WASHINGTON -- Nationals manager Dusty Baker left the team following Thursday afternoon's 4-2 loss to the Mariners to attend the high school graduation of his son, Darren, who is graduating from Jesuit High School in Carmichael, Calif., on Saturday. Chris Speier, the Nats' bench coach, will manage the team this weekend.
Baker will rejoin the team for the start of a 10-day, nine-game West Coast road trip Monday afternoon against the Giants at AT&T Park. It was much easier for Baker to travel from his home outside of Sacramento to those games than to try to make it back to Washington ahead of Sunday's series finale against the Padres.
"If I had to miss three games, you couldn't have picked a better scenario," Baker told MLB.com. "It's about as perfect as you can get."
Will he watch the Nats' weekend series while he's in California?
"Oh yeah. I'll watch 'em," Baker said. "I'll watch 'em at home, I'll watch 'em during graduation, I'll watch 'em probably in my sleep or in bed."
Darren completed his high school baseball career last week and is committed to play baseball at the University of California, Berkeley, unless he decides to go pro after the MLB Draft (June 12-14).
Speier filled in for Baker for one game in 2016 after Baker had a death in the family.
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.