Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo On The Nats' Manager Search

Win McNamee

Washington Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo talked to ESPN980's Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro this morning about the Nats' search for their sixth manager and how they'll go about choosing Davey Johnson's successor. He declined to comment on today's rumors, however...

The search for Davey Johnson's successor is underway. As quoted by Washington Post writer James Wagner recently, former Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers' GM John Hart, who's also an MLB Network analyst, said the Washington Nationals' managerial job is a much sought-after position this offseason.

"'If you’re a guy that wants to manage, the best baseball job on the planet earth is the Washington Nationals,'" Hart was quoted stating, "'It’s the plum job.'" During Nats' GM Mike Rizzo's appearance on ESPN980's The Sports Fix with Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro this afternoon, the 52-year-old General Manager and President of Baseball Ops in D.C. was asked what he thought made the gig so desirable?

"I think it's a unique opportunity for a manager to come in. Usually when there's a change in managers, it's usually because of a problem..." - Nats' GM Mike Rizzo on ESPN980 on manager search

"I think it's a unique opportunity for a manager to come in," Rizzo explained. "Usually when there's a change in managers, it's usually because of a problem. A disappointing season, a losing roster, teams that are really struggling. And there [are] usually a lot of losses tacked on to a manager getting fired. It's not the case here. We've got a team that's done a good job of winning games, certainly not to the heights that we wanted it to be this year, but we showed what type of talent we have on the club. It's a deep team. It's a young team. It's a team that has a good, fertile minor league system. And I think it's a job that is probably going to be embraced by a lot of people."

"We certainly have done a lot of due diligence," Rizzo said when asked where the team was in the process. "We've done a lot of the vetting process. We started off with an extremely large list of good candidates and we're in the process now of whittling them down to a manageable few that we'll begin to call to other teams for permission to speak to these guys and to interview them. Once we have a wave of [interviews], we'll probably take second look at some managing candidates and make our decision when we feel that we've got the candidate that we want and that we need."

"We've done a lot of the vetting process. We started off with an extremely large list of good candidates and we're in the process now of whittling them down..."   - Nats' GM Mike Rizzo on ESPN980's The Sports Fix

As for what he's looking for in the sixth Nats' skipper who will follow Frank Robinson, Manny Acta, Jim Riggleman, John McLaren and Johnson, the Nationals' GM said, "In today's game, leadership, respect and trust of the players I think are three topics that come right off the top of my head as things that are extremely important for a manager to have. A manager has to come in with respect of the clubhouse and respect of the players. They have to be able to trust the manager that he has the players' back and that trust is earned almost on a daily basis. Every little decision that you make either gains the trust of the players or loses some trust of the players."

Asked about the reports out of Chicago this morning which said the Nationals had requested permission from the New York Yankees to interview Joe Girardi, Rizzo declined to comment:

"We're certainly not going to discuss any of our strategy on asking for permission and calling for permission. The reports, as usual, are beyond our control and we're going to control the message that we can control."

• LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW: MIKE RIZZO ON ESPN980's THE SPORTS FIX.

More from Federal Baseball:

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Federal Baseball

You must be a member of Federal Baseball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Federal Baseball. You should read them.

Join Federal Baseball

You must be a member of Federal Baseball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Federal Baseball. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker