Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Monday, February 29, 2016

Kept His Gun in Quiet Seclusion, Such a Humble Man

Now these thugs actors all of a sudden
[Marlins general managers] hustle backwards all of a sudden
-Rick Ross, "Rich Forever"

I never thought that random hillbilly Dan Jennings would become a beloved recurring character on this blog.

I'd never heard of him until last year, when he parlayed his position as general manger of the Marlins into a demotion and termination. That's what we call "hustling backwards." With a combination of good intentions and incompetence, Dan Jennings has made himself the platonic ideal of hustling backwards, and now he works for the Nats!

Now that we're on the same side, I hope he doesn't take it personally that I spent a fair amount of 2015 referring to him as a random hillbilly and comparing him to Billy Carter. I don't think he will. Whatever his faults, Jennings seems like a good-natured fellow, and he doesn't strike me as the kind of person who would take "hillbilly" as an insult.

In fact, he seems like the kind of guy who not only knows all the words to the song from "Dukes of Hazzard" but tries to live by them. He's just a good ol' boy, never meaning no harm, etc.
Dan Jennings on his way to work
It's worth recounting what is, for all its dopiness, the most unusual baseball career since Rick Ankiel's:

1. Dan Jennings grows up somewhere in Waffle House country. He makes his way the only way he knows how, even though it's just a little bit more than the law will allow. He probably plays baseball at some level.

2. Dan Jennings winds up working for the Marlins, straightenin' the curves and flattenin' the hills.

3. Dan Jennings becomes general manger of the Marlins. I assume that this is because everyone ahead of him quit or got fired, but still. As GM, he is called upon to fire manager Mike Redmond.

4. Dan Jennings exhibits a deep-seated understanding of the spirit and purpose of the Marlins organization: In an effort to prevent the team from having to pay another manager, he offers to step in and manage the team himself. It's an unusual move, going from general manager to regular manager and expecting to be kicked back up to GM when you're done. It beats all you ever saw.

5. Dan Jennings isn't any good as manager. Maybe it's not his fault, but I bet Mike Redmond felt pretty good about it.

6. Having done his part to save his loathsome organization from paying an extra salary, Dan Jennings asks for his job back. He is fired.

7. Dan Jennings gets a job with the Nationals as special assistant to the general manager. There are nine special assistants to the general manager, so there's no telling what he's actually doing. Maybe he's getting coffee. Maybe he's running moonshine. The mountain might get him, but the law never will.

So there's Dan Jennings' bizarre baseball career arc. From GM to field manager to unspecified front office job. Based on his demonstrated tendencies, we can assume he's using his face time with Mike Rizzo to hustle himself backwards into a bullpen catcher job. After that? The ground's the limit for Dan Jennings. Maybe he'll start blogging.

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