The Nationals' hiring of Bud Black as their next manager is not yet a done deal, the two sides having been unable to work out final contract details, leaving the door open for the club potentially to offer the job to Dusty Baker instead, according to sources familiar with the situation.
The Nationals' front office had settled on Black last week as the choice to succeed the fired Matt Williams, but no official announcement was made, presumably out of deference to Major League Baseball's request that clubs not make major news during the World Series. The two sides, though, still were discussing contract details and still had not hashed those out Monday, with the postseason now complete and teams no longer at the mercy of the league.
CBSsports.com was first to report the snag in talks with Black and possibility of an offer to Baker.
It wasn't immediately clear what specifically got in the way of a signed contract, but the issue might involve the length of the deal. The Nationals typically have offered only two guaranteed years to previous managers, but experienced skippers like Black (who managed the Padres for 8 1/2 seasons before his firing in June) typically earn more job security than that.
If their talks with Black hit an impasse, the Nationals could reverse course and offer the job instead to Baker, the other known finalist for the position. The 66-year-old veteran — who has 20 seasons of experience managing the Giants, Cubs and Reds — impressed club officials during two rounds of interviews, according to sources, and was favored by some for the job over Black.
Baker hasn't worked in baseball since being fired by Cincinnati following a loss to the Pirates in the 2013 NL Wild Card Game, but the former big-league outfielder has actively been seeking a return to the dugout since. He expressed interest in the Nationals' opening two years ago but never got an interview with the club, which went on to hire Williams.
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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."
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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.
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.
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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.
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