Monday, CBS Sports broke the news that the Washington Nationals have narrowed down their search for their next manager to two names: Arizona Diamondbacks third-base coach Matt Williams and current Nationals bench coach Randy Knorr.
Unfortunately for some, this dispels the “Cal Ripken Jr. to Washington” rumors as well as the return of Bo Porter that had been swirling about. As the end of the season drew closer and closer, many around the organization felt that Williams is the best out-of-house candidate while Knorr is the best in-house candidate for the coaching job.
What makes Williams such a commodity? Current Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo has worked with Williams before. Williams has been a part of the Diamondbacks since 2001 when he was player. In the early 2000s, Rizzo was the scouting director for Arizona. So, there’s a bit of history there and the duo know each other.
In-house, the Nationals have Knorr. I have said a couple of times that Knorr should be the next manager of the Nationals. He knows the team well, knows the organization well and understands how everything works when it comes to baseball in D.C.
Bringing in an outsider like Williams would also usher in a transition period. Both the current Nationals and Williams would have an adjustment period when the two sides become acquainted with one another. With Knorr, there almost isn’t a transition period because he’s been there for so long and has played such a key role for so long.
Valuable time would not be wasted, and the team wouldn’t have to worry about whether or not the manager and the players are getting along.
It doesn’t appear that a final decision has been made in the search for the Nationals’ next manager, but it does seem as though they are getting ever closer to having their minds made up.