Both MLB.com's Bill Ladson and MASNSports.com's Byron Kerr talked to sources on Friday who assured them that incumbent Nats' 3B coach Bo Porter would be back in that role in Washington in 2012 and not as the next Nats' bench coach. "I have confirmed through team source that Bo Porter will remain third base coach for #Nationals [and] not become bench coach," MASN's Mr. Kerr wrote on the Twitter (@BKerr32). MLB.com's Mr. Ladson spoke to "a baseball source" for an article earlier this afternoon entitled, "Nats interested in free agent Oswalt to lead staff", who told him that both, "... third-base coach Bo Porter and Triple-A Syracuse manager Randy Knorr are long shots to be by manager Davey Johnson's side. The new bench coach most likely will come from the outside and become Johnson's successor."
Earlier this week, the Nationals announced their decision to pick up Davey Johnson's option for 2012, officially bringing him back to the bench in the nation's capital. Johnson originally signed a 3-year "consulting" contract back in late-June after he took over for then-recently resigned skipper Jim Riggleman. In an interview with ESPN980's Thom Loverro and Kevin Sheehan this week, Johnson told the show's hosts he felt that he was, "... the perfect fit to manage them next year," and was, "... looking forward to that challenge," but not thinking beyond next year right now.
Pat Corrales served as Davey Johnson's bench coach last season, but as the Nats' Skipper explained in an interview with the D.C. press corps this week, "Pat's needed, he's invaluable in the system. His experience. I love him to death and he did a great a job, but we'll probably have a different coach in there." Asked about who might replaces Corrales this season, Johnson said, "That's a decision that [D.C. GM Mike Rizzo] and I have discussed. We're not going to make much comment on that right now, but all the other coaches are coming back."
Most of the speculation outside of MLB.com's Mr. Ladson's tonight has been that either Randy Knorr or Bo Porter would eventually replace Davey Johnson. Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore suggested the two were the top candidates to become bench coach or the next skipper in a recent article entitled, "Pat Corrales to be replaced as Nationals bench coach", and MASN's Byron Kerr wrote tonight, in an article entitled, "Bo Porter will remain third base coach for the Nationals", that becoming a manager is one of Porter's "ultimate goals" and he, "... would most likely be one of the top candidates to take over if the post became available in the future."
Davey Johnson, in his interview earlier this week, told ESPN980's Mr. Sheehan and Loverro that, "... ideally you develop some future managers and future big league coaches from within the system, because they know the talent and they kind of continue the way you play the game of baseball." If MLB.com's Bill Ladson's reports are correct, and they bring a new bench coach in now, the next manager may at least have a year or two to get to know the system before Davey Johnson's done on the bench. As for who it will be?
The only name mentioned at all in the manager and now bench coach chatter was Red Sox' bench coach DeMarlo Hale's, when Boston Globe writer Nick Cafardo suggested he'd probably get an interview before the Nats' turned back to Davey Johnson. Could Boston's bench coach relocate to D.C., where, according to Mr. Cafardo, Hale would have a backer in current special assistant to the the Nats' GM, Bob Schaefer, who oversaw the Red Sox' system as the Director of Player Development while Hale was a manager for the Double-A Trenton Thunder? Or will Bo Porter or Randy Knorr eventually move up the coaching ladder?