup construction? When you have multiple guys making north of $20M on a roster, its a lot more about man management than I think people get credit for.

    Todd Boss

    23 Oct 17 at 8:48 am

  42. One correction to post: Nationals made the playoffs in 2012. (At least I seem to remember being at Nationals park for a playoff game against the Cardinals!)

    RK

    23 Oct 17 at 1:03 pm

  43. RK you had me worried that i’d mis-written that. But I wrote “The team improves 18 games in 2012, but then slumps and misses the playoffs in 2013,” … missed the playoffs in 2013, not 2012

    I don’t think any of us will forgot 2012 anytime soon. That series gave us, in my opinion, both our greatest ever game (Werth walk-off homer) and worst ever game (Storen collapse).

    Todd Boss

    23 Oct 17 at 1:22 pm

  44. Todd Boss

    23 Oct 17 at 2:32 pm

  45. Dave Martinez first up on the interview list.

    KW

    23 Oct 17 at 5:37 pm

  46. This from Zuckerman: Randy Knorr, who served as Nationals bench coach for both Davey Johnson and Matt Williams and spent the last two seasons as senior adviser to general manager Mike Rizzo, could find himself in the mix again four years after he was a finalist for the manager’s job. For now, Knorr has agreed to be Syracuse’s manager next season, according to a source who confirmed MLB.com’s initial report.

    Attaboy Randy, hang in there.

    Wally

    23 Oct 17 at 7:43 pm

  47. By the way, on Ray Knight (whom I like), what’s up with this assault charge? Has to be some kind of story behind this.

    Is it just me, or do you feel like they got into a fight over the Nats? :-)

    Wally

    23 Oct 17 at 7:45 pm

  48. The other guy that is a little intriguing to me as manager is Geren. I think the dodgers are a pretty sharp club these days, and it might be nice to tap into some of that thinking, especially around analytics.

    I think I recall he got panned as the A’s coach but can’t remember what the reasons were.

    Wally

    23 Oct 17 at 7:48 pm

  49. Kevin Long now also on the interview list. I’m liking this list.

    Wally, what I saw when I looked up Geren is that he’s an analytics whiz, and really one of the keys to the Dodgers’ success, but that when he was fired by the A’s, there was a lot of carping about communications problems. The stories made him sound like Matt Williams communications-wise. Maybe he’s gotten better on that front, but do you really want to bet that he has? That would be a gamble.

    KW

    24 Oct 17 at 5:19 am

  50. No, I wouldn’t like that profile. What made me intrigued was that I like how the dodgers have managed towards the best player regardless of contract or status. AGon benched when Bellinger emerged; Puig and Ethier benched when no longer productive, etc.

    But the key is getting the players to buy into that. If you lose the clubhouse while doing it, you get a revolt.

    Wally

    24 Oct 17 at 6:40 am

  51. The Dodger willingness to sit stars and eat contracts has to come from higher up, and they’ve got an unusual situation there with a “baseball guy” in Kasten as part of the ownership group. One feels that here, even if Rizzo had agreed with a decision to sit Werth while paying him $21M, he still would have had to justify it to the Lerners.

    But yes, management approval is one thing; selling it in the clubhouse is another, and Roberts seems to have done a good job there.

    KW

    24 Oct 17 at 9:15 am

  52. The Giants have demoted Wotus and kicked Righetti to the front office. That would be an interesting package deal for the Nats or some other team, with Wotus as manager and Righetti as pitching coach. If you want a postseason pedigree, there it is.

    It’s interesting how much buzz there has been about Martinez right off the bat. My only real concern about him is that he’s never managed. Long and Wotus both have minor-league managerial experience.

    KW

    25 Oct 17 at 5:34 am

  53. Of course Martinez has Bosio available to bring with him as well, for better or worse. Does Bosio get the credit for the miraculous year the Cub starters had in 2016, or the blame for their return to earth this year?

    If possible, I’d still prefer to have Maddux back.

    KW

    25 Oct 17 at 5:38 am

  54. Phils said to be promoting their AAA manager . . . to manage the AAA club that they’ve assembled in Philly, I guess. Anyway, that leaves Nevin and Kapler still a part of the big pool from which the Nats have to choose.

