The Nationals on Friday announced that Dusty Baker would not return as the team's manager in 2018. Baker this past season led the Nationals to 97 wins a second-straight NL East title. However, the team once again failed to advance past the division series in the playoffs. In two seasons on the job in Washington, the Nationals on Baker's watch posted a winning percentage of .593.
Baker's now managed for 22 seasons, and over that span his teams have gone 1,863-1,636. Those 1,863 wins rank 14th all-time, and Baker's also led four different teams to the playoffs. As well, he's been named NL Manager of the Year three times. It's possible, though, that his never winning a World Series will keep him out of the Hall of Fame. At age 68, Baker may also have managed his last big-league game.
As for the Nationals, they'll begin their new managerial search immediately. While the Tigers recently hired Ron Gardenhire, the Nats will be joined by the Red Sox, Mets, and Phillies in looking for a new skipper. The Nats have won four division titles in the past six years, but each of those seasons ended with an NLDS loss. Suffice it to say, the next Washington manager will be judged by his ability not only to get the team to the postseason but also to get the team deep into the postseason. The 2018 season will occasion Bryce Harper's walk year, so the window in D.C. may be closing.