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Matt Williams is the front-runner to be Nationals manager

Oct 24, 2013, 10:15 AM EDT

Matt Williams AP

Washington has interviewed a bunch of candidates–and chosen not to interview Dusty Baker and Cal Ripken Jr.–and Bill Ladson of reports that Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams is the front-runner to replace Davey Johnson as Nationals manager.

According to Ladson if the Nationals hire Williams as manager they’re hoping that Johnson’s old bench coach, Randy Knorr, will stick around in the same role after interviewing for the head gig himself.

Williams played 17 seasons in the majors and was the Diamondbacks’ third baseman back when current Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was their scouting director. Washington would be choosing him over Knorr, Brad Ausmus, DeMarlo Hale, and Trent Jewett.

  1. kinggator - Oct 24, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    I’d rather have Jeff Kent wash my car; but still better than Dusty Baker destroying the young arms of the Nats.

    • paperlions - Oct 24, 2013 at 5:59 PM

      Yeah, just look at the long long list of TJ surgeries on Reds pitchers since Dusty has been there. Just pure devastation.

  2. cohnjusack - Oct 24, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If there is not McGwire levels outrage about this, than the anti-steroid crowd have shown themselves to be among the world’s biggest hypocrites. And that their problem is less with steroids, than people on steroids who win awards and break records.

    • Retired third baseman Matt Williams, a five-time All-Star who played 17 seasons in the majors, purchased $11,600 worth of HGH, steroids and other drugs from the Palm Beach clinic in 2002. Williams, the cornerstone of the San Francisco Giants’ infield for a decade, was a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks at the time.

    • natstowngreg - Oct 24, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      If the discussion were about Matt Williams as a player, and his Hall of Fame qualifications, the outrage would be here. As it happens, this discussion is about Matt Williams as a potential Major League manager. Now, if you believe Matt Williams’ connection to steroids disqualifies him as a Major League manager, I would respect, but disagree with, that opinion.

      • raysfan1 - Oct 24, 2013 at 11:10 AM

        There was plenty of outrage at McGwire being allowed to be a hitting coach for the Cards, with a bit less albeit still present when he moved on to the Dodgers. If this were McGwire or Bonds or Clemens being tabbed for a managerial position, people’s heads would explode.

    • raysfan1 - Oct 24, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      Was just logging on to say this very thing.

      • natstowngreg - Oct 24, 2013 at 11:09 AM

        From HBT’s Great Minds Think Alike Dept…. :)

      • jdouble777 - Oct 24, 2013 at 6:31 PM

        Love when people make witty replies in a pompous manner which do nothing to address to matter being discussed. Williams used steroids, heavily, which does not set a great precedent for him as a leader or the probability of his players following his path.

      • raysfan1 - Oct 24, 2013 at 7:29 PM

        If that is your opinion, fine. Cohnjusack’s point, which I agree with, is that those who talk about how horrible steroids are in relation to players like McGwire/Bonds/Clemens who do not in turn protest William’s hiring (if he’s hired) are being hypocrites. By expressing your opinion as you did, apparently in reply to me, that point does not apply to you.

  3. fissels - Oct 24, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Williams would be a good choice

  4. natstowngreg - Oct 24, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    As a Nats fan, I don’t know enough about Matt Williams to be excited or depressed. However, I’ve seen enough good things about him from enough sources to be OK with the idea.

  5. imnotyourbuddyguy - Oct 24, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    Hire a former juicehead to manage your team?
    Disgusting but par for the course in a place like Washington, DC

  6. pgilbert2013 - Oct 24, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    My guess is that he won’t cycle before the season as the Nationals Skipper… Then again I may be wrong.

  7. gloccamorra - Oct 24, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    The point about hoping the current bench coach will remain is an important one. It’s the best way to bring in either a rookie manager, or one from another organization. In this case, it’s both, and the Nats would do well to pay Randy Knorr handsomely to stay.

    • snerdblurter - Oct 24, 2013 at 2:23 PM

      Does this happen often? Teams keeping a bench coach through a managerial change when the bench coach interviews for the manager position? And who typically hires the bench coach? I always thought it was more based on who the manager preferred than a GM decision…

      Detroit would be moronic to pick anyone other than Ausmus. Here’s hoping they are and he comes to DC.

      • gloccamorra - Oct 24, 2013 at 4:03 PM

        Yeah, the situation with Randy Knorr is a bit iffy since he interviewed for the top job, but that doesn’t mean he quits in a huff because he didn’t get it. But if he has ruffled feathers, he should get a sweetened deal to stay on.

        Lots of GMs or others in the front office pick the coaches, some let the manager pick “his” people, but the reason you see some coaches last for years through several managers is that they have a lot of support with the organization. For instance, Rick Hunnicutt has been with the Dodgers for years, first as minor league pitching coordinator, then as pitching coach for Grady Little, Joe Torre, and now Don Mattingly.

  8. momofnatsfans - Oct 24, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    Williams and not Knorr for the job? A very misguided decision if this is what happens. Knorr has managed over 800 games for the Nationals organization, won the Carolina League for the Nats and acted as both bullpen and bench coach for them. He also managed in the Arizona Fall League, which he WON (unlike Williams’ 2nd place finish). Other than managing in the AZ Fall League and filling in for a few games at the minor league level for the Diamondbacks, Williams has NO managerial experience. Is Rizzo really serious about having Knorr stay on as Williams’ bench coach? If anything, WILLIAMS SHOULD BE KNORR’S BENCH COACH. If Williams get the job, the Nationals organization could lose the most loyal, established, well-liked and SUCCESSFUL people in their organization. That would be shame.

  9. wmatthew760 - Oct 24, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    McGwire is a possible manager in a few years and there has been little to no outrage this far in his coaching career. In fact he seems to be pretty respected

    • raysfan1 - Oct 24, 2013 at 10:55 PM

      There was plenty of outrage about McGwire being hired as the Cardinals hitting coach. The comments section and the article linked in the post are merely two examples.

  10. TheNaturalMevs - Oct 24, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    This wouldn’t be a good hire for where that team is trying to go

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