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Washington Nationals: Not In The Playoffs Report.

• I don't think the proprietor of the SBN's Cubs blog, Al at Bleed Cubbie Blue, makes much of the mention of the Washington Nationals' job opening in an article about Cubs' announcer Bob Brenly's interest in returning to the bench, since he starts a fan post about Chicago writer Dave Van Dyck's piece entitled, "Cubs' broadcaster Bob Brenly says he has had talks about a managerial job", by writing, "Watch Dave van Dyck make something out of nothing", and in fact the talk between DC GM Mike Rizzo and Mr. Brenly mentioned in the story does seem insignificant, according to Mr. Brenly himself, who explains that the conversation took place when the, "...Nationals were in Wrigley this year," during a three-game set in late August:

"'I did have a conversation with Mike...and at that point it was way too premature,' Brenly said. 'At that point he couldn't say exactly what they were going to do. 

"'I always enjoy talking to baseball people, and if I get an opportunity to go for interviews, sure (I will).'"

Is that even enough to add his name to the LIST?

• The LIST (compiled with nothing but rumors and guesswork to support it) After The JUMP 

• + Strasburg's Second Start Reports

The LIST (So far it's):

  1. Bobby Valentine
  2. Ned Yost
  3. Bob Melvin
  4. Jim Fregosi
  5. Terry Pendleton
  6. Buck Showalter
  7. Jim Riggleman
  8. Kirk Gibson (DC Faithful Approved Regardless Of New Deal With AZ.)
  9. Bob Brenly?
(ed. note - "If you didn't read it yesterday, I linked to an blog post by Buster Olney about why the Nationals might want to consider bringing Bobby Valentine to DC, and i'll be darned if Mr. Olney didn't have me almost convinced that the sunglass and fake moustache wearing manager might be a good fit...")

• Washington Post writer Chico Harlan summed up a recent interview with the DC GM in an article entitled, "Nationals Prepare For Offseason Makeover", in which Mr. Harlan explained that Mr Rizzo:

"...would prefer a swift managerial search, but he acknowledged that getting permission to interview outside candidates whose teams are in the playoffs could slow the process. Either way, Rizzo wants a manager with deep experience in the game -- and, preferably, some past experience as a manager."

Further Reading:

• Bobby Valentine? For Real? - Federal - Ed Chigliak.

"Just about once a month now it's popping up in the news. Chibba Lotte Marines' Manager Bobby Valentine, (who has publicly stated that he will be leaving his position with the Japanese Pacific League team he's managed since 2004 when the '09 season ends there, as it does here, in October), continues to be linked to the Washington Nationals, who have made no secret about their plans to conduct an extensive search before deciding who will manage the nation's capital's favorite baseball team in 2010..."

AFL And Instruction League:

The Washington Nationals' second '09 1st Round pick, taken 10th overall, reliever Drew Storen arrived in Arizona today to begin preparing for Fall League action according to his latest Twitter post, but the #1 overall pick in the draft, DC right-hander Stephen Strasburg, stayed behind in the Sunshine State where he made his second start in the Florida Instructional League, striking out 6 and allowing 1 ER in 3.0 IP against prospects from the Houston Astros' system. Here are the Washington Post's and Washington Times' reports:

• Washington Post - Nationals Journal - Chico Harlan - Daily news and commentary on the Washington Nationals

"In his second start as a professional, No. 1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg showed at least a glimpse of the dominance for which he became known in college."

• Washington Times - Chatter - Mark Zuckerman - "Strasburg's second start"

"So, for those keeping track of such things, Strasburg's cumulative line through two instructional league starts is...

"5 ip, 5 h, 2 er, 0 bb, 8 k

"That should be it for the right-hander in Florida. He's scheduled to head next week to the Arizona Fall League, where he will face significantly better competition."

• A Middle Infielder? Still? 

In the article by Washington Post writer Chico Harlan linked to above entitled, "Nationals Prepare For Offseason Makeover", which was published on October 6th, 3 days after the Nationals' '09 season ended, Mr. Harlan still writes that among those things Washington GM Mike Rizzo plans to do this winter, the task of either, "...sign(ing) or trad(ing) for a starting middle infielder," remains high on the list, in spite of the late-season play of 23-year old infielder Ian Desmond, and in spite of the fact that Cristian Guzman is due to make $8M dollars this year? Do the Nationals think Desmond, who hit for a .330 AVG with a .401 OBP, .477 SLG and .878 OPS in 97 games split between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse before getting the September call to DC, where he hit .280 in 21 games with 7 doubles, 2 triples, 4 HR's, 12 RBI's, a .318 OBP and a .561 SLG, is in need of more time at Triple-A? Or is Guzman out of the picture? 

More news when it's out there, til then...