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The Nationals still aren’t close to extending Dusty Baker


Entering Saturday’s contest against the Rangers, Nationals’ skipper Dusty Baker has guided the club to a division-leading 38 wins. He’s sitting on a 1804-1592 career managerial record and hasn’t seen a losing record since 2011, when the Reds took third place in the NL Central with a 79-83 finish. Other than a World Series ring, the only thing he’s missing is a contract extension, which would give him a landing spot when his two-year, $4 million contract expires after this season. That, however, appears to be the one thing the Nationals are reluctant to give him.

The Nationals were open to an extension back in January, according to a report from Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, who also noted that the two sides had yet to open talks. No concrete show of faith has been made by the club yet, though, and it’s unlikely that a deal will be struck while the season is in full swing. Washington general manager Mike Rizzo addressed the issue prior to the series opener against the Rangers on Friday. Via’s Jamal Collier:

It’s not going to be an issue, we’re not going to let it be an issue,” Rizzo said. “Dusty’s a true professional. Been through the rigors of the regular season a million times; I’ve been through it a million times. Suffice to say that there’s great communications, great respect between the front office and the managerial office.

Baker, meanwhile, has repeatedly affirmed his desire to continue his career in Washington. There doesn’t seem to be a lack of affection between the 67-year-old skipper and his general manager, and it’s clear that the players value his presence in the clubhouse. The Post’s Thomas Boswell¬†instead chalks the problem up to some reluctance on the owners’ part, speculating that the Lerner family could be dragging their feet simply because that’s the way they’re used to dealing with past managers. If that’s the case, it might take Baker the rest of the season — and a World Series title — before his achievements are appropriately rewarded with an extended stay in Washington.

Giants fans will have to pay a surcharge to park at Athletics games

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Athletics president Dave Kaval is ready to take full advantage of the interleague series between the Giants and A’s this season. While the two teams customarily play a few preseason “Battle of the Bay” games each year, they’re also scheduled to meet each other six times during the regular season; once for a three-game set in San Francisco, then for a three-game set in Oakland. On Saturday, Kaval announced that any Giants fans looking to park at the Coliseum this year will be charged $50 instead of the standard, general admission $30 — an additional “rivalry fee” that can be easily waived by shouting, “Go A’s!” at the gate.

This isn’t the first time that a major-league team has tried to keep rival fans at bay, though Kaval doesn’t seem all that intent on actually driving fans away from the ballpark. Back in 2012, the Nationals staged a “Take Back the Park” campaign after people began complaining that Phillies fans were overtaking Nationals Park during rivalry games. They limited a single-series presale of Nats-Phillies tickets to buyers within Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia in hopes of filling the stands with a few more friendly faces. Washington COO Andy Feffer told the press that while he would treat all guests with “respect and courtesy,” he wanted Phillies fans to feel irked enough to pay attention to the Nationals. In the end, things went… well,¬†a little south for all involved.

Whether the Giants are planning any retaliatory measures has yet to be seen, but it’s not as if this is going to be an enforceable rule. The real travesty here, if you’re an A’s fan or just pretending to be one, is that the parking fees have increased from $20 to $30 this season. Unless you’re a season ticket holder with a prepaid $10 parking permit, it’s far better to brave the crowds and take advantage of local public transportation. There are bound to be far fewer irate Giants fans on BART than at the gates — even if the gag only lasts a few days out of the year.