Dusty’s legacy in DC transcends baseball

WASHINGTON — A pregame video to honor Dusty Baker’s time at the helm of the Nationals culminated in a tribute to his 2,000th managerial-win milestone as fans cheered for the revered manager as he made his first return to Nationals Park in five years on Friday.  

“Most of the time, they seem like they appreciate me more when I came back than when I left,” Baker said before the game with a laugh. “I always wanted to leave a place in better shape than when I came. That was my goal.” 

Baker, 72, entered Friday’s game tied with Leo Durocher for 10th place on the all-time managerial wins list with 2,008. The Astros hired Baker prior to the 2020 season and last year, he became the first manager to lead five teams to a division title.

“And I remember [former Giants general manager] Al Rosen told me that managers were born to be fired, and I was like, ‘Nah, not me,’” Baker said. “But you know, a couple times my contract wasn’t renewed, one time I officially was fired, and one time I left, because I was there long enough. It’s different. It’s way different. The good thing is, I’ve seen a lot of people that were still here, even when I left. A lot of the auxiliary people, people in the clubhouse, security guards, the people I really appreciated when I was here, and I felt a closeness to them.…

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