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Baker weary of Nationals closer queries

March 28, 2017

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Dusty Baker is sick of answering questions about the Nats' closer. It's been one of the biggest questions in baseball all offseason and has lingered through Spring Training as Opening Day approaches in Washington on Monday.And yet the Nationals were still not ready to name

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Dusty Baker is sick of answering questions about the Nats' closer. It's been one of the biggest questions in baseball all offseason and has lingered through Spring Training as Opening Day approaches in Washington on Monday.
And yet the Nationals were still not ready to name a closer prior to Tuesday evening's game against the Marlins.
"I hope we have it settled [soon] so you all can stop asking," Baker said. "Yeah, you hope we have it settled prior to going up north so everybody knows what their job is."
A few days ago, Baker made it sound like the Nationals had chosen their closer and were waiting to tell him before they announced it publicly. Lately, though, Baker made it sound like the Nationals were still having discussions over the decision. Baker was scheduled to go to dinner with pitching coach Mike Maddux, general manager Mike Rizzo and assistant general manager Bob Miller on Monday night, and Baker said he was going to talk to Maddux again Tuesday.
"There's always debate, healthy or unhealthy, but that's what makes the world go round, differences of opinion." Baker said. "I welcome differences of opinion, because it's hard sometimes for me to even agree with myself. I welcome other people's opinions, especially if I value their opinion, and [then] make the decision from there."
Worth noting
Anthony Rendon was out of the lineup Tuesday a day after fouling a ball off his left calf. Rendon said he was doing better, and Baker did not seem concerned about the injury.
Daniel Murphy was also out of the lineup after coming down with an illness. It is the second consecutive game missed for Murphy, who was already a bit behind schedule after joining Team USA for the World Baseball Classic and only getting six at-bats for the tournament.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.