Today, the Washington Nationals continued their search for their next manager. Last night, William Ladson of MLB.com was the first to report that Washington was going to interview former Giants, Cubs, and Reds’ manager Dusty Baker. Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle confirmed that Baker did interview with the Nats’ organization today:
Baker played for 19 years in the big leagues with teams such as the Braves, Athletics, Dodgers, and Giants. The outfielder had a .278 career batting average with 242 home runs and 1,013 RBI’s, won one Gold Glove (1981), two Silver Sluggers, and made two All-Star teams.
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While the 66-year-old has not managed in the big leagues since 2013 with the Reds, Baker does have the experience that Mike Rizzo and the Nats are making a priority in their managerial search. In his 20 seasons as manager with the Giants, Cubs, and Reds, Baker has a winning percentage of .526, won five division titles, and won the National League pennant when he managed San Francisco in 2002 as he led the Giants to Game 7 against the then Anaheim Angels.
Baker is from California, but that won’t likely be a deterrent for someone who called about the Nats’ position two years ago, when the team hired one of his former players in San Francisco, Matt Williams, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and MLB Network.
The one thing that stands out about Baker is that he has won in every destination where he has managed. In addition to taking the Giants to the World Series in 2002, he was the manager of the Cubs during their last NLCS appearance before this season (2003). He won the NL Central as manager of the Reds in 2012, but that team blew a 2-0 series lead in the NLDS to the eventual World Series champion Giants. Plus, he has won the NL Manager of the Year award three times (1993, 1997, and 2000) with San Francisco.
Currently, Baker has been part of the TBS pregame and postgame crew during the National League playoffs. You can catch Baker ‘s next TV appearance tomorrow night when TBS covers Game 5 of the NLDS matchup between the Mets and the Dodgers.
In addition to Baker, Ladson also reported last night that former Twins’ manager Ron Gardenhire will get an interview next week.