Nov 24, 2015, 2:40 PM EST
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN With Thanksgiving approaching and the winter meetings still over a week away, baseball has been put on the backburner for many in this town. But not for Tim Murray and I, who are going to be doing our podcast ‘Baseball in the District’ on a weekly basis now. We got back…
Nov 12, 2015, 6:00 AM EST
There may be no more complex question facing the Nationals this winter than this: What do they do with Jonathan Papelbon? Mike Rizzo acquired the veteran closer at the trade deadline not only because the general manager thought he could help his team down the stretch but because he was signed for another season. The…
Nov 11, 2015, 6:00 AM EST
They’ve hired a new manager, begun putting together a new coaching staff and made decisions regarding several new free agents. So now the Nationals, like all MLB clubs, are transitioning into full-blown Hot Stove League mode, the focus now on 2016 roster alterations. Some clubs will undergo massive roster renovations. Others will make only a…
Nov 10, 2015, 6:00 AM EST
The Nationals’ disappointing 2015 season was followed by a long list of casualties. In addition to Matt Williams getting fired, they dismissed their training staff and did not renew the contracts of all of their assistant coaches. Pitching coach Steve McCatty’s departure was the most surprising among that group. It is hard to blame the Nationals…
Nov 6, 2015, 6:00 AM EST
The mere mention of Dusty Baker’s name when candidates began surfacing in the Nationals’ managerial search brought strong reactions from all around. Many were thrilled at the news, pointing to his impressive record as a three-time NL manager of the year. Others, however, were not quite as enthused. Criticism emerged of Baker being too old school:…
Nov 5, 2015, 8:43 PM EST
Mark didn’t only sit down with Dusty Baker on Thursday, he also got Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo 1-on-1. Rizzo explained what went down between the Nats and Bud Black and also spoke glowingly about what Baker will bring to Washington. Rizzo also talked about the front office’s objectives this offseason and confirmed they plan…
Nov 5, 2015, 3:57 PM EST
Acknowledging the unique nature of the situation, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Thursday the club was simultaneously negotiating contracts with both Bud Black and Dusty Baker to be their next manager, had not selected Black for the job and ultimately didn’t make the decision to go with Baker instead because of a financial disagreement.…
Nov 5, 2015, 6:00 AM EST
Dusty Baker will formally be introduced as the sixth manager in Nationals history at 11 a.m., donning a curly W cap and home jersey for the first time during a news conference at Nationals Park. It should be a time of celebration and optimism for the organization, but of course that won’t entirely be the…
Nov 3, 2015, 11:58 AM EST
Had the Nationals simply hired Dusty Baker all along, had they picked him over Bud Black last week and agreed to contract terms, few eyebrows would have been raised. It would have been viewed both here in town and throughout the baseball world as a solid choice, a proven and successful manager taking the reins…
Nov 2, 2015, 11:11 PM EST
The Nationals’ hiring of Bud Black as their next manager is not yet a done deal, the two sides having been unable to work out final contract details, leaving the door open for the club potentially to offer the job to Dusty Baker instead, according to sources familiar with the situation. The Nationals’ front office…
Oct 29, 2015, 8:00 AM EST
The Nationals’ planned hiring of Harry Ralston Black as their next manager isn’t going to cause people to leap out of their seats in jubilation. The 58-year-old everyone has always known simply as “Bud” isn’t the kind of guy who brings a commanding presence to every room he enters. He’s not going to march into…
Oct 28, 2015, 9:43 PM EST
The Nationals plan to name Bud Black their next manager, a source familiar with the decision confirmed Wednesday night, but an official announcement isn’t likely until after the conclusion of the World Series sometime next week. Black, who managed the Padres from 2007-15, was selected by the Nationals from a pool of at least eight…
Oct 22, 2015, 12:13 PM EST
Just as the Nationals’ managerial search appeared to be poised to enter a more advanced phase, a development on the other side of the country could throw some wrenches into the plan. Don Mattingly’s departure from Los Angeles early Thursday morning will have ripple effects across the majors, with the former All-Star first baseman now…