    Svrluga is floating the idea that the Nats make a big pitch to Girardi. Since he’s coming off a 4/$16M contract — twice the years and four times the bucks from what Dusty got — and since you would think it would take even more money than that to lure him out of the Bronx, the chances seem slim to none. Good idea, but it probably has no traction.

    KW

    25 Oct 17 at 11:50 am

  55. I just talked to a STH who was ecstatic that Baker got fired b/c he thought the entire series loss was at his feet.

    What am I missing? I watched that whole series and had very few quibbles with the way he managed it. He railed against the Lind at-bat in the 8th inning (wanting a bunt), which as we now know would have scored two on the subsequent Taylor single. But that’s a lot of hind-sight is 20/20 … Lind hit the ball on the nose just right at someone. I didn’t like pulling Scherzer in game 3 the moment he gave up a hit. I didn’t necessarily like going to Scherzer again in relief in Game 5 (it just never seems to work for us). I can’t see how you can put Lobaton’s getting picked off on the manager or Lopes for that matter. I never would have supported playing Kendrick over Werth unless there was an obvious health issue; Werth got you here, Kendrick was a hired gun.

    I feel like its just unlucky when you score 8 runs in a game and lose; the Nats scored 8 or more runs 31 times in 2017 and lost precisely 2 of those games …

    Maybe this is something I should post about; because if you supported firing Baker in part because you think he was responsible for the NLDS loss … well what exactly did he do that was WORSE than the fact that the team hit .186/.302/.335 for the series?

    Todd Boss

    25 Oct 17 at 2:34 pm

  56. Plus, that is a pretty exciting Yankee team to lead for the next few years. I like Girardi quite a bit but really don’t see it happening. Plus I would rather the extra money be spent on players.

    wally

    25 Oct 17 at 2:46 pm

  57. “I watched that whole series and had very few quibbles with the way he managed it.” My thoughts exactly. Joe the Genius made more questionable decisions than Dusty did, as Boz has detailed.

    On some other sites, people are jumping up and down about “there’s no way he should have let Gio pitch game 5!” Really? If you don’t trust the guy who was #5 in the NL, and #7 in all of the friggin’ MLB, in ERA, then who do you trust? Roark’s ERA was nearly two runs worse than Gio’s. Neither had a particularly great September. But can you imagine if he started Roark and his 4.67 ERA over Gio and Roark got lit up? That might have been a fireable offense. Oh wait . . .

    A bunch of folks are also hating on Dusty’s use of Solis. Look up the stats, people: Solis gave up ONE (1) hit and NO (0) runs over nine appearances in September. He had not given up a run since Aug. 24. In his SSS during the season against the Cubs, he had four K’s in 1.2 IP. When he’s on, he’s nasty.

    Oh well. I’m not totally in the tank for Dusty. But he didn’t “blow” the series. Ollie vs. Mr. Respect Me worked perfectly. If he had hit it hard enough to respect, it would have been caught. The Nats lost by a hair to the defending world champs, and had they beaten them, it seems a stretch to expect that they would have beaten the Dodgers.

    KW

    25 Oct 17 at 3:29 pm

  58. Dusty certainly didn’t lose the series. His biggest mistake, and where I disagree with Todd, is that Lind should have started over Werth against the 3 RHP starters. Werth absolutely did not get them there this year, he had negative WAR. And I don’t put much stock in the ’emotional leader’ value when there is such a clear difference in ability at this stage of there career.

    Kendrick over Werth against lefties? I’d probably go with Kendrick but the difference is too small to be definitive.

    But I’m not crying over Dusty. This is largely an opportunity for the media to write about stuff when things have slowed down.

    When is CYA announced? Let’s move on to that. Does Max go into the hall as a Nat or Tiger?

    Wally

    25 Oct 17 at 9:23 pm

  59. Max will have at least a couple of CYAs as a Nat. Get him a couple of WS rings to go with them, and he’s certainly getting inducted as a Nat!

    Let’s see, this is day seven since we found out Dusty’s fate, but it feels like it’s been a month, doesn’t it? Forward we go. Rizzo’s running very silent on the managerial search, as usual. I do hope they look beyond just Martinez and Long, but I wouldn’t be unhappy with either of them. Unless the Yanks do something stupid with Girardi, the Nats have the managerial field to themselves (assuming the Phils go with their AAA guy). Let’s take the time to do some due diligence so we don’t end up with another Matt Williams.

    KW

    26 Oct 17 at 7:55 am

  60. Rizzo knows who he wants already. That no extension is signed is like the couple that dates but does not get engaged. One may not be on the market, but one is aware of the market. Especially a guy with the foresight of Rizzo.

    forensicane

    26 Oct 17 at 10:42 am

  61. I meant that no extension was being signed with Dusty.

    It’s his job to think about 2018 on all fronts, not just the contract of Sean Doolittle.

    forensicane

    26 Oct 17 at 10:43 am

  62. Bombshell: Girardi not returning to Yankees. A) The Nats suddenly face competition in the manager sweepstakes, a team with no problem opening its checkbook, and B) the perfect manager for the Nats is now available, but he’ll cost more in salary and years than the Lerners have ever been willing to pay.

    Want to make the Dusty debacle go away? Pay Girardi. Very simple.

    KW

    26 Oct 17 at 10:45 am

  63. Fore, the only time Rizzo knew, just knew, ahead of time who the perfect manager would be, it was . . . Matt Williams, far and away the biggest miss of Rizzo’s tenure.

    KW

    26 Oct 17 at 10:47 am

  64. Girardi just coming off 4/$16M deal with Yanks. It would take at least that to get him here, maybe more.

    KW

    26 Oct 17 at 10:51 am

  65. Catching up on comments:

    Lind or Kendrick over Werth in playoffs: i just dunno. Werth hits .167 for the series but manned the F*ck up in game 5 with 2 hits and 2 walks in 6 PAs … i mean, yeah, macro level Lind or Kendrick probably gives a better chance against lefties, but unless you’re going to guarantee me a .666 OBP in the deciding game from them then its a wash no matter how you spin it. And … neither Lind isn’t nearly as good of a LF as Werth, so there’s no guarantee that the plays in LF for the series would have gone any differently.

    If Max wins Cy Young … he’ll have 3, and nobody has ever not gotten to the Hall of Fame with 3 or more Cys or MVPs (well … except Clemens/Bonds with their PED issues). But yeah he may be wearing the Nat hat.

    last night’s game: where does it rank in the pantheon? I mean, i constantly revisit “best games” of last 50 years list and I think this game is somewhere in there. Just amazing late-innings offense.

    Girardi: could not be more tailor made for the Nats job if they tried to invent a candidate. Literally he’s one of the absolute small handful of managers in the league who could instantly walk into this clubhouse and command respect based on his player and manager abilities (you know … kinda of like what they just fired in Dusty). I mean really; here’s the list of current managers: https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/List_of_current_Major_League_Baseball_managers

    If you asked me from the current list of active managers who I thought was better than Dusty in terms of accomplishments and performance; Girardi, Franconia, Ned Yost, Maddon, Mattingly, Bochy.

    Hire Girardi, now.

    Todd Boss

    26 Oct 17 at 12:13 pm

  66. KW. I don’t agree. Dusty may not have been their first choice, but when they considered Matt would not be coming back, I am sure he was on their radar of the right manager for their developmental stage.

    My point is, the notion of a search is. Oy how you or I hire employees. It’s reaching out to folks they have contemplated, at least in fantasy.

    forensicane

    26 Oct 17 at 12:42 pm

  67. There’s a big difference between having someone on your radar and having someone picked out. Yeah, Dusty was one of a handful of “experienced” managers from the last time they were looking to clean up the Matt W. mess. So was Bud Black, who actually seemed to be more the guy Rizzo wanted.

    But we don’t know. And thank goodness I don’t have to make seven-figure hires!

    Todd, I’m not sure that you don’t have Mattingly in too high a company there. I’ve never been quite sure what to think about Donnie Baseball as a manager, though. He had very good teams in LA, but he also had very good players.

    I also still remember that Yost was pretty much thought of as a job before 2014.

    Anyway, however you want to rank them, Girardi is among the elite, and he’s available. This is sort of a spotlight moment for the Lerners, as they claim they want the manager who will give them the best chance at a title. Put up or shut up. Dave Martinez may turn out to be a great manager, but do you really want to trust the golden opportunity of the 2018 Nats with an unproven commodity?

