Nationals won't bring back Dusty Baker as manager after latest playoff failure

Doug Mendoza
October 21, 2017

The Nationals will not bring back manager Dusty Baker for the 2018 season.

In his second season with the Nationals, Baker led them to 97 wins en route to their second straight NL East championship-the first time in franchise history, Montreal or Washington, that they have won the division in consecutive years.

"This was an incredibly hard decision for us", the team's ownership wrote in an open letter.

Despite having what some already consider may be one of the best players of all-time in Bryce Harper, the main reason why Baker was let go was because of his team's poor performance and resolve in the postseason.

The Nationals were 192-132 (.593) under the 68-year-old Baker, whose contract expired at the end of the 2017 season. He is one of the true gentlemen in our sport, and we thank him for the successes that we enjoyed together over the last two years.

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The move comes as a bit of a surprise, considering Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported "most people around the team" expected Baker, who wanted "another crack", to return next season. This isn't a firing, per se-Baker's contract was up-but it puts the Nats on the managerial carousel along with the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets, and Boston Red Sox in the event that the rumored hiring of Alex Cora falls through.

"I think that's a decision made from up top", Harper said in his final public comments. "Just have to come from up top".

When pressed on the matter, Turner said: "I would love to have him back".

Before the series against the Cubs, Baker was asked about his possible future in Washington.

A 12-hour public relations nightmare ensued before Strasburg, feeling better, told Baker and pitching coach Mike Maddux he could pitch Game 4 and proceeded to beat the Cubs, forcing the decisive Game 5.

Other reports by GizPress

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