As the end of the season draws near, many questions are still to be answered for the Washington Nationals including who is going to be at the top of the dugout steps in 2012 in the role of Nationals manager. As of now, general manager Mike Rizzo has a short list of candidates and at the top of that list is current Nationals manager Davey Johnson.
"I love Davey," Rizzo said. "He's going to be back next year in some capacity, either as the manager of the ballclub or have a big say as to who is the manager of the ballclub."
Also on the list of potential candidates are Nationals third base coach Bo Porter and Triple-A Syracuse manager Randy Knorr. Rizzo attempted to sign Johnson to an extended tenure back in June, but Major League Baseball requires clubs to conduct full, formal managerial searches that include minority candidates. Rizzo does not see the upcoming search to be one that will be long or drawn out because the Nationals already have a streamlined process in place when making such an important hire.
"Because we've done this exercise before, we've got a very streamlined group of high quality candidates that we're going to talk to," Rizzo said before the club's home finale against the Braves. "I anticipate the process being much quicker, because we've already identified a lot of the candidates that we're going to talk to."
"I have a tentative timetable that I'm not going to share with anybody, because I don't want to be held to it," Rizzo said. "But we certainly have a plan that we'd like to put in place so we can get on with the offseason."
The off season plan for the Nationals includes finding another MLB ready starting pitcher and a MLB outfielder who can swing a decent stick. Rizzo is convinced with these two elements and the appropriate man in place to lead the team, the Nationals will be turning heads in 2012.