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Baker on Nats' clubhouse chemistry, working with GM Mike Rizzo

Baker on Nats' clubhouse chemistry, working with GM Mike Rizzo

Before Dusty Baker took over as Nationals manager, he had heard the stories about their clubhouse, about how infighting and disputes both public and private had played a role in their derailment both on and off the field in 2015. 

Baker, though, has been pleasantly surprised thus far through 18 games in the regular season.

"Probably the camaraderie is better because all I heard was how dysfunctional this team was. That's all I heard. I haven't seen it and I don't want to see it," Baker said.

Winning, of course, helps. The Nationals have the best record in baseball at 14-4 and are mostly healthy. Everybody likes to win and the Nats have faced very little adversity so far.

"Winning makes it fun," Baker said. "And it's like any other office. If people get along then you've got a chance to be more productive and you're pulling for each other much more than when you don't get along. There's nothing worse when you're in an office where you don't like the people there and half of them don't like you. That doesn't make it very pleasant to come to work."

First baseman Clint Robinson also touched on the topic and said some of the stuff from 2015 may have been overblown, anyways.

"I think the negative comments about our clubhouse came as a result of us not living up to expectations. People, they look for a reason as to why we didn't reach our expectations last year. And one of those reasons was a dysfunctional clubhouse, but I don't think that was the case. We didn't play like we should have last year, but this is a new year. I think we have a great group of guys," Robinson said.

Baker has also been pleased with his working relationship with general manager Mike Rizzo. Baker didn't know Rizzo well before joining the Nationals, but heard good things from former Nats manager Matt Williams, whom Baker coached in San Francisco. He also spoke with Johnny DiPuglia, the team's vice president of international operations.

"What I've learned is that he's very compassionate," Baker said of Rizzo. "He's easily excited. He knows baseball from a player's standpoint which is different from most general managers that you're going to run into. He's a former scout and talent evaluator. I think about half my job is evaluating talent and what I think the talent might become. He has a heck of an idea. I really like working with him. He trusts me. He trusts my judgement on things, which makes it easier to work with somebody that trusts you."

Rizzo handed Baker a talented roster and the 66-year-old skipper is happy with how things have gone to this point.

"This was a good team when I got here. I'm just trying to help us be better without getting in the way," Baker said.

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Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

USA Today Sports

Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

Watching Max Scherzrer rack up Ks during a game is a usual sight for fans.

Dancing is not.

On Wednesday while the Sports Junkies were broadcasting at Nats Spring Training in West Palm Beach, we got a taste of what the back-to-back Cy Young Award winner has to offer on the dance floor. 

With just about a week left until their season kicks off, manager Dave Martinez hired a DJ for the day's workout, saying he wanted to "turn it up a notch." 

Well he turned it up a few too many notches, causing the back end of the complex where the Junkies were broadcasting to lose power.

While the Junkies were put in a pickle because of said DJ, we were able to get a glance of Scherzer dancing to Drakes' "God's Plan."


It's nice to see the usually lazer-focused pitcher let loose.

While Scherzer's dance moves didn't actually cause the Junkies to lose power, it's nice to think they were too much for the ballpark to handle. 

106.7 The Fans Sports Junkies simulcasts on NBC Sports Washington every weekday morning from 6:00 to 10:00 am ET. You can stream the Sports Junkies right here

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The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful


The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful

It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.

It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.

They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training. 


Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.

Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.

Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.