After parting ways with manager Matt Williams, the Washington Nationals have hired Dusty Baker to be their sixth manager. The 66 year-old Baker agreed to a multi-year deal after the Nationals ended negotiations with Bud Black.
“We were looking for a manager to help us achieve our ultimate goal of competing for a World Series championship,” managing principal owner Ted Lerner said in a statement. “During our broad search process we met with many qualified candidates, and ultimately it was clear that Dusty’s deep experience was the best fit for our ballclub.”
The Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo believes that Dusty Baker is the ideal candidate to lead the team to its first World Series:
I am so pleased to welcome Dusty Baker to the Nationals family. In getting to know Dusty and identifying what we wanted in the next on-field leader of our team, we are excited to have him on board.
Dusty’s experience, as a winning player, coach and manager, is vast and varied. We are excited to bring him to Washington and put his steady demeanor, knowledge and many years in the game to work in our favor. I think I speak for the entire organization when I say I am very much looking forward to working with him.
Although Dusty Baker was the preferred option and had interviewed twice with the Nationals, the manager position was first offered to Bud Black. Black had accepted but they never came close to reaching a deal.
Dusty Baker has 3,176 games under his belt as a bench boss. He has won the NL Manager of the Year award three times and finished second in voting on three other occasions. His teams have reached the postseason seven times and he took the Giants to the World Series in 2002.