The Washington Times - June 24, 2011, 03:41PM

The Nationals released a statement this afternoon making it official that John McLaren will be the team’s interim manager, at least for this weekend. The release does not specify an expiration date on his tenure but every indication is that the Nationals plan to have someone else in place by Monday to manager the remainder of the season.

According to a source, Davey Johnson is the top candidate for that position.

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Here is the full statement from the Nationals:

The Washington Nationals today announced that John McLaren will serve as the club’s Interim Manager. Nationals Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement. 

McLaren’s appointment begins effective today when Washington begins a three-game road series against the Chicago White Sox. The 59-year-old has served as Nationals’ bench coach for the last two seasons (2010-11), after being named to the post on Nov. 20, 2009.

This is McLaren’s second managerial appointment. Upon the resignation of Mike Hargrove, he skippered the Seattle Mariners for parts of two seasons from July 2, 2007 to June 19, 2008. McLaren was named the Mariners manager midway through the 2007 season and posted a 43-41 mark down the stretch en route to a second-place finish in the AL West. The Mariners went 68-88 (.436) during his tenure in Seattle.

McLaren possesses 23 seasons of experience as a big league manager or coach with Washington, Seattle (1993-2002, 2007-08), Tampa Bay (2003-05), Cincinnati (1992), Boston (1991) and Toronto (1986-90). He has coached teams to four division titles and five post-season berths, enjoying stewardships under Hargrove, Lou Piniella, Cito Gaston, Jimy Williams and Joe Morgan.

Including eight seasons as a skipper in the Blue Jays organization, this season marks McLaren’s 41st in professional baseball. He played seven seasons of minor-league baseball as a catcher in the Astros organization, reaching the Triple-A level.

McLaren becomes the fourth manager of the Nationals, replacing Jim Riggleman who resigned from his post following Thursday’s 1-0 win over Seattle.