If you are a Washington Nationals fan and do not already love Trea Turner, its time to jump on the bandwagon.
Against the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday night, the 24-year-old was able to display his baseball IQ during an awkward situation while the running bases. This of course being on top of his two-run RBI single that won the game for the Nationals in the sixth, just before this play sequence.
With Turner on first, pinch hitter Rafael Bautista was just ahead of him on second with one out. Wilmer Difo grounded the ball straight to the shortstop. An easy double play? Not so fast.
During the hit Bautista thought it would be best to return to the safety of second with his force-out having to be at third. As Turner is charging to second, the Phillies second baseman, Cesar Hernandez tags the bag, giving the force out to to Turner, opening second base to Bautista once again. Hernandez would go tag Turner, in a move that meant nothing, and retreat to the dugout thinking he got two outs.
After Hernandez left the play, Turner motions to Bautista, who was also retreating to the Nationals' dugout, to get back on the bag because he was not out.
Although the Nationals would not go to do anything after Turner's brains extended the half inning, we are reminded of the brilliance of the young player.
The Washington Nationals announced Friday Dusty Baker will not return as manager of the club in 2018.
Baker led the team to the first back-to-back division titles in franchise history, and the Nationals were 192-132 under Baker, but they failed to make it to an NLCS.
Baker is 14th in MLB history with 1,863 career wins.
The next Nationals' manager will be their seventh since they arrived in DC.
Only the Marlins have had as many.
"I'm surprised and disappointed," Baker told USA TODAY Sports. "They told me they would get back to me and I told them I was leaving town yesterday and they waited 10 days to tell me."
"I really thought this was my best year. We won at least 95 games each year and won the division back to back years but they said they wanted to go a different direction. It's hard to understand."
The team also announced the contracts for the Major League coaching staff have also expired, and the search for a new manager will begin immediately.
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While Nats fans were still digesting the news that Dusty Baker will not return as manager next year, the team released some more surprising news.
Second baseman Daniel Murphy underwent knee surgery today, per an official team report.
Washington Post reporter Chelsea Janes reported that the surgery is considered significant and the team won't put a timeline on the recovery process:
"The procedure, according to the statement released by the team, repaired articular cartilage in Murphy’s right knee. For those interested in the details, it was a debridement and microfracture surgery, and orthopedic surgeon Timothy Kremchek performed it."
"For those concerned with the implications of the procedure, those are still unclear. The statement clarified that Murphy’s rehab “will progress throughout the offseason,” as one would hope, and did not include a timetable.
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