Monday, 18 June, 2018

Dusty Baker, dismissed as Nationals manager, calls club's decision 'hard to understand'

Dusty Baker Will Not Return as Washington Nationals Manager Nationals announce Dusty Baker will not return
Rita Gibson | 20 October, 2017, 21:01

The team said it will work with its new manager to fill those positions.

In a letter to fans, the Nationals said in part, "We have decided to make a change in leadership and begin the process of finding a new manager".

Despite a host of injuries to key players, the Nationals went 97-65 this season, finishing 20 games out in front in their division. The 68-year-old manager was in the final year of his contract. "We wish him the best going forward".

A statement from the team says that it's not just Baker packing his bags: "The contracts for the Major League coaching staff have also expired".

In two seasons, Baker led Washington to the first back-to-back division titles in team history and amassed a record of 192-and-132.

Baker said he was let down by the timeline of the team's decision. As our organization has developed into a perennial contender, you've stood by our side - cheering our successes, keeping us honest in our approach to improvement, and celebrating with us as we've captured four NL East Division titles in the last six seasons.

No timeline on Vincent Kompany return from injury - Pep Guardiola
They'll most probably need to defend again this weekend but Dyche's side have nothing to lose and have already gained so much. Gabriel Jesus has been involved in 10 goals in nine Premier League games at the Etihad Stadium (eight goals and two assists).

Baker enjoyed an apparently strong rapport with players, who often backed him publicly.

Baker has been a manager for 22 seasons, spending time with the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds before he joining the Nationals.

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

It's possible the tenor of Baker's tenure shifted during the NLDS, when the club announced that the dominant Stephen Strasburg would not start Game 4 against the Cubs, despite a rainout enabling Strasburg to pitch on regular rest.

As for general manager Mike Rizzo, here is what he said before the outset of the NLDS: "We're both confident that he'll be back with us, but we haven't had any conversations about it". "There's a good chance I'll be back".

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