It has probably worked out for the best. Managerial performance is even harder to predict than it is analyze, but we may well be better off with Dusty Baker. With the exception of headline writers, of course, for whom being teased with Bud Black must have been very trying.
Even if everything's OK this time, you have wonder to what extent the Lerners' parsimony and lack of appreciation for the manager role has held this team back. They have never paid top dollar for a manager, relying on people either too new or too old to command big salaries.
Like Matt Williams.
Let's say, hypothetically, the Nats were the team that poached Joe Maddon away from the Rays. Williams gets the Rick Renteria treatment. With Maddon installed and the Lerners millions of dollars poorer, things would have played out quite differently. Would Jayson Werth have spent his season undercutting the manger? Would one of the closers have sulked himself into uselessness? Would the other closer have tried to strangle the Bryce Harper?
Probably not, but that's why Joe Maddon costs five million dollars.
|"Hey now, fellas. No choking in the dugout."|