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Davey Johnson is likely to keep job, but Nationals will conduct a manager search anyway

Sep 26, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Getty Images

Davey Johnson has gone 38-42 since taking over for Jim Riggleman as Nationals manager and every indication is that he’ll be retained for 2012, but before that happens general manager Mike Rizzo will go through the process of a manager search.

Yesterday the GM told Mark Zuckerman of that “we’ve got a very streamlined group of high quality candidates that we’re going to talk to” and “I anticipate the process being much quicker, because we’ve already identified a lot of the candidates that we’re going to talk to.”

In other words, Johnson may not have to wait very long to find out if he gets to keep the job, although he apparently will have to interview for the full-time gig just like everyone else.

Zuckerman writes that Johnson “is the heavy favorite” and notes that Rizzo may have signed him to a multi-year managing contract months ago if MLB didn’t require the Nationals “to conduct full, formal managerial searches that include minority candidates.” Instead he signed a three-year “consultant” deal that covers various possible roles.

“I love Davey,” Rizzo told Zuckerman. “He’s going to be back next year in some capacity, either as the manager of the ball club or have a big say as to who is the manager of the ball club.” Nationals third base coach Bo Porter and Triple-A manager Randy Knorr will be among the non-Johnson candidates to interview, but this is clearly his job to lose.

  1. kopy - Sep 26, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    Has Mike Rizzo been attending the David Kahn school of general managing? Publicly searching for a better option at coach/manager while still retaining the incumbent is not an ethical practice.

    • southpaw2k - Sep 26, 2011 at 12:24 PM

      Tell that to Stephen Ross.

  2. natstowngreg - Sep 26, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    The “search” is to satisfy MLB that Rizzo interviewed minority candidates (that is, Bo Porter). Same as the Rooney Rule in the NFL.

    I was sorta hoping that Porter would get the Nats’ job, but Old Gator may get his wish after all. Don’t want to get his hopes up too much, though.

    • natstowngreg - Sep 26, 2011 at 11:24 PM

      Good thing to not get hopes up too much. Ozzie is headed to South Florida.

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