The Washington Times - August 16, 2013, 07:14PM

ATLANTA — Charlie Manuel was relieved of his duties as the Philadelphia Phillies manager on Friday afternoon, and the longest-tenured manager in the National League East became a free agent.

While Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro told reporters they offered Manuel a chance to remain in the organization, Manuel said he had to go home and think about things. He also noted he thought he could manage for two or three more years.

SEE RELATED:


The Nationals, of course, will have a managerial vacancy after this season, when Davey Johnson’s tenure with the team is done. 

There have already been a handful of names to surface as possible candidates for when the team’s search for a manager begins in earnest. Matt Williams, Randy Knorr, Trent Jewett and Bo Porter are among them. 

But Manuel would have at least one vocal supporter in the Nationals’ clubhouse: Jayson Werth.

Werth spoke glowingly of Manuel on Friday, calling him “the best manager I ever played for.”

He said he would definitely be interested in having Manuel manage the Nationals.

“Of course,” he said, asked directly if he’d like to play under Manuel again. “I don’t know if he fits into the organization’s plan or whatever but, I mean, I love playing for the guy.”

“I think they’ve had their fill of old managers,” Johnson said of the prospect of Manuel replacing him. “I have no idea. I haven’t had those discussions with (general manager Mike Rizzo) and what he has on his mind. He’s a good one. I like him.”

Johnson and Manuel have known each other for years, going even back to their playing days in Japan, and he too spoke highly of Manuel.

Werth also said that when he spoke with Manuel earlier this season, when Werth was on the disabled list with a hamstring strain, the then-Phillies manager told him he had every intention of managing in 2014.

“I asked him what he wanted to do and he guaranteed me he would be managing somewhere next year,” Werth said. “We’ll see. Time changes things. But at the time when I talked to him then he was adamant he wanted to manage.”