Nationals expected to hire either Dusty Baker or Bud Black as manager

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James Wagner and Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reported on Friday morning that Dusty Baker and Bud Black were the only two candidates (out of several) invited back to interview a second time for the Nationals’ managerial vacancy.

And now CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman says the Nats are indeed expected to settle on one of those two established veterans for the gig …

Baker and Black are believed to be the only two finalists for the job, so barring something strange happening, one of them will be the guy. The Nationals did interview many strong candidates, though there’s no word at this point of a third finalist.

Ron Gardenhire, Phil Nevin, Alex Cora, Rick Renteria, Randy Knorr, and Cal Ripken Jr. were some of the other names linked to Matt Williams’ former job. There has been a heavy emphasis on experience in this search because Williams performed so poorly as a first-time skipper.

Between them, Baker and Black have 29 years of managerial experience at the major league level. Along with four Manager of the Year awards.

Black is said to be the “preferred choice” for some Nationals executives.

Video reviews overturn 42% rate; Boston most successful

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NEW YORK (AP) Video reviews overturned 42.4% of calls checked during Major League Baseball’s shortened regular season, down slightly from 44% in 2019.

Boston was the most successful team, gaining overturned calls on 10 of 13 challenges for 76.9%. The Chicago White Sox were second, successful on eight of 11 challenges for 72.7%, followed by Kansas City at seven of 10 (70%).

Pittsburgh was the least successful at 2 of 11 (18.2%), and Toronto was 7 of 25 (28%).

Minnesota had the most challenges with 28 and was successful on nine (32.1%). The New York Yankees and Milwaukee tied for the fewest with nine each; the Yankees were successful on five (55.6%) and the Brewers three (33.3%).

MLB said Tuesday there were 468 manager challenges and 58 crew chief reviews among 526 total reviews during 898 games. The average time of a review was 1 minute, 25 seconds, up from 1:16 the previous season, when there 1,186 manager challenges and 170 crew chief reviews among 1,356 reviews during 2,429 games.

This year’s replays had 104 calls confirmed (19.8%), 181 that stood (34.4%) and 223 overturned. An additional 12 calls (2.3%) were for rules checks and six (1.1%) for recording keeping.

In 2019 there were 277 calls confirmed (12.5%), 463 that stood (34.1%) and 597 overturned. An additional nine calls (0.7%) were for rules checks and 10 (0.7%) for record keeping.

Expanded video review started in 2014.