- The Washington Times - Friday, September 29, 2006

NATS’ NEXT MANAGER?

With Frank Robinson’s future now determined, the Nationals will begin the search for their new manager. Here’s an early look at some potential candidates:

JOE GIRARDI

Age: 41

Current job: Manager, Florida Marlins

The skinny: Girardi will be fired after only one season with the Marlins, but that’s not because he did a poor job. He will be the hottest manager on the market this winter, and his hometown Chicago Cubs will certainly be aggressive in pursuing him.

DAVEY JOHNSON

Age: 63

Current job: Manager, USA Baseball

The skinny: A former manager of Nationals GM Jim Bowden’s in Cincinnati, and very highly thought of around these parts for the job he did in Baltimore. Johnson, though, has said he’s not interested in returning to managing a major league club, and he has been out of the game for six years.

LOU PINIELLA

Age: 63

Current job: Television analyst, Fox

The skinny: Worked with Bowden in Cincinnati, and the two speak glowingly about each other. Piniella, though, had a rocky tenure in Tampa Bay and is probably reluctant to take on another long-term rebuilding project.

DUSTY BAKER

Age: 57

Current job: Manager, Chicago Cubs

The skinny: Like Girardi, is about to be fired. He does have a decent track record, taking the Giants to the World Series and the Cubs to the NLCS, but he also doesn’t have the greatest reputation, particularly when it comes to managing young clubs.

FREDI GONZALEZ

Age: 42

Current job: Third base coach, Atlanta Braves

The skinny: Considered a hot, up-and-coming manager, Gonzalez has been tutored under Bobby Cox and could be primed for a promotion. Nationals president Stan Kasten is familiar with him, too, from his days in Atlanta.

TONY PENA

Age: 49

Current job: First base coach, New York Yankees

The skinny: Was highly regarded during his brief stint managing the Royals before he quit, saying he could no longer handle the pressure. Bowden had him as a player in Pittsburgh in the 1980s.

OTHER POSSIBILITIES

MANNY ACTA, third base coach, New York Mets

TIM FOLI, manager, Nationals’ Class AAA club

JERRY MANUEL, bench coach, New York Mets

TERRY PENDLETON, hitting coach, Atlanta Braves

Mark Zuckerman

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