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Mattingly’s departure could impact Nats’ search

Oct 22, 2015, 12:13 PM EDT

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Just as the Nationals’ managerial search appeared to be poised to enter a more advanced phase, a development on the other side of the country could throw some wrenches into the plan.

Don Mattingly’s departure from Los Angeles early Thursday morning will have ripple effects across the majors, with the former All-Star first baseman now available for hire elsewhere and an attractive Dodgers job now open for several candidates already up for other managerial positions, including in Washington.

Given general manager Mike Rizzo’s stated preference for a new manager with experience, Mattingly would be a logical candidate at least to speak with the Nationals. Owner of a .551 winning percentage and three division titles in five seasons with the Dodgers, he is a well-respected figure around the sport with plenty of experience managing a club in a big market with lofty expectations and several high-salaried star players. Questions about his ability to get along with some of those star players in Los Angeles, though, could be a detriment from the Nationals’ perspective.

Mattingly, 54, will have other suitors. The Marlins reportedly are interested and could make an aggressive push to hire him. The Mariners and Padres also are currently seeking new managers.

Even if the Nationals aren’t seriously interested in Mattingly, his sudden availability could have a domino effect on their ongoing search. Among those the Dodgers could now consider include former Padres manager Bud Black (seen by many as the best fit in Washington), Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez (seen as a potential Nationals candidate now that Chicago has been eliminated from the postseason) and Dodgers bench coach Tim Wallach (who has interviewed with the Nats, according to Yahoo! Sports).

The Nationals are close to wrapping up their initial round of interviews, having already met with at least eight candidates, according to sources with knowledge of their search: Black; Wallach; former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire; former Giants, Cubs and Reds manager Dusty Baker; Giants bench coach Ron Wotus; Diamondbacks third base coach Andy Green; Diamondbacks Class AAA manager Phil Nevin; and former big-league infielder Alex Cora.

Cal Ripken Jr., who spoke with the Nationals two years ago before Matt Williams was hired and has suggested he’s interested in managing in the majors, has not had any contact with the club about the opening this time around and is not expected to after wrapping up postseason announcing duties for TBS, according to a source close to the Hall of Famer.

The Nationals could interview a couple more candidates in the next few days — most notably Mattingly and Martinez — but are likely to wrap up that process soon and establish a short list of finalists, hoping to hire a new manager shortly after the World Series concludes.

  1. Susanfaulkner - Oct 22, 2015 at 12:18 PM

    Marlins already interested. Nats should meet with him.

  2. National Anthem - Oct 22, 2015 at 12:34 PM

    Right or wrong?

    I understand he’s been criticized for some very questionable in-game decisions. Much in the same manner as our late but not lamented manager. I don’t put any stock in his winning record; with the budget they work with in L.A., it’s to be expected. So isn’t this just replacing Williams with… Williams?

    • joemktg - Oct 22, 2015 at 1:04 PM

      I’ll 2nd that motion.

  3. JayB - Oct 22, 2015 at 1:04 PM

    nobody I have seen in 30 years was as out of touch with the game and players as MW…so no Don is not another MW…….RIzzo really f’ed that up badly….It has cost him a great deal with Lerners…Rizzo may never recover in there view nor mine.

  4. Mrsb loves the Nats - Oct 22, 2015 at 1:09 PM

    Mark Zuckerman ✔ @ZuckermanCSN
    Also within that article: Source says there’s been no contact between #Nats and Ripken, doesn’t expect there to be: http://bit.ly/1MbMrIF

    —-

    Thank the baseball Gods for small favors…

    • npb99 - Oct 22, 2015 at 1:32 PM

      Cheers to that!

  5. Whack-A-Mule - Oct 22, 2015 at 1:09 PM

    Mr. Mattingly the Manager does not even approach Mr. Girardi the Manager.
    Not all ex-Yankees are created equal.
    Not all ex-players are created equal.
    My prejudice for ex-catchers remains unshakable.
    Ex-pitchers, not so much.
    Ex-infielders, even less.

    The hunt continues . . .

    • senators5 - Oct 22, 2015 at 5:00 PM

      I am definitely with you on former catchers/managers. They saw the whole field and had to learn to baby pitchers good or bad and with a few notable exceptions were average to below hitters so they were constantly getting Hitting 101 thrown at them. At one point last year there were 16 former catchers managing in the Bigs and untold number in the minors

      • chiefwj - Oct 22, 2015 at 6:06 PM

        Hiring a catcher is an argument for Randy Knorr (who also has two rings, although he’s probably too modest to brag about it).

        As for infielders, Tony La Russa, Bobby Cox, Sparky Anderson and Earl Weaver seemed to do OK.

  6. infideljack - Oct 22, 2015 at 1:51 PM

    Gardenhier.

    • homeparkdc - Oct 22, 2015 at 2:06 PM

      Based on what? His gray hair like Collins and Maddon?

      • Drew - Oct 22, 2015 at 2:15 PM

        Gardenhire won six division titles as the Twins’ skipper.

      • homeparkdc - Oct 22, 2015 at 2:35 PM

        True, but he is the only manager in MLB history to take a team to the playoffs at least six times and never make it to the World Series. He also had 5 losing seasons.

    • JayB - Oct 22, 2015 at 11:28 PM

      exactly my choice if Terry Francona will not bail on Indians…which I am sure he would if Uncle Ted would pay the man

  7. rabbit433 - Oct 22, 2015 at 2:41 PM

    Well, if a large problem of our demise this season was due largely in part to an incompetent manager, you would think our open manager position would be more attractive to someone than a Dodger manager position. So, if we lose out on our choice of manager to the Dodgers, then it was probably because it was our team that screwed up, not the manager.

    • chaz11963 - Oct 22, 2015 at 5:01 PM

      I don’t think it’s that black and white. Certainly, MW had a contribution to the team’s failure, but there were also players that under-performed, injuries, and poor planning and lack of front office action to properly address the injuries. And of course, the bullpen plan was ridiculous.

  8. Candide - Oct 22, 2015 at 6:21 PM

    Mattingly, 54, will have other suitors. The Marlins reportedly are interested and could make an aggressive push to hire him.

    Yeah, Mattingly should definitely go to Miami. That way, Loria could be paying FOUR managers’ salaries at the same time.

    • ArVAFan - Oct 22, 2015 at 8:46 PM

      +4

  9. TimDz - Oct 22, 2015 at 10:23 PM

    Just finished watching the MASN replay of Max’s no hitter against Pittsburgh.

    You SUCK, Jose Tabata…..

    • Joe Seamhead - Oct 23, 2015 at 12:16 PM

      That was a pretty sleazy move.

      • NatsLady - Oct 23, 2015 at 5:08 PM

        The Buccos got rid of him pretty quick, like about the next day (or week). Not a coincidence.

  10. tcostant - Oct 22, 2015 at 10:38 PM

    Disappointed Wally Backman wasn’t inteinterviewed? 😞

  11. Joe Seamhead - Oct 23, 2015 at 7:24 AM

    I wonder if Donnie M. turned down the Dodger’s extension offer because he, or his agent, has already been approached by somebody else.

  12. Reverendp - Oct 23, 2015 at 7:30 AM

    Yes. I read an article in August about Backman as a fit for the Nats.

  13. sunshinebobby - Oct 23, 2015 at 10:42 AM

    Is StanK behind Mattingly’s departure? Reading between the lines, it sure sounds like it.

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