    KW

    26 Oct 17 at 12:56 pm

  68. Yost was thought of as a “joke” before 2014. He was particularly awful with the Brewers.

    KW

    26 Oct 17 at 1:01 pm

  69. Yeah … but he won a WS. and he played that bullpen like a fiddle.

    Mattingly; it was kind of a combination of player cred and managerial cred. Quick list. Black is another one i’m not sure about; he never had players in SD and never succeeded, but i think he is in Manager of hte Year running this year for his work. So how to evaluate him?

    Todd Boss

    26 Oct 17 at 1:21 pm

  70. The other part of Girardi’s background that would make him perfect is that he went from an experienced WS team in 2009 through some rebuilds/restocking, which we will have here.

    Is he a Boras client?

    wally

    26 Oct 17 at 1:30 pm

  71. I wasn’t that keen on Black when the Nats seemed about to hire him. I thought Dusty would be better.

    I pretty much think of Francona as the best out there, and Girardi beat him with a lesser team. Girardi also very nearly beat the Astros with a lesser team. Makes me think he would have no problem taking the Nats into the playoffs against the Cubs and Dodgers.

    KW

    26 Oct 17 at 1:32 pm

  72. Wow, he got fired, too. Very surprising. I doubt anyone is going to keep talking about Dusty now.

    wally

    26 Oct 17 at 1:33 pm

  73. Technically, Girardi’s situation was the same as Dusty’s: his contract was up, and his team didn’t pursue renewing it.

    KW

    26 Oct 17 at 1:40 pm

  74. Very odd timing on the canning of Girardi too; you have to say he did a masterful job getting that team as far as they did given that they were SELLING a year ago at the trade deadline.

    Todd Boss

    26 Oct 17 at 1:54 pm

  75. ok, agreed. But still very surprised that the Yanks didn’t want him back.

    wally

    26 Oct 17 at 1:54 pm

  76. I’m pretty much of the opinion that the best managers are those who get to the champisonhip with different franchises, which means that their managerial talent can be separated from factors like management and players, etc.

    For that reason, I am on the fence re: Girardi. Joe Torre was a Hall of Fame manager for the Yankees, but did not get any other of his teams to the WS.

    My reference point is College Football — the reason Nick Saban and Urban Meyer are the best coaches is that they demonstrably coached champion caliber teams in more than one school. For my tastes, there is Bochy, then Francona and then a next level of Maddon and then there are the folks who have won, like Yost and Giradri.

    So I am not as enamored of Girardi as a 4m plus manager, absent considering the others out there. I’ll be happy if they get him, but I would be just as happy with a Wotus or Ron Washington, and even a Martinez for the Spanish aspect. For the reasons above, although they will never hire him, I’d be delighted for the Nats to get LaRussa. I loved his teams, and he won without a blank checkbook.

    forensicane

    26 Oct 17 at 2:10 pm

  77. Martinez didn’t learn Spanish until he got into coaching. He grew up in Orlando.

    Wotus was actually my favorite during the last managerial search. He had about a decade as a minor-league manager plus rode shotgun for three championships.

    KW

    26 Oct 17 at 2:25 pm

  78. La Russa just proved how out of touch he is with modern baseball with his stint at Arizona; i wouldn’t want to touch him with a 10 foot pole. He gave a GM job to his buddy and they set back that franchise years in terms of development and farm system. Would you want him to do the same here?

    Todd Boss

    26 Oct 17 at 2:34 pm

  79. He has not forgotten how to manage modern baseball, and was always progressively minded. The executive responsibility is very different from the managerial one. So, yes.

    Conventional wisdom would look at Nick Saban falling on his face with the Miami Dolphins and conclude that he was no longer up to date with the game. Well look at him now. Look at Pete Carroll, who went back to USC after imploding with the Jets. LaRussa is a very smart man who learn from failure, and will be heard from again, somewhere.

    forensicane

    26 Oct 17 at 2:40 pm

  80. Rosenthal has Maddux about to be named pitching coach of the Cards. Sigh.

    KW

    26 Oct 17 at 3:13 pm

  81. I’m not a La Russa fan, either, plus he’s 73.

    KW

    26 Oct 17 at 3:19 pm

  82. I think competence speaks volumes irrespective of where you are. La Russa hasn’t managed since 2011 either; were they even doing shifts in 2011? No pitch f/x or stat cast going back that far.

    They’re already saying that Dusty is “too old” to get another job and he just left one. No way La Russa gets a shot.

