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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Dusty Baker reflects on frustrations with Nationals’ front office

Dusty Baker

Dusty Baker still has some gripes with the Washington Nationals, and it’s safe to say those issues may have carried over to the new manager.

Baker hinted at meddling from ownership and the front office during his tenure as Nationals manager in a revealing interview with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, saying that his higher-ups often wanted to meddle with his roster.

“There were a lot of things in the two years I was there,” Baker said. “We’d have these meetings upstairs. You’d be surprised how ownership wanted to release this guy or send this guy to the minors. I was like, ‘No, man. No! You’re going to tear up my team!'”

Baker added that Jayson Werth, who he viewed as a valuable clubhouse leader, was one of the players ownership pushed to get rid of — and miss now.

“He’s one of the guys they wanted to get rid of,” Baker said. “I told him that. I said, ‘Come here, man, I’m going to tell you something I ain’t supposed to tell you. You better pick your s— up. Because they’re going to get rid of you.’ And he did.

“He said, ‘What, with all the money I’m making?’ I said, ‘They don’t give a s—, they have to pay you anyway.’ Players think that’s a safety jacket, a bullet-proof vest? ‘Here, man. Go home.'”

Some of the front office decisions lately have raised eyebrows for the Nationals. They reportedly traded Brandon Kintzler because they felt he was giving negative comments about the clubhouse to the press, and Shawn Kelley was released for very odd reasons. This may be some of the meddling Baker is alluding to, and it may be an explanation for some of Washington’s current frustrations.

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