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Source: Nats to name Black new manager


Source: Nats to name Black new manager

The Nationals plan to name Bud Black their next manager, a source familiar with the decision confirmed Wednesday night, but an official announcement isn’t likely until after the conclusion of the World Series sometime next week.

Black, who managed the Padres from 2007-15, was selected by the Nationals from a pool of at least eight candidates, including fellow finalist Dusty Baker. Both longtime big-league skippers were in town Monday for a second round of interviews with club executives, including general manager Mike Rizzo and members of the Lerner family.

The Washington Post was first to report Black’s pending hire.

Black, 58, becomes the sixth full-time manager in Nationals history, which extends back only 11 years. None of the club’s previous managers since the franchise relocated to Washington in 2005 lasted more than 2 1/2 years on the job, with Matt Williams the latest to go after only two seasons in the dugout.


Upon announcing Williams’ firing the day after a disappointing 83-79 season concluded, Rizzo cited previous experience as a priority in his forthcoming search. Most of the candidates he interviewed fit that description, including Baker (who spent 20 seasons managing the Giants, Cubs and Reds), Ron Gardenhire (13 seasons managing the Twins) and longtime big-league bench coach Ron Wotus.

Black was seen throughout baseball as the frontrunner all along, his 8 1/2 seasons leading the Padres along with his background as a former pitcher and strong relations with players making him a strong fit for the Nationals. The left-hander, who spent 15 years in the big leagues in the 1980s and ’90s, was pitching coach for the Angels when they won the 2002 World Series, then became San Diego’s manager in 2007.

A native of Longview, Wash., Black was highly regarded during his time with the Padres despite a 649-713 record, zero postseason appearances and only two winning seasons. (He did earn NL Manager of the Year honors in 2010.) His firing on June 15 with San Diego’s record at 32-33 was viewed throughout baseball as more of an indictment of the new front office’s failed attempt to build an instant winner through dramatic roster changes than of Black’s actual managerial performance.

The Nationals made their final decision on Black within the last 48 hours, according to the source, but intend to adhere to Major League Baseball’s longstanding request that clubs not make significant news during the World Series. Thus, a formal announcement and press conference isn’t likely to take place until sometime next week.

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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.