    Todd Boss

    26 Oct 17 at 3:51 pm

  83. They who say Baker is too old are the same lame-os who chastized the Nats for firing him. Dusty did a good job. Good enough for many. Not for this team.

    Be age-ist at one’s own risk. Jack McKeon did pretty well at 72, coming out of retirement and without even the benefit of spring training.

    forensicane

    26 Oct 17 at 4:15 pm

  84. So, here was USAtoday’s Bob Nightengale calling the Nationals organization Gutless and Arrogant after firing Dusty: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/columnist/bob-nightengale/2017/10/20/dusty-baker-fired-nationals/785731001/

    So, what do we think he’ll be saying about the firing of Girardi?? I mean, isn’t it precisely the same argument? The Yankees just canned a guy with a .554 W/L percentage with the Yankees and who took them to the playoffs 6 times in 10 seasons, including this year when they absolutely did not expect to make it. .554 W/L percentage puts Girardi 31st all time (https://www.baseball-reference.com/managers/) with a huge majority of the guys above him on the list in the Hall of Fame.

    Are we going to get the article calling the yankees arrogant and gutless too?

    Todd Boss

    26 Oct 17 at 4:30 pm

  85. Well, here’s the answer: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/columnist/bob-nightengale/2017/10/26/joe-girardi-out-yankees-manager/802680001/

    Not as outright insulting to the Yankees, but his lead is that they’re taking a “foolish risk.”

    Todd Boss

    26 Oct 17 at 4:31 pm

  86. The Rizzo and La Russa egos wouldn’t fit in the same stadium.

    More on Yankee gamble:

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2017/10/26/joe-girardi-yankees-klapisch/803111001/

    https://www.si.com/mlb/2017/10/26/new-york-yankees-joe-girardi-brian-cashman

    Most seem to be giving the Yanks/Cashman more benefit of the doubt than they did the Nats with Baker.

    KW

    26 Oct 17 at 7:27 pm

  87. But of course. Because with contemporary sports media, it’s all about the color of skin first. Every hack like Nightengale will gather bonafides with editors when they kneel at the altar of “social justice.” If Dusty Baker were white, the response would have been different.

    forensicane

    26 Oct 17 at 7:36 pm

  88. KW, an interesting argument on LaRussa, but Dusty has a pretty healthy ego himself, even coining himself “International Bake.”

    forensicane

    26 Oct 17 at 7:37 pm

  89. Too bad about Maddux. But the Nats let him get away. So Rizzo’s got another plan. Hmmm.

    What do you folks think about Randy Knorr? He sure gets love elsewhere in the Natmosphere.

    forensicane

    26 Oct 17 at 7:39 pm

  90. I feel like the bluff on the Lerners’ decade-long managerial game has been called like never before. They said they let Baker go because they wanted someone with a better chance to win the WS. Well, he’s right there in front of him. You’ll just have to give him four years and pay him more than twice what you’ve ever paid a manager for any of those years. In return, you get a guy who could be here 10-12-15 years and really give the franchise stability in the one major area where it has been lacking. He hasn’t had a losing season in all 10 years in NY, where the Yanks are 200 games over .500 during that period.

    Could the Nats go with Martinez/Long/???? over Girardi and still end up “right”? Yes. There are two neophyte managers in the WS right now. But it would be HUGE risk to ignore a seemingly golden option in Girardi and claim you’ve got someone “better.” He darn well better be. Plus the Nats would take a massive hit up front from the media and the fan base for ignoring Girardi.

    There’s also the possibility that Girardi truly would like to take a year or two away from the game. However, putting the shoe on the other foot, it’s unlikely that a team as well-positioned as the Nats is going to come along for him to manage. Cubs/Dodgers/Indians/Astros aren’t changing managers anytime soon, and the Yanks and Bosox will have their new guys for at least a couple of seasons. If Girardi wants another team with which to keep building an HOF-level legacy, it’s the one right here in DC.

    KW

    26 Oct 17 at 8:01 pm

  91. I know some folks really like Knorr, but frankly, it’s hard to judge, with him or any other “bench” coach, including a lot of the current hot candidates. Knorr’s real chance here was probably back in 2013 when Rizzo only had eyes for Matty W. I wrote on Nats Prospects the other day that Knorr is probably the “break glass in case of emergency” guy for the Nats now, and it can’t hurt getting him back in the dugout at Syracuse.

