WASHINGTON -- There were times during his two years away from baseball when Dusty Baker thought he might never get to manage again. So it would have been hard to imagine that he would once again be a finalist for the Baseball Writers' Association of America National League Manager of the Year Award.
Baker finished third in the voting, which was revealed Tuesday night on MLB Network. Baker received four first-place votes, but finished behind winner Dave Roberts of the Dodgers and Joe Maddon of the Cubs. Indians manager Terry Francona received the American League honors.
• Past winners of BBWAA Manager of the Year Award: AL | NL
|Dave Roberts, Dodgers
|Joe Maddon, Cubs
|Dusty Baker, Nationals
|Terry Collins, Mets
|Don Mattingly, Marlins
Baker returned to provide some stability to the Nationals. His experience, leadership and heavily positive message was exactly what this team was looking for after a rocky 2015 season that saw it miss the postseason. With Baker at the helm, the Nationals won 95 games -- a 12-game improvement from '15 -- and finished with the second-best record in the Majors en route to winning the NL East.
Washington was among the most consistent teams in the Majors, leading the division for all but four days and finishing with a winning record in each month. The Nationals have a player who was named a finalist for the BBWAA NL Rookie of the Year Award (Trea Turner -- finished second), BBWAA NL Cy Young Award (Max Scherzer) and BBWAA NL Most Valuable Player Award (Daniel Murphy), the first time in 10 years a team has had a top three finisher in each category, according to the BBWAA.
• Complete awards coverage
Although Baker could not add to his three career BBWAA Manager of the Year Awards (1993, '97 and 2000), he padded an impressive resume that could land him in the Hall of Fame. He finished as a runner-up for the honor with the Cubs, finished second twice with the Reds and now a third-place finish with the Nationals. Baker currently is the 17th-winningest manager in baseball history with a record of 1,766-1,571, just four wins behind Jim Leyland for 16th.
This was the sixth time in his career Baker has led a team to a division title, and he joined former Nationals manager Davey Johnson as the only managers in MLB history to take four teams to the postseason.
Esurance MLB Awards week concludes Friday on MLB Network and MLB.com at 8 p.m. ET with the MLB Awards. Categories include Best Major Leaguer, Hitter, Pitcher, Rookie, Executive and Manager.
Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.