Washington Nationals: Manager Search...Mid-November Update.

The latest word on the Washington Nationals' skipper search comes via the TwitterFeed of SI.com's Jon Heyman, with Mr. Heyman writing: 

"#nats gm mike rizzo says they'll announce their manager this week. they did interview valentine. riggleman also in mix." 

This news, of course, goes along with this morning's reports, by Washington Post writer Dave Sheinin and FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal which both said that the Nationals were close to deciding who would guide the nation's capital's favorite baseball team through the 2010 season and (hopefully) beyond...

(cont.)...

BACKPAGE: 

• DC Skipper Search: What "They're" Saying...

• Former DC GM Jim Bowden on Lastings Milledge.

DC Skipper Search: What "They're" Saying...

FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal first quotes DC GM Mike Rizzo, in an article entitled, "Source: Valentine a finalist to be Nats manager", stating that Jim Riggleman, who ended the season as the Nationals' Interim Manager, "...is one of the finalists," for the opening on the Nationals' bench, but Mr. Rosenthal's "major league sources" tell him, "Bobby Valentine is the other," skipper still under consideration. While Valentine would be, in Mr. Rosenthal's estimation, "a more dynamic choice" Mr. Rosenthal concedes that, "Riggleman appears to be the favorite," since, as previously reported elsewhere, "...(the) Nationals ownership is believed to prefer an inexpensive manager," plus: 

"The Nats' biggest concern with Valentine is whether he can stomach losing as they go through their rebuilding process." 

Washington Post writer Dave Sheinin, who cites Mr. Rosenthal as, "for my money the best reporter in the business" in a Nationals Journal post entitled, "The manager search nears resolution", agrees with Mr. Rosenthal's assessment of the Nationals' concerns about Valentine, and goes on to say that the decision comes down to "a referendum of sorts on how the Nationals' braintrust (and its ownership) views its own team,":

"You don't hire someone like Valentine unless you think the team is close to contending -- let's say, a year or two away."

What sort of message does staying with Riggleman send to the fans then? In Washington Post writer Dave Sheinin's full article on the impending decision entitled, "Nats search for manager could lead to Riggleman", Mr. Sheinin writes "the more conservative move" of promoting Jim Riggleman to the full-time position would allow the team to, "...reevaluate the position a year or two from now, when the team, theoretically, is closer to contending." I wonder how the idea of "Placeholder Jim" will go over with the DC Faithful?

Riggleman or Valentine?

 • Former DC GM Jim Bowden on Lastings Milledge.

Former DC GM Jim Bowden is appearing on MLB on XM's "Power Alley" along with Seth Everett this week, and a caller today asked Mr. Bowden why things didn't work out for Lastings Milledge in DC? Mr. Bowden's response:

"...We saw Milledge as a corner outfielder and not as a center fielder. Um, and so, then what happened is, we were never able to acquire a center fielder, and finally Mike Rizzo, after he became General Manager, was able to get Nyjer Morgan from the Pirates, so they had to get a center fielder...Um, you know, Lastings Milledge is a guy that still has not had the at bats to see what he could do, he's got tremendous bat speed, um, and so certainly he's going to get that opportunity in Pittsburgh next to McCutchen(Andrew), and if he can hit second in the lineup and force feed some fastballs, you know, I still think he can be a .280, 20 homer, 80 RBI guy for a long time, he's got great make-up, he definitely had a falling out, he missed a meeting with Manny (Acta), um, as soon as he missed that meeting they optioned him out, um, and from that standpoint on, um, I think they wanted to move him, uh, somewhere else...I think if they had a spot for him in left field they might have kept him, but a chance to get a center fielder, it was a baseball decision, which you certainly have to understand." 

Meeting with Acta? Eh...whatever...

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