    The fan base/season ticket holders would be very disappointed by an internal guy like Knorr at this point, though. Fair or not, that’s the reality.

    KW

    26 Oct 17 at 8:07 pm

  92. Pitching coach market shrinking rapidly, with Maddux (Cards) and Bosio (Tigers) reportedly off the list. Hickey thought to be headed to reunite with Joe the Genius. Righetti would seem to be the “name” guy left out there.

    KW

    26 Oct 17 at 8:18 pm

  93. Knorr has been my choice, although girardi might change that. I think both would be good choices

    Wally

    26 Oct 17 at 9:49 pm

  94. Just reading the story about Martinez being in town to interview. He’s the same age as Girardi. He’s spent the last 10 years as Maddon’s bench coach . . . while Girardi has spent the last 10 years as a manager, in the toughest manager’s seat there is.

    Actually, I like Long’s profile better than Martinez’s. Long managed in the minors, which Martinez hasn’t done. Martinez has only worked under Maddon, while Long has worked under Torre, Girardi, and Collins. Martinez doesn’t have a signature product to which to point. Long has Daniel Murphy. Both have been on board for one WS winner.

    I wouldn’t hate Martinez. But I suspect that managing is like being a supervisor or senior manager in a business situation. It’s different to actually be in charge, to be where the buck stops, to have to be the primary communicator. I’ve seen plenty of people who seemed like good prospective leaders crumble when they actually moved into that seat. Until someone actually is Da Man, you can’t know for sure whether he’s going to work out. Right, Matt Williams?

    The other nagging thing about Martinez is how many teams have passed on him over the last five years, including the Nats. He’s had a lot of opportunities to convince teams that he was the guy, and he’s not been able to do it. Have all of those teams been wrong about him? What’s different now?

    KW

    27 Oct 17 at 7:23 am

  95. On the flip side, Verducci argues in favor of the next generation:

    https://www.si.com/mlb/2017/10/26/joe-girardi-new-york-yankees-manager

    Also an example of the national media giving the Yanks the benefit of the doubt for not bringing back Girardi that they didn’t give to the Nats.

    KW

    27 Oct 17 at 8:14 am

  96. Of course Verducci conspicuously didn’t mention Ausmus, a young guy who ran a contending team into the ground.

    KW

    27 Oct 17 at 9:22 am

  97. Heyman’s take on the mess the Nats made with Dusty:

    https://www.fanragsports.com/inside-baseball-theories-on-nationals-crazy-call-to-let-baker-go/

    Don’t know his sources, but there’s lots of damning stuff here.

    KW

    27 Oct 17 at 11:17 am

  98. It’s just drivel. Always anonymous sources, etc. The press is nothing more than click bait schlock. All I get out of that article is another chuckle of how Rizzo (whom i love) always manages to deflect criticism away from himself.

    The notion of Rizzo “fighting for” is a fallacy. He runs the team and everyone knows it. Not Scott Boras. Not Mark Lerner. Not Ted Lerner. Not Bryce Harper. Mike Rizzo.

    Sheesh. It should not be surprising. If Rizzo could manipulate his way into the Myers deal, he ought to be able to handle someone as dimwitted as a baseball writer.

    forensicane

    27 Oct 17 at 1:10 pm

  99. Does anyone think Chelsea will face some Rizzo animosity for her ‘Bryce doesn’t love Dusty’ comments, as well as the Boras ones?

    wally

    27 Oct 17 at 1:15 pm

  100. Perhaps the best news of this is that the toxic Washington Post writers, so reliable in their antagonism to the Lerners, will themselves manipulate enough of a PR crisis for the team for them to open up the checkbook for Girardi even if they feel (as did the Yanks) that 4m+ is overpriced for the inventory on the market.