Oct 11, 2015, 6:00 AM EST
This offseason should be a big one for the Nationals, who first have to find their new manager. They also have four key impending free agents to make decisions on. After that, they will have a bullpen to reconstruct and some tough calls to make when retooling their lineup. Here is a look at some…
Oct 6, 2015, 6:00 AM EST
Few managers are successful and popular enough to remain with one franchise for a truly long-term stay. For every Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Bruce Bochy authoring Hall-of-Fame careers over multiple decades, there are far more John Russells, Trey Hillmans and Mike Quades coming and going with little fanfare and fewer victories on their ledgers.…
Oct 5, 2015, 2:40 PM EST
Early Monday afternoon, after he had made official one of the most difficult decisions of his entire tenure in Washington, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo addressed reporters over the phone to explain exactly why he had fired Matt Williams – the man he handpicked just two years prior – as manager. Rizzo, who met with…
Oct 5, 2015, 2:38 PM EST
In searching for Matt Williams’ replacement, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo intends to place a significant emphasis on candidates with prior experience, particularly in the big leagues. “Experience is always helpful,” Rizzo said during a conference call Monday afternoon to announce Williams’ firing. “It always adds a layer of expertise to anybody’s resume. We feel…
Oct 5, 2015, 11:21 AM EST
UPDATED: 11:57 a.m. Matt Williams, whose steady, never-wavering demeanor helped the injury-plagued Nationals stick together through difficult times to win a division title in his first season as a big-league manager, was fired Monday because he wasn’t able to do the same in his second season in Washington. The Nationals’ front office, headlined by general…
Oct 5, 2015, 6:00 AM EST
NEW YORK — Take the Nationals’ just-completed season on several individual merits, and the unknowing observer might well have assumed this team had cruised into the playoffs. Bryce Harper posting historic numbers that made him a potentially unanimous MVP choice? Max Scherzer throwing two no-hitters, plus a 16-strikeout 1-hitter, with a 276-to-34 strikeout-to-walk ratio that…
Oct 4, 2015, 3:02 PM EST
NEW YORK — Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said he plans to meet Monday with top club officials and doesn’t expect to waste any time determining the fates of manager Matt Williams, his coaching staff and other front office personnel. “We’re going to evaluate each aspect of the organization,” Rizzo said Sunday afternoon prior to…
Oct 3, 2015, 12:07 PM EST
NEW YORK — In the wake of a report he’ll be fired at season’s end, Nationals manager Matt Williams said he has not yet been informed by club officials of any change in his status and that he intends to continue performing his job through this weekend’s final series before learning his fate. “Nobody’s spoken…
Sep 30, 2015, 6:18 PM EST
ATLANTA — Matt Williams defended himself Wednesday against a new round of harsh criticism levied at him, saying “all of the facts aren’t out there” but declining to go into more detail at this point, with five games still remaining on the Nationals’ schedule. Responding to a question about a Washington Post expose detailing the…
Sep 29, 2015, 12:18 PM EST
With the team he constructed fresh off being eliminated from playoff contention, with his manager under fire and his team in the national spotlight for a public brawl featuring the best player in baseball, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo took the podium after Monday’s game to a barrage of camera flashes, ready to answer as…
Sep 29, 2015, 6:06 AM EST
The Nationals took swift action Monday to address Jonathan Papelbon’s short-term future with the organization, suspending the volatile closer for the remainder of the season after his dugout attack on Bryce Harper the previous afternoon. The organization’s long-term plan for Papelbon, though, remains quite murky. Papelbon is under contract for another season; that was among…
Sep 28, 2015, 7:44 PM EST
Mike Rizzo further justified the Nationals’ decision to suspend Jonathan Papelbon four games and bench Bryce Harper one game Monday evening, citing the disparity in punishments between the two players as “equitable” given their roles in Sunday’s dugout fight. “You could see, by the type of discipline we placed on both players, which we thought…
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