Washington Nationals: 5 Most Likely Managerial Hires
Five Most Likely Managers
The World Series begins tonight, meaning that there are at most seven games remaining in the MLB season before the offseason begins. There are still some managerial jobs that are open, and some that may open up with Jim Leyland stepping down and with Don Mattingly's public comments about his job status. The Washington Nationals, Seattle Mariners, Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs all need managers, and the Los Angeles Dodgers may or may not decide to let Mattingly go, especially if his poignant public comments match up to how he really feels.
Of course, the Nationals' managerial search probably began long before any of these other ones, as GM Mike Rizzo has known for most of the season that he will need a new manager, and has probably has been spit-balling ideas for the next skipper for months. Of course, Rizzo is now able to interview candidates, and it is rumored he has already interviewed Randy Knorr and Trent Jewett for their managerial vacancy, as well as Matt Williams and Brad Ausmus. Williams is perceived to be the front-runner as far as candidates from outside the organization are concerned, though Ausmus cannot be overlooked as he did finish second to John Farrell in the Boston Red Sox' managerial search.
Rizzo has a tough decision to make, as he has two well-respected and beloved candidates in Knorr and Jewett. The Nationals' players have proved this by publicly endorsing Knorr. Rizzo also does love Mattingly and Williams, having worked with the latter in Arizona, and obviously has the final decision on who is named skipper. With that in mind, let's look at the five most likely candidates and their chances on taking the reins in Washington.
5. DeMarlo Hale - Chances: 25 percent
Hale was probably interviewed for law-abiding purposes, but would not be a bad candidate. Hale has worked as a coach for a long time and gets along well with players. He's not Rizzo's first choice, but certainly a solid choice.
4. Trent Jewett -- Chances: 35 percent
Jewett would make a lot of sense as he has a lot of minor league managing experience, and the players love him. Jewett could pay nice dividends.
3. Don Mattingly -- Chances: 45 percent*
The asterisk denotes that Mattingly is currently employed by the Dodgers. If Mattingly leaves L.A., he would probably jump to the top of Rizzo's wishlist. Mattingly is questioned when it comes to in-game strategy, but he has never had a losing season as manager. His Dodgers have increased their win total in every season he has managed. That's more than most managers can say.
2. Matt Williams -- Chances: 55 percent
Williams is the perceived front-runner. He worked under a-no nonsense guy in Kirk Gibson in Arizona, and seems to connect well with players. Many believe he will be a very good manager. If given the opportunity, he should succeed in Washington.
1. Randy Knorr -- Chances: 60 percent
One scout compared Knorr to the recently retired Jim Leyland. Knorr has shown something of a no-nonsense approach, having pulled closer Rafael Soriano, from a game this season because he did not seem ready to play. Knorr also has called out Bryce Harper and with this approach, he could become a solid manager especially if he has his players' respect. Knorr brings stability and continuity to the helm and could be the best choice.