Dec 9, 2015, 9:46 AM EDT
NASHVILLE — The Nationals’ pursuit of Ben Zobrist wasn’t lip service. They made a serious run at the veteran free agent, so much so that one source familiar with the process said they actually offered more money than the $56 million he wound up taking from the Cubs last night. That said, the Nationals didn’t…
Dec 8, 2015, 7:14 PM EDT
NASHVILLE — Though he acknowledges this is the best roster he’s been handed in four separate stints as a major-league manager, Dusty Baker does see aspects of the Nationals he’d like to improve. Baker rattled off several needs Tuesday afternoon during his media session at the Winter Meetings: Left-handed pitching. Left-handed hitting. And speed, something…
Dec 8, 2015, 2:56 PM EDT
NASHVILLE — Dusty Baker wrapped up his Winter Meetings media session a short while ago, easily the most-attended session a Nationals manager has held over the last decade. (The man is quite popular and obviously is still of interest to those in the cities he previously managed and played.) The 66-year-old skipper officially has been…
Dec 6, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
Executives, managers, coaches, scouts, trainers, traveling secretaries, PR reps, agents, equipment reps, broadcasters, writers and pretty much anybody else associated with the sport of baseball all are making their way to Nashville today for this year’s Winter Meetings, which officially commence Monday morning. This is the third time the gargantuan Gaylord Opryland Resort has hosted…
Nov 18, 2015, 3:13 PM EDT
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo formally announced three more members of Dusty Baker’s coaching staff Wednesday, with Rick Schu returning as hitting coach, Jacque Jones hired as assistant hitting coach and Chris Speier hired to serve as either bench coach or third base coach. Along with the previously announced hiring of pitching coach Mike Maddux…
Nov 10, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
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 9, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
Despite their 83-79 record and well-documented failings in 2015, the Nationals’ managerial opening remained an attractive one this offseason. It’s a team that is just one year removed from winning the NL East and posting the best record in the National League. They also have a pretty decent young player in Bryce Harper, who in less…
Nov 8, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
Whether there was purpose behind it or not, Dusty Baker shared a pretty interesting anecdote during his introductory news conference Thursday. Asked about Bryce Harper, the newly named Nationals manager offered up a story about his own days as a brash, young big-leaguer and an important lesson he learned. “I wasn’t as good a player…
Nov 7, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
Last week when media reports had Bud Black penciled in as the Nationals’ new manager, Dusty Baker gave an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle at a book signing in which he lamented losing out on the job. The Nats had not spoken to him yet – which in hindsight perhaps should have been a…
Nov 6, 2015, 2:42 PM EDT
It has been just over 24 hours since Dusty Baker was introduced as the Nationals’ new manager and three-and-a-half months remain until pitchers and catchers report for 2016 spring training. That is a long, long time for Baker to get settled and start making plans for his first year on the job. Given that timeframe,…
Nov 6, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
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 EDT
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, 6:21 PM EDT
After holding a press conference at the podium alongside GM Mike Rizzo at Nats Park, new Nationals manager Dusty Baker sat down with Mark for an extensive 1-on-1 interview. They covered a variety of subjects including his love for the city of Washington, his excitement to take over the Nats and what it will be…
Nov 5, 2015, 3:57 PM EDT
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, 10:51 AM EDT
The Nationals added another high-profile coach to Dusty Baker’s staff Thursday morning, bringing Davey Lopes back to serve in the first base coaching position he held in D.C. a decade ago. Lopes, 70, is one of the sport’s most experienced and respected coaches, particularly as a baserunning instructor. He spent the last five seasons as…
Nov 5, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
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 4, 2015, 4:55 PM EDT
Mike Maddux, a longtime and well-respected big-league pitching coach, will hold that role on Dusty Baker’s staff with the Nationals, the club announced Wednesday. Maddux, who just parted ways with the Rangers last week after seven seasons, becomes the first known member of Baker’s new staff in Washington, which could include other high-profile names. The…
Nov 4, 2015, 12:36 PM EDT
After the Nationals hired Dusty Baker to be their new manager through a complicated process that has all of us still scratching our heads, we at CSN decided to run a full 30-minute special to break it all down. We had Mark Zuckerman, Joe Orsulak, Sebastian Salazar and myself all give our takes on the situation…
Nov 4, 2015, 9:05 AM EDT
Any time a team fires one manager and hires another, many things will need to be fixed. The Nationals remain a deep and impressive roster despite their shortcomings this past season. But after Dusty Baker is introduced on Thursday – barring something unforeseen, as you never know these days – he will need to get…
Nov 3, 2015, 11:58 AM EDT
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 3, 2015, 8:23 AM EDT
In a stunning twist to cap a tumultuous 24 hours, the Nationals announced Tuesday morning they have hired Dusty Baker as their new manager, negotiations with initial choice Bub Black having fallen apart over the weekend. Baker, a 3-time NL Manager of the Year Award winner with 20 seasons of experience at the big-league level,…
Nov 2, 2015, 11:11 PM EDT
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 30, 2015, 1:20 PM EDT
Mark stopped by the CSN office on Thursday to shoot some videos for SportsNet Central and SportsTalk Live, so we decided to sit down and go a little bit more in-depth on the Bud Black hire in an it’s-been-too-long episode of ‘Beltway Baseball.’ First we discussed whether Black was the best candidate available. Then, we…
Oct 29, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT
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 EDT
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…
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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