November 7, 2015
In a press conference on Thursday, "Dusty" Baker was formally introduced by Mike Rizzo as the new manager of the Washington Nationals. The event was a big success, as Baker quickly developed a rapport with the journalists, answering their queries with wit and a big smile. He is determined to get the team to the postseason again, and is hopeful that he can win his first World Series ring as a manager. See the Washington Post, which had a photo of Baker wearing a business suit leaning on the dugout at Nationals Park.
The beginning may have been a little awkward, but Dusty is full of charm and optimism, as well as skilled leadership, and I'm guessing we'll forget all about that Bud Black mess before long. He is almost certainly the best "second-best" choice ever!
The Nationals' new pitching coach, Mike Maddux, was also introduced to reporters.
Veterans Ian Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann both received "qualifying offers" from the Washington Nationals, which means that if they sign elsewhere (as expected), the Nats will get compensatory draft picks. (See MLB.com.) It is still possible that either or both could remain with the Nats next year, and I kind of hope both do. J-Zimm is a proven top-notch performer and would keep the pitching rotation in a championship caliber, while Desi had a solid record until this year which was a big disappointment. He's bound to improve next year, whatever team he's with.
OK, I get it, I'm way too much of a perfectionist. But is that really such a bad thing? Yes, sports fans, believe it or not, I made a few more tiny corrections and enhancements to my Citi Field diagrams. It mostly involved details such as the seam that divides the grandstand in left field from the rest of the grandstand. Also, I had to reconcile slight inconsistencies from one diagram version to another. New features in the lower-deck and second-deck diagrams include the entrances to the aisles, as well as a transparent color (thus showing the green background) to differentiate the field level from the main concourse level. I really hope that takes care of that.