The Washington Nationals just announced that Dusty Baker would not return for a third year as manager. Baker had a two-year contract and took the Nationals to the postseason both years. Here’s an insightful article about the pros and cons of the Nats bringing Baker back, written by the fantastic Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post on Tuesday night.
Baker was the Reds manager from 2009-2013.
Baker’s last managed the Reds in the postseason play-in game against the Pirates in PNC Park. The one where Cueto dropped the ball. That was Oct. 1, 2013. Here is Chad’s recap from that fateful game. The next morning, I wrote this, calling for the Reds to not renew Baker’s contract. (FWIW, The previous year, after the NLDS disaster against the Giants, I had written the Reds should bring Baker back.) Three days later, on the morning of Oct. 4, the Reds fired Baker.
Walt Jocketty cited the need for new leadership, a new voice. Baker said he was fired because he would not go along with the Reds plans to fire hitting coach Brook Jacoby. Owner Bob Castellini denied that Baker’s stubbornness over Jacoby was the reason. Here is how the coverage of Baker’s firing from the Reds unfolded.