Washington Nationals: 4 Options to Replace Davey Johnson

By James Williams
Brad Mills – USA Today Sports

The Washington Nationals short list of names to replace the retired manager Davey Johnson is now down to four candidates. Topping the list for the moment is bench coach Randy Knorr, whom many feel is the man to beat for the job. But the Nationals search team led by President of Baseball Operations and GM Mike Rizzo along with Ted and Mark Lerner, the team’s owners have been conducting extensive interviews and it seems that four men have made their short list.

One name not on the list is former Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker. He and Rizzo had a long telephone conversation last week and it was decided that it would be in the best interest of both parties if Baker looked elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Arizona Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams has been interviewed. That is not exactly a state secret since he and Rizzo go back to early days of the Arizona franchise when Williams was a player and Rizzo was the head of scouting.

Former Houston Astros catcher and present San Diego Padres front office executive Brad Ausmus has emerged as a candidate. Ausmus is one of MLB baseball’s best young minds and someone that the Nationals wanted to go though the interview process.

That brings us to the fourth and final candidate for the Washington job. Former Baltimore Orioles, Hall of Famer and TBS Broadcaster Cal Ripken, Jr. The former Nationals GM and now analyst for both ESPN as well as Sirius-XM Radio, Jim Bowden has cited multiple sources that the Nationals are giving Ripken “serious consideration for the job.”

The final four all share one very important trait and that is they have never managed on a big league level before. Clearly, Rizzo and the Lerners have confidence that whoever they pick as the next manager of the Nationals, he will be able to keep this team a playoff contender for years to come.

There are four men, all with great resumes, all with a passion for the game and all who want to be Washington’s next skipper. We will see after the World Series, who from the final four will be wearing the uniform with the curly W. Right now, your guess is as good as mine who of this group will get the job.

Rant Sports columnist James Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award winning producer, director and writer. Follow him on Twitter @Wordmandc and add him to your Google circles.

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