    One has to think that may have impacted the pivotal Doolittle-Madson transaction.

    forensicane

    27 Oct 17 at 1:17 pm

  101. I think Rizzo and his designates manipulate all of the public dialogue, including the Bryce doesn’t love comment.

    Chelsea J is another Svrluga type pretender with a craven desire to claim primacy on a beat where folks like Zuckerman and even Steve from Talk Nats (from where she steals info without attribution) are far more learned, connected and mature about their sources and not getting sucked into agendas.

    forensicane

    27 Oct 17 at 1:22 pm

  102. I’m not sure i’d call stuff from Jon Heyman, Ken Rosenthal and other “national” well respected writers as “click bait.” Same honestly with Nightengale; he’s been around and awful long time, writes for a respected paper and clearly has a million sources. I don’t necessarily like his stuff all the time (his hatchet job of Adam laRoche was basically giving anonymous sources in the White Sox org free reign to trash a player on his way out), and I thought his analysis of the nats was especially harsh, but I also don’t think he was wrong.

    Some random post on a blog?

    Todd Boss

    27 Oct 17 at 2:05 pm

  103. I hold no animus against the Post reporters. They’re just trying to do their jobs while covering a tight-lipped organization. I generally think they have better sources within the organization than do Heyman, Nightengale, et al., but no one has very good ones, including the Nats Talk folks. It’s a tight organization, maybe too tight at times. I don’t think Rizzo gives a rip about trying to manipulate the public narrative, perhaps to the Nats’ detriment in certain circumstances. And everyone agrees that the Nats’ PR staff isn’t up to snuff. The Lerners obviously don’t care, and they tend to come out as villains, fairly or not. We don’t even have a good idea of how much influence Mark Lerner wields. My suspicion has always been that he’s sort of the loose cannon in all of this, but we don’t know.

    KW

    27 Oct 17 at 2:10 pm

  104. I don’t think Nightengale has the same credibility as Heyman and Rosenthal. At least not me.

    wally

    27 Oct 17 at 2:11 pm

  105. Meanwhile, the Nats interviewed Farrell today. Can’t say that I’m too excited about him, even though his credentials are similar to Girardi’s.

    KW

    27 Oct 17 at 2:12 pm

  106. Interesting that Doug Harris and Dan Jennings have been mentioned in connection with the Braves’ managerial job, but not the one for the organization for which they currently work.

    KW

    27 Oct 17 at 2:15 pm

  107. I don’t like Nightengale’s frequent dependency on “anonymous sources” to do hatchet jobs on teams, players, orgs. But I begrudgingly admit he is one of the leading national writers out there.

    Todd Boss

    27 Oct 17 at 2:39 pm

  108. Heyman was pimping the Robertson deal and the Nats “cheapness” based on the same “anonymous” shayt. Rosenthal has had the Nationals trading Robles for Chris Sale and anyone else. Wrong! Again!

    forensicane

    27 Oct 17 at 2:43 pm

  109. For my money, Ghost of Steve M at Nats Talk has scooped more folks than anyone. Chelsea reads his blog and then claims it 30 minutes later. His sources may not be as good as one might imagine, but his sources feed him information, and I am sure that the sources the local press relies upon for their rabble rousing are people who simply want to instigate the media to parrot their agenda, and that includes Rizzo himself. That doesn’t make one a source of credible information. It makes one a credible source that provides disinformation.

    forensicane

    27 Oct 17 at 2:47 pm

  110. Looking up more on Farrell: said to have “lost” the Bosox clubhouse, is anti-analytics, and had an affair with a reporter. Three strikes and you’re out, right? Alas, he would be introduced as a “World Series” winner for half the price of Girardi . . .

    KW

    27 Oct 17 at 2:48 pm

  111. Todd, your point that these are well sources people who can be informative is well taken. I would simply add that they feel compelled to inject their emotion and biases into reporting and are manipulated by others who want to direct their analysis. Thus their analysis, separated from the news they report is too often useless to be reliable, although their information may at times be on point.

    forensicane

    27 Oct 17 at 2:56 pm

  112. If I didn’t already ignore the national sports media, the last couple of weeks would have convinced me to start ignoring it!

    KW

    27 Oct 17 at 5:18 pm

  113. KW – what was the Braves comment? Snitker is still manager, right? I thought Harris and Jennings were rumored for the open GM job?

    Wally

    27 Oct 17 at 8:11 pm

  114. Wally, you’re right. My bad. Yes, for the GM job. I think my brain just went to manager since Jennings has managed. I see that the Royals have denied the Braves the right to talk to their current GM, Dayton Moore, about the Brave job.

    Back with the Nats, the chatter about Martinez seems to be growing.

    KW

    27 Oct 17 at 10:34 pm

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