Washington Nationals: 2016 Could’ve Been Different if the Winter Went How They Expected
With less than three weeks to go in the regular season, the Washington Nationals are all but assured their third National League East title since 2012. One has to wonder how this year would’ve gone if the offseason went as planned for general manager Mike Rizzo and his front office, though.
Rizzo made an appearance on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight podcast with Buster Olney earlier this week to talk about his club in advance of October. No conversation in 2016 about the Nats is complete without singing the praises of two influential people: manager Dusty Baker and second baseman Daniel Murphy.
They have truly been difference makers for this club, who owns a 87-59 record as they travel to face the Atlanta Braves this weekend. Rizzo didn’t hide how he felt about their contributions this year, referring to Baker as the NL Manager of the Year and Murphy as the NL MVP.
Even if they don’t take home hardware come November, it’s hard to fault Rizzo for feeling this way. It’s just ironic because neither of them were Washington’s first choice when it came to filling their jobs last winter.