As we know, Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson will retire following the 2013 season. It will most likely come much earlier than Johnson expected, with Washington’s poor play and the Atlanta Braves‘ stellar play, but he will resign nonetheless.
Names such as Don Mattingly, Bo Porter and Randy Knorr have been thrown around as potential successors. The job certainly won’t be hard to fill, with a roster full of good, young players, and if not for injuries, Washington would certainly be a much more competitive team. However, the name of the game will be turnaround for the new manager, whomever they may be.
Recently, MLB legend Cal Ripken Jr. acknowledged that he would not mind managing in the future. Ripken Jr. revolutionized the shortstop position, is best known for playing 2,632 consecutive games as a member of the Baltimore Orioles, and is in the Hall of Fame.
Many organizations, as of late, have been taking chances on candidates with very little managerial credentials, with names like Walt Weiss, Mike Matheny and Robin Ventura filling out lineup cards in Colorado, St. Louis and Chicago, respectively. Sometimes experience is not the key to success as a manager; a manager, first and foremost, needs to connect with his players and motivate them, which is exactly why Washington should give Ripken Jr. the job as their next skipper.
Ripken Jr. is quite possibly one of the most widely respected players in baseball, and would immediately command attention amongst Washington’s players. Ripken Jr. is currently broadcasting, and seems to have a very strong understanding of the game. Following a managerial legend in Johnson will be hard, regardless of who Washington hires, but following him with a legendary player of Ripken Jr.’s caliber could make a lot of sense for Washington.
Ripken Jr. may not be the most qualified candidate by any means, but he is a legend in MLB and the Mid-Atlantic region, and has the resume players respect. Of course Washington could either hit a home run or strike out with Ripken Jr., but he’s certainly worth a shot.