In a conference call with reporters Wednesday afternoon, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo indicated that the team is set on who will be their manager in 2012 and is simply waiting for the World Series to end before they can make the announcement. It has long been expected that Davey Johnson will remain at the helm.
“We’re just waiting for an opportunity to make an announcement,” Rizzo said.
Johnson managed the team from June 27 through the end of the 2011 season and said on the final day of the season that he would very much like to come back to manage in 2012. Johnson signed a three-year consulting contract in June with an option for him to remain as the team’s manager in 2012 but the Nationals would have to go through an interview process to comply with MLB’s hiring protocol.
Rizzo declined to say Wednesday who had been brought in for those interviews.
How the coaching staff shapes up around Johnson if and when he is indeed announced, will be his call. He inherited much of the staff from Jim Riggleman, including pitching coach Steve McCatty, hitting coach Rick Eckstein, bullpen coach Jim Lett and third base coach Bo Porter. Johnson did install Pat Corrales as bench coach and Trent Jewett as first base coach when he took over. He lauded all of them for their work and said during the season’s final series that he would like to keep his coaching staff intact for 2012 were he to return.
Rizzo did say that Johnson has been in communication with the coaching staff frequently this offseason.
In 83 games under Johnson, the team was 40-43 and came just one victory shy of a winning record on the year.
Rizzo touched on several other subjects in the call with reporters, including stuff about Chien-Ming Wang, Adam LaRoche, Stephen Strasburg, Yu Darvish, Anthony Rendon, the Nationals prospects in the Arizona Fall League and a few other items of note.
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