Nats headline pun watch: Black has bottomed out, Dusty trending up

Now that the chronic impending disaster of the Washington Nationals television rights situation1 has been addressed, albeit in a post that’s more about what the indoor red, white and blue DC teams are doing on TV, we can get to other matters at hand.

I’ve been openly against Dusty Baker since the Matt Williams error ended (if not in a literal sense, but a figurative sense) and was relieved that Bud Black got the job. The knock on Baker (who let’s face it, has a likable name and will henceforth be known as Dusty) is an anti-OBP, pitcher-killer. It’s probably not completely wrong, but he’s shown himself to regularly manage teams that win 90 games or more, sometimes even their division and one time, even a pennant. Ask Russ Ortiz how that went?2

Of course, Black, who had a good reputation with pitchers, didn’t sign — he may have been selected, but the Nats may have low-balled him. It figures, a DC-beat writer breaks the story and it all goes to hell.

Tough break, Wags.

Distinguished Senators, which triumphantly came back in this past season that was the antonym of triumph, had typically strong takes on the situation when Black was “hired”3 and not hired.


ugh, MASN’s feed, I hope there aren’t any ads

Dusty is here and he won the press conference. He brought in Mike Maddux as pitching coach, because ironically, the front office ownership of the Texas Rangers low-balled him.4 His reputation is strong, though that’s all I know about him other than his brother was a pretty solid pitcher for the late 1980s Chicago Cubs.

Keeping with the mid-2000s theme that Distinguished Senators embraced, Davey Lopes is back in the 1st base coaches box. His magical ability to clap and say “let’s go Alfonso” seemed to have worked the last time around and he does wear a Phillies World Championship ring for his first-post Nats position. Perhaps the incredibly-shrinking Barry Bonds can come aboard as hitting coach, though not nutritionist, as well.

The 2015 Nats should have won 90 games just by showing up, but were so poorly managed5 that they barely broke .500 despite having a historical season from Bryce Harper, who by the way, Dusty, doesn’t need humbling. Dusty gets the challenge of getting the back end of the bullpen to remove their heads from their posteriors and focus on pitching well instead of policing their teammates or sulking. I don’t know if Dusty can do it, but at least the press conferences should be better than the “Jim Riggleman with an on-field pedigree” we were getting the last two seasons.

1Modifier “television rights situation” is surely extraneous

2Actually, ask the relievers who blew that series more than Ortiz, but nobody remembers their names as they weren’t given the ball by Dusty.

3How 2005 DCist. Though it was a good pull.

4Technically speaking they have Washingnton Senators 2.0 DNA

5The 2015 New York Mets are forever grateful, though when Matty said “we concede” they were like, “naw, we’ll just take it ourselves.”

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