Randy Knorr's 11-year major league playing career ended in 2001 after a 34-game stint with the Montreal Expos. He played three more seasons in the minors with the Expos, but his playing days ended after the 2004 campaign. In 2005, he managed for the first time. Knorr managed the South Atlantic League's Savannah Sand Gnats, who featured a then-19-year-old Ian Desmond. Knorr spent three seasons (2006-2008) with the Class-A Potomac Nationals culminating in a Carolina League Championship in 2008.
He managed the Arizona Fall League's Scottsdale Scorpions and the Double-A Harrisburg Senators in 2010, then moved up to Triple-A Syracuse where he managed the Chiefs in 2011 before becoming Davey Johnson's bench coach in each of the last two seasons. Knorr had previously served as the Nats' bullpen coach at two points in 2006 and 2009.
According to a report by the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore this afternoon, citing a "person familiar with the situtation," the 44-year-old Knorr interviewed for the managerial opening in the nation's capital late last week.
The WaPost reporter also noted that the Nationals are in the process of conducting their first round of interviews with both Brad Ausmus and Matt Williams among the candidates who've already gone through the initial process.
Fellow Nats' coach Trent Jewett is also expected interview for the job opening created by Davey Johnson's departure after two and a half seasons on the bench in Washington. Cal Ripken's name has come up repeatedly as a possible candidate for the sixth manager of the third D.C.-based baseball team. Dusty Baker told the Washington Post's Mr. Kilgore recently that he'd be interested in becoming Washington's next skipper.
Nationals' third baseman Ryan Zimmerman gave Randy Knorr a strong endorsement in a recent interview with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier in which he explained that some players saw Knorr as someone who went through what players do to put himself in the position he's in now.
"A bunch of us think he could be a good manager," Zimmerman explained. "But I think we kind of see him as, he kind of went through everything players have to go through to become a manager. He started at Low-A, worked his way up, High-A; Double-A; Triple-A. He's been here for a couple years now. Sort of the catcher, back-up catcher kind of role that so many of these young new managers that have had success kind of were in the big leagues."
Several reporters, including CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler, have said they hear Knorr is the leading in-house candidate while Matt Williams is believed to be the top choice if the Nationals go outside the organization.
The Washington Post's Mr. Kilgore and colleague Dave Sheinin wrote recently that the Nats had previously considered bringing Cal Ripken on after Jim Riggleman resigned in 2011. No word yet on whether or not Ripken has or is scheduled to interview for the opening...
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