I’m not surprised very often when it comes to Nationals. Most big events–free agent signings, trades, firings–are telegraphed ahead of time or rational responses to a known series of events.
But Dusty getting the axe? That surprised me.
Maybe it shouldn’t have. Dusty managed the entire season on the last year of his contract–a highly unusual circumstance. But I attributed that to the Lerners being the Lerners. They always have an unusual way of doing business. I assumed Dusty would come back as long as the Nationals kept winning. And they did keep winning. Two divisions titles in two years–the only Nationals manager to that, doing what Davey Johnson and Matt Williams should have done considering the talent they managed.
The story will come out and this will be explained, but one thing is clear: this is Mike Rizzo’s team. When Dusty was hired, I made the observation that Rizzo’s sterling reputation as GM is most marred by questionable managerial hires. He’s back to square one. I said this last time and I’ll say it again: how many chances does he get to find the right guy?