The Washington Times - October 20, 2009, 03:50PM

Dodgers hitting coach Don Mattingly said this afternoon the Nationals have asked Los Angeles general manager Ned Colletti for permission to speak to Mattingly about their managerial opening.

The former Yankees first baseman has also spoken to the Cleveland Indians about their opening, and said the Nationals appear to be waiting until after the World Series to speed up their search.

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“Cleveland’s on, it seems like, a little different timetable,” Mattingly said. “Washington is willing to wait until after the World Series to start.”

Mattingly has been on Dodgers manager Joe Torre’s coaching staffs since he was with the Yankees, and has been thought to be an heir apparent to Torre when he retires in Los Angeles. But that doesn’t appear to be stopping him from checking into other openings.

He’s put in some work learning about organizations that might interview him, and sounded like he’s studied the Nationals somewhat.

“(Their arms) are pretty good, actually,” Mattingly said. “The young kid, (Jordan) Zimmermann, I know he’s having surgery and stuff, but he’s got one of those arms that, when we see it during the season, it’s like, ‘Wow.’ Young guy, good arm, attacks, throws strikes with all his pitches. You look at things — and again, I haven’t gone deep into anybody. You’re talking what-ifs. But you see the surface.”

There’s been some question about whether Mattingly would take on a rebuilding job — or even have to, if the Dodgers present a possibility for him. But he quoted fellow Dodgers coach Larry Bowa (whose name has also come up as possible managerial candidate) saying, “When the opportunity knocks (to manage), you knock the door down.

“You listen to everyone,” he said. “I’m flattered there’s some organizations out there that think I’m capable of it, or at least talked to me about it. You get to know them, they get to know you, and you aee where it goes from there.”