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Will the Nationals extend Dusty Baker?

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Nationals manager Dusty Baker is heading into the final year of his two-year contract, signed back in November 2015. The veteran skipper led the Nationals to a first-place finish at 95-67, though the club was defeated in five games in the NLDS by the Dodgers.

Baker’s future is uncertain, but MASN’s Pete Kerzel expects the Nationals to extend Baker’s contract by the time spring training begins in mid-February. He does not think the Nationals will allow Baker the option to walk away considering the success the team had in his first year at the helm.

As Kerzel notes, the Nationals don’t have any obvious in-house successors in the event Baker were to leave, which only makes it seem like a no-brainer to keep him around. The Nationals’ players, a mix of youth and veterans, seemed to enjoy playing for him.

Brian Dozier, Todd Frazier, and Didi Gregorius say teams should expand protective netting

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Earlier, a young fan was struck by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium and had to be carried out before being taken to a hospital. Fortunately, it seems that the fan is okay.

As usual, when a scary incident such as today’s occurs, players come out in full support of expanding the protective netting at ballparks. Twins second baseman Brian Dozier as well as Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier and shortstop Didi Gregorius all said as much after Wednesday afternoon’s game.

Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis has also been a very vocal proponent of increased netting. For the most part, the players are pretty much all in agreement about the subject. It’s only a vocal minority of fans who seem to think that their ability to snag a random souvenir or have an unimpeded view supersedes the safety of their neighbors.

Video: Giancarlo Stanton hits a laser for his 56th home run

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Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton continued his march towards 60 home runs, hitting No. 56 in Wednesday afternoon’s win against the Mets. The Marlins, leading 7-2 prior to Stanton’s two-run blast in the bottom of the eighth, didn’t need the extra run support but welcomed it all the same. Mets reliever Erik Goeddel tossed a 1-1, 78 MPH curve that caught too much of the plate.

After Wednesday’s action, Stanton is batting .279/.378/.634 with 120 RBI and 116 runs scored along with the 56 dingers in 646 plate appearances. The last player to hit at least 56 home runs in a season was Ryan Howard (58) in 2006. Stanton’s is the 19th player-season of at least 56 homers.