The past 24 hours have seen one team’s managerial hole be filled, and it was a foregone conclusion in the eyes of most. That conclusion involved Joe Girardi inking a four-year contract extension with the New York Yankees, which made him the second-highest paid manager in baseball.
Girardi obviously values his family’s comfort, because the Yankees job is probably the least enticing it has been in recent memory, but Girardi has shown he can keep the team above water with no names.
With the Yankees’ managerial situation solidifying, the Washington Nationals‘ manager search broadens. While many believe Washington will go in-house to hire a manager, it looks as though the team may look to a Mid-Atlantic sports legend to fill their managerial hole.
Reports are starting to surface that the Nationals are giving “serious consideration” to Cal Ripken, Jr. for their vacancy at manager. At 53, Ripken’s children are getting older, he is a successful businessman and is looking to solidify his baseball reputation. Ripken had been hoping to join a front office as a team president or GM, or even as part of an ownership group.
With Ripken not having come back to baseball in any role other than a TV analyst, which he is actually very good at, it is said he is giving serious consideration to managing and seems to have interest in the Nationals job. Ripken has been seen at Nationals games this season, both for his job as an analyst and also just taking in a night of baseball, watching games from the stands with GM Mike Rizzo.
With the report that Washington is giving Ripken serious consideration combined with these other facts, it’s starting to become clear that Ripken could be on the inside track to become Washington’s fifth manager since moving from Montreal.
With a team that’s now suddenly considered one of the perennial playoff and World Series contenders each season, it will be harder for the Nationals to hire a manager with no experience and also no pizzazz behind their name. A guy like a Randy Knorr or a Trent Jewett, though beloved by players, will be scrutinized at an alarming rate, even though hiring from within may be a more fruitful decision in the long run.
Hiring someone like Ripken gives Washington some cache, and would probably make fans forget about Davey Johnson a little quicker. Washington suddenly has become a very attractive destination for managers, which marks how great of a job Rizzo and company have done. That said, do not be surprised if Ripken is the next manager in D.C.
He may already have the job — we just won’t know until after the World Series.