There is that saying ‘One and Done’ as it pertains to college athletes and also for athletes approaching retirement, and it’s no secret that Dusty Baker is signed for 2 years and could be thinking short-term ‘Two and Done’.
Bob Nightengale of the USA Today wrote, “[Dusty] signed a two-year, $4 million contract with the Nationals, and doesn’t know if he’ll want another…All he knows is that after being out of baseball the last two years, this is perfect, the opportunity of a lifetime. He knows he can win big in Washington. He can become the first manager to win a World Series in Washington, D.C., since 1924. He can become the first African-American manager ever inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame. “I don’t know how I would have felt if I had never gotten this chance,’’ Baker tells USA TODAY Sports.”
The soon-to-be 67 year old Nats manager has talked about ‘win now’, and Dusty hasn’t hid his desire to hoist a World Series trophy as a manager, similar as he did 35 years ago in 1981 as a player with the Dodgers. Dusty was so close as the Manager of the Giants in 2002 to winning it all as his team had a 3 games to 2 lead over the Angels with a lead in Game 6.
Former Mets GM Steve Phillips and Dusty Baker worked together at ESPN, Phillips once asked Dusty, “Would you rather have a chance to go every year to the post-season and not get your World Series win or win it once and never get back again?” Phillips said Dusty answered him, “I want my one. I want my one. I want my one World Series.” That seems clear what Dusty wants. The principal owner of the Nats, Ted Lerner, will be 91 years old, and he might agree with Dusty—One and Done. Mike Rizzo would like what his fellow GM Brian Sabean has had in San Francisco with sustained greatness.
Jayson Werth could be finished as a Nat at the same time as Dusty Baker. Both have 2 years remaining on their deals. Strasburg looks to be a One and Done. It makes great sense to go for it in 2016. The stars need to align for this all to come together for the Nats.
Dusty might be thinking short-term and want Trea Turner on his Opening Day roster as well as Giolito sooner than later during the season. There is almost no chance Dusty Baker will be managing when Giolito reaches Free Agency and would he care if Giolito’s free agency starts after the 2021 season or a year later? Probably not. Rizzo, like he did with Davey Johnson, will have to make the tough decisions on the youngsters with regards to Giolito’s innings limits as well as when he makes his debut for the Nationals. There are similar concerns with Trea Turner’s debut date in the 2016 season for the Nats.
A h/t to MicheleS for sending us this tweet from Bill Ladson:
— William Ladson (@washingnats) March 3, 2016
Trea Turner on his first at-bat of Spring Training barreled one up and smashed it over the fence for a HR. Trea was also solid in the field, and if Trea puts up some big numbers this Spring Training there will be more calls for Turner to begin the season for the Nats as the starting shortstop. Time will tell, and one game does not define what will happen for the season, but 30 very good games could define that Turner is one of the 25 best so expect the debate to continue.
Does this come down to having the trust in the people who will make the best decisions for the team even though they might have different motivations?