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Dusty Baker on Nationals: "Why not now, and why not me?"

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Dusty Baker on Nationals: "Why not now, and why not me?"

After missing the playoffs in 2015 and a bad ending in the field and the dugout, the Nationals needed a strong hire to replace the departed Matt Williams. In Dusty Baker, it looks like the club has done just that. 

Baker has won everywhere he's been, and he's been a lot of places. In an MLB Network production airing tonight at 9 p.m., Baker talks about the opportunity he has with the Nats after a lifetime in baseball.

"The Nationals, they’ve never had a championship," Baker said. "Why not now, and why not me?"

Drafted in 1967, Baker has seen enough baseball to last many lifetimes. He's been up close for some historic moments, arguably nothing more incredible than being in the on-deck circle when Hank Aaron blasted his record breaking 715th home run. But in previously managing three teams (Giants, Cubs, Reds), Baker has never hoisted the World Series trophy as a manager. With Bryce Harper, Max Scherzer and a strong Nats squad, maybe Baker can finally do that in D.C.

The show - Dusty: A Baseball Journey - paints the picture of Baker as a complex man with passion for much more than just baseball. An advocate and businessman that works in vineyards and solar power, the show details the combination of time and place that molded Baker into the man he is today. A strong father and mother played a large role in his childhood, as did a stint playing in Atlanta and learning about deep-rooted racism in the old south 40 years ago. 

When the Braves drafted Baker in 1967, it took a promise from Aaron to Baker's mom to get him to join Atlanta organization. And even then, Baker's father did not agree, suing the organiztion to withhold Baker's signing bonus. 

Every step along the way for Baker has been interesting - whether it's being drafted or hanging out with Jimi Hendrix. The documentary shows it all, and with pitchers and catchers heading to Florida soon, it's one that Nats fans won't want to miss.

In the opening segment, Bob Costas called Baker "the quintessential baseball lifer." While that's true, it seems Baker is also much more. 

Ed. Note: MLB Network provided CSN with an advanced screening of the documentary. 

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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