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Baker has unique thoughts on HBPs: 'That's what you call a fool'

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Baker has unique thoughts on HBPs: 'That's what you call a fool'

Sometimes as a sports reporter you ask a subject a question that produces an unexpectedly detailed response, one that trails off in unintended directions that make it clear that person simply had something they wanted to get off their chest. There are a lot of athletes and coaches that do this, and Nationals manager Dusty Baker certainly falls into that category.

On Saturday he was asked about the fact Danny Espinosa was in the Nationals' starting lineup against the Twins despite getting hit by pitches in the same exact spot on the back of his right arm on consecutive days. It's his throwing arm and baseballs are not soft. Though he didn't show any signs of pain either time, you can bet his arm is a little sore right now.

Baker decided to share his thoughts on HBPs in general and how there may be a generational divide in what parts of today's game are viewed as tough, compared to how things used to be. Nowadays players wear more padding on their elbows, wrists and ankles, what some refer to as 'armor.' 

And, as Dusty tells it, the perception now is just different.

"I got a different attitude about that. Number one, you get paid to be tough. You get paid to play ball. And number two, you better start trying to get out of the way. That's my attitude. The new dudes, they think that they're a turtle, that they can just duck into a shell. But you don't have a shell. You need to get out of the way. You need to hit the ground. Guys now are like diving toward the outside part of the plate. Back in our day we hit the ground. Or you ducked. You did whatever you could to not get hit. Now they just go like that [demonstrates arm lowering into strike zone]. You need to try to get out of the way. You're not getting much sympathy from me unless you're getting hit in the head or something. Learn to get out of the way. I appreciate the toughness and all of that, but that really doesn't impress me too much," Baker said.

Baker was then asked about players crowding the plate specifically against pitchers that try to establish a pitch by throwing inside.

"That's what you call a fool. That's what they get," Baker said of the players who put themselves in harm's way.

Tell us what you really think, Dusty. Also, speaking of Baker quotes, he had a pretty good one when asked about the strong start to this season from 22-year-old pitcher Joe Ross (2-0, 0.54).

"I don't understand how San Diego gave him to us, but I appreciate it," he said.

[RELATED: Nats drop second straight in 6-1 loss to Marlins]

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With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

WASHINGTON  -- The Washington Nationals say they have agreed to a one-year deal with 40-year-old reliever Joaquin Benoit.

The team announced the move Wednesday, along with placing pitcher Joe Ross on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in July.

The Nationals didn't release terms of the agreement, though a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Monday that it was for $1 million.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't official at the time.

MORE NATIONALS: FULL 2018 SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Benoit is a right-hander who first reached the big leagues in 2001. 

He has played for eight teams, finishing last year with Pittsburgh.

He has 764 career appearances, going 58-49 with a 3.83 ERA and 53 saves.

RELATED: 2018 MLB BETTING ODDS

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It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

READ ALSO: NATIONALS FULL SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE