The Washington Nationals have announced manager Dusty Baker will not return to the team as manager in 2018, the team announced today.
This is a surprise...Baker has managed the Nationals the past two seasons and won 192 games, though they were knocked out each season in divisional series that went the full five games. Baker has generally gotten good reviews for his work with the Nationals.
It isn’t quite clear whether this was a matter of the Nationals not wanting him back or Baker not wanting to continue managing, although Jon Heyman says the Nationals “decdied not to retain Dusty Baker,” which suggests the former. Baker is 68, however, and there had been talk that he might not want to continue.
Baker has been a remarkably successful manager, putting up a career .532 winning percentage in 22 years, with a 1863-1636 record while helming the Giants, the Cubs, the Reds and the Nationals. He’s someone who probably deserves Hall of Fame consideration when taking into account both his playing career and his managerial career.
UPDATE — Heyman expands on Baker wanting to return:
dusty wanted another crack, was not about to play hardball. nats just decided they wanted to change managers.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 20, 2017