Over the weekend there were reports that the Washington Nationals had already narrowed the field of candidates vying to become the sixth full-time manager in the franchise's 11-year history to either former San Diego Padres' skipper Bud Black or veteran manager Dusty Baker.
According to from Washington Post writer James Wagner tonight, citing "multiple people familiar with the situation", the Nationals "intend to hire" Black as their new manager, though they have not announced the decision in deference to MLB's preference that teams not make major announcements during the World Series.
When Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo spoke to reporters about the decision to part ways with Matt Williams two seasons after the former major league slugger-turned-coach and then manager was hired with little managerial history, he stressed that experience would be a big consideration this time around as they searched for WIlliams' replacement.
"As we go through the laundry list of things that we look for in our manager and a perfect leader of the ballclub on the field, leadership qualities, knowledge of the game, Xs and Os, are all important," Rizzo said.
"The communication in the clubhouse, communication within the coaching staff is vital. Experience is always helpful, it always adds a layer of expertise to anybody's resume."
Black, 58, managed the San Diego Padres from 2007-2015 when he was replaced on the bench after 55 games. He is known as a good communicator who was well-liked by his players.
Over his time with the Padres, he managed the franchise to a 649-713 record, finishing as high as second in a 90-win 2010 campaign, though he never took any of his teams to the postseason...
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