How’s this for some surprising news: ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the new-look Blue Jays are close to finally naming a manager.
OK, that’s not the surprising news. Here’s the surprising news:
According to Olney, two of the finalists are former Rockies manager Jim Tracy and former Nationals skipper Jim Riggleman.
Yup, the same Jim Riggleman who many people thought would never have a shot at a major league managerial job again after abruptly resigning as Nats manager because of a contract dispute during the middle of the 2011 season.
Riggleman spent this last season managing at Double-A Pensacola, and was rumored to be in the mix for a spot on Bo Porter’s new coaching staff in Houston. But this is the first time we’ve heard him mentioned as a candidate for a major league managing job since his shocking departure from D.C. last June.
After all that the Blue Jays have done in the last six days, including that monster trade with the Marlins and the signing of Melky Cabrera, Riggleman would have a host of talent in Toronto if he ends up landing that job, that’s for sure.
If you’re itching for some Nationals baseball, you can catch a number of Nats prospects this afternoon in the Arizona Fall League championship game, which airs on MLB Network at 3 p.m.
The Salt River Rafters, who clinched the East Division title with eight Nats minor leaguers on its roster, will face the Peoria Javelinas.
Man, I love these team names.
The Rafters will send Ryan Perry (who finished the 2012 season at Double-A Harrisburg) to the mound for the championship game, and we’ll likely see a few other Nats prospects, including outfielder Brian Goodwin, third baseman Anthony Rendon and first baseman Matt Skole, get significant playing time, as well.
If you’ve got some free time before the AFL title game this afternoon and live in the D.C./northern Virginia area, swing by the Nationals’ team store at Tysons Corner Center between 1-2 p.m.
Nats infielder Steve Lombardozzi Jr., and his dad, Steve Sr., who won a World Series in 1987 with the Twins, will be there helping collect donations in support of relief and recovery programs in the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Both Lombardozzis will be available to take pictures with fans who donate items to the drive. In addition, those who contribute donations will receive 15 percent off their purchase on full-price merchandise at any team store location.
Some of the items people are asked to contribute are canned foods, bottled water, personal care items and new blankets and sleeping bags.
If you live in the Montgomery County area, the Lombardozzis will also be at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney from 3-4 p.m. to accept donations for Sandy relief and greet fans.