After leading the Washington Nationals to back-to-back division titles for the first time in franchise history, the club has announced that manager Dusty Baker will not return to the dugout next season.
Here is a statement from the Washington Nationals:
Here's the statement from the Nationals on Dusty Baker and his coaching staff... pic.twitter.com/pR29C34TwZ— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) October 20, 2017
While every organization has the right not to bring back an employee when their contract is up, it seems the team may have screwed the veteran skipper with a series of promises.
The #Nats were on verge of giving Baker a 2 year extension this summer until word leaked out, but told him it would be done after year.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 20, 2017
So during the summer while the team was on their way to a 97-win season, the Nationals were willing to re-up Baker with a nice two-year extension and decided to wait 'til after the season to make it happen.
So what changed?
I'm sure another early exit in the Division Series was a huge factor in this decision, but it seems they went back on their word and are now blaming the Baker for the team not advancing in the playoffs.
Maybe Dusty Baker can't lead his teams to the World Series and come out on top (which is a pretty unfair assessment), but this team has bigger issues than the manager.
At the end of the day, players are the ones who decide the outcomes of games, and while Baker certainly has his flaws as a skipper, this team has never looked better than with him at the helm.