Craig Calcaterra

Dusty Baker

The Nationals will interview Dusty Baker and Ron Gardenhire

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The Nats are interviewing seemingly everyone for their vacant manager position and, if they haven’t interviewed them yet, they’ve expressed interest. Phil Nevin. Bud Black. Ron Wotus. Alex Cora.

Add two more most familiar names to the list: Dusty Baker and Ron Gardenhire. Baker last managed for the Reds in 2013, while Gardenhire served as Twins manager until being replaced by Paul Molitor. Between them they have 33 years of managerial experience.

Which, given the Matt Williams Experience and its attendant lack of deftness with the basic mechanics of managing, weigh pretty darn heavy in their favor.

Kyle Schwarber’s home run may have landed on top of the scoreboard

Kyle Schwarber
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UPDATE: The Cubs have verified that it’s the ball and that they’re going to keep it up on the scoreboard, likely covering it with plastic casing or something.

9:36 AM: Kyle Schwarber‘s seventh inning home run last night was something to behold. He just beat the livin’ hell out of that ball.

There are balls that have gone farther, of course — it was estimated at a mere 419 feet, which is something of a minimum for the Giancarlo Stantons of the world — but the impressiveness of a home run is a relative thing. Trajectory, the violence of the swing and the backdrop all matter. A ball that is hit on the screws and then rattles around an empty concourse in a domed stadium in May simply isn’t going to impress like a brutally hacked baseball against an open-air, urban October sky. Schwarber’s just looked boss.

If you missed it, here it is, in all of its glory:

 

The announcer said it landed on Sheffield Avenue, and it was certainly heading in that direction. But at least some folks think the little white dot on top of the scoreboard — under the “i-s” in “Budweiser” in this picture is the ball:

 

While it can’t be definitively confirmed, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune did some reporting on the matter, and it certainly seems like that’s the ball. That scoreboard has only been there a few months, after all, and no one can recall any other homers hit that high in that direction since.

Either way, Schwarber committed an unspeakable act of violence on that ball.

The Angels let their hitting and pitching coaches go

Don Baylor
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Angels GM Billy Eppler announced last night that the club will not bring back pitching coach Mike Butcher and hitting coach Don Baylor.

Butcher has been the pitching coach since 2006. Baylor has only been the hitting coach since 2014. The Angels finished 6th in runs allowed per game, which isn’t terrible, but 12th in runs scored per game. With coaches, however, it can often be a question of coaching philosophy as much as it is about results. Add in the Mike Scioscia factor — he has a lot more power on the Angels than most managers have — and you can name any number of factors in their dismissal.

All we know for sure is that the Angels missed the playoffs by one game, Mike Scioscia isn’t going anywhere, and when you have a season that most would call a failure, someone’s head is gonna roll. Or two someones.