After three hours, Nationals finally admit that game with Giants is postponed


After three hours, Nationals finally admit that game with Giants is postponed

SAN FRANCISCO — Earlier this season, the Nationals had to apologize to their fans after they delayed a game three hours despite mostly dry conditions. When it actually rained Friday night at Nationals Park, they somehow screwed the process up again. 

After three hours of steady drizzle, the Nationals finally announced to the remaining fans that the game had been postponed. By that point, the Giants clubhouse had long since cleared out as players headed back to the hotel or for an unexpected dinner. The Giants found out the game wouldn't be played because someone in the press box texted manager Bruce Bochy and told him the Nationals’ TV announcers had already left. They will play a split doubleheader on Sunday, with the first game starting at 1:05 p.m. and the second game beginning at 7:05 p.m.

The official postponement came at 9:48 p.m. The tarp went on at 6:38 p.m. Maybe one day they'll figure out how to handle things here? Anyway, here are some notes from when it was dry … 

--- There is a chance Mark Melancon comes off the disabled list on Saturday, Bochy said. Melancon has been sidelined since June 28 by a pronator strain but he felt good in his last rehab outing. He will be eased back into the bullpen mix, with Sam Dyson remaining the closer for at least a few more games. 

--- Johnny Cueto played a very light game of catch. It was his first time picking up a ball since he came out of a rehab start with elbow discomfort, and he said everything felt fine. Still, this was just a very small step. Cueto will remain with the Giants on this trip and they’ll see how he feels. 

--- Bochy does not expect any issues between Hunter Strickland and Bryce Harper, and he said he wouldn’t hesitate to use Strickland if Harper’s spot is coming up. We’ll see. The Giants are still feeling the aftershocks of that fight, specifically with their former left fielder/first baseman. Michael Morse will meet with the staff in Miami on Tuesday, but he’s not expected to return to the team this season. Morse hasn’t played since suffering a concussion during that fight, and given where the team is in the standings (and the number of young players seeing time) it never made sense for Morse to ramp up what would have been a long rehab process. 

--- Miguel Gomez got treatment for knee inflammation and he was cleared to play. “I asked him if he could outrun me,” Bochy said. “He said yes.”

Dusty Baker won't be remembered the way he should be remembered


Dusty Baker won't be remembered the way he should be remembered

Firing a manager is easy, and there are lots of ways to do it.

Dusty Baker, for example. He worked this year on the last year of a contract, which usually means there won’t be another one, and he relied on his players to deliver the goods.

Which, as we remember from our reading, they didn’t do. Again.

But Baker was marked for the chop unless those players did deliver, and when they didn’t, general manager Mike Rizzo did the expedient thing.

He fired one person rather than several. And changed exactly nothing.

Baker’s managerial career is probably over now, as most teams don’t look at 68-year-olds to fix their teams. He will never manage a  World Series champion, something he ached for, and he was always be caricatured in part as the guy who didn’t speak metric, and who believed in players as men whenever in doubt.

And the Nats didn’t betray him, either. They were always not as good in the big moments because someone else was, and they became part of Washington’s new fetish – Why Can’t We Win One? It’s as if having a cringeworthy President isn’t good enough for them.

So the time came, and he will be replaced by someone who will either win and get credit for work that was largely his, or he won’t win and the town can continue to wallow in its tedious We’re-The-New-Cubs pity. It is the circle of life.

At least it is for groups of people. For individuals, the circle of life is actually nothing more than a straight line that ends abruptly. For Dusty Baker, as it did for Tony La Russa in Phoenix two days earlier, that day came today. He deserves to be remembered as a very good manager who won a lot more than he lost, made more friends than enemies, and was honest from Day One until the end.

Which, as we also know, doesn’t matter a whole lot on days like this.


Dusty Baker out as Nationals manager


Dusty Baker out as Nationals manager

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals say manager Dusty Baker won’t be back next season.

The team announced the move Friday.

Baker led the Nationals to the NL East title in each of his two years with the club. But Washington lost its NL Division Series both times.

His contract expired at the end of this season.