The sudden availability of now-former Los Angeles Dodgers' manager Don Mattingly raised some questions about whether or not he would be a target for the Washington Nationals as they search for Matt Williams' successor on the bench in the nation's capital.
According to a report this afternoon from former Nats' GM Jim Bowden, now an ESPN writer and analyst, Mattingly won't be interviewing for the opening in D.C.:
Nationals do not plan on interviewing Don Mattingly for their managerial opening according to sources https://t.co/YQkCVLMRfC— Jim Bowden (@JimBowden_ESPN) October 23, 2015
The Nationals did, reportedly, express interest in Mattingly during previous manager searches, but if Bowden's report is to be believed, he's not under consideration this time around after he and the Dodgers decided to amicably part ways on Thursday.
Reports from the Washington Post and MLB.com tonight, however, say that two of the candidates for the Nationals' gig will be coming back for a second round of interviews:
Washington Post reporters James Wagner and Chelsea Janes wrote tonight that while, "[m]ore candidates could be brought in... Baker and Black offer strong resumes."
"Major League Baseball prohibits teams from making major announcements during the Series," the WaPost writers note, "[s]o the Nationals could nearing their decision around then and be ready to announce their choice after."
Baker, 66, who hasn't managed since 2013, when he was relieved of his duties after his sixth season on the bench with the Cincinnati Reds, told MLB.com's Barry M. Bloom last week that his initial meeting with the Nationals went well.
"It was extensive," Baker said of what was reportedly a 3 ½ hour meeting, during which he and the Nats' front office got to know one another better:
"I mean, they really didn't know me there. People think they know you through word of mouth, but it's somebody else's opinion. I mean, they don't really know you until you talk to somebody. Then, it's like, 'Wow, I didn't know you were like that.' So it was good."
Black, 58, managed the San Diego Padres from 2007-2015 when he was replaced on the bench after 55 games. He has interviewed with a number of teams in the last few weeks, but at least one reporter, SI.com's Jerry Crasnick, said today that Black appears to be a good fit for the Nationals' opening:
In addition to Baker and Black, the Nationals have reportedly interviewed Arizona Diamondbacks' Triple-A manager Phil Nevin and third base coach Andy Green, former Minnesota Twins' skipper Ron Gardenhire, Los Angeles Dodgers' bench coach Tim Wallach and San Francisco Giants' bench coach Ron Wotus.
No word as of yet on whether any of the other candidates will receive a second interview.