I have been told the Nationals are interviewing a lot more candidates this time around for their vacant managerial position. Many have thought the announcement would be made after the World Series, but the Mariners did not waste any time or follow that protocol with the hiring of Angels assistant general manager Scott Servais to replace Lloyd McClendon.
Will the vacancy in Los Angeles make Dusty Baker a hotter commodity? His name has been mentioned around Chavez Ravine. Would that make the Nationals more inclined to give him a very serious look? He has a 19-26 (.422) record in the postseason, but has drawn some fan criticism in the past for clogging the top of his lineups with players that had low on-base percentages.
With the Cubs eliminated, could this accelerate the interviewing of bench coach Dave Martinez? He reportedly interviewed well two years ago when Matt Williams was given the gig. It would seem that the Joe Maddon style and more aggressive philosophy would play well with the Nationals’ athletic lineup. Also, using Stephen Strasburg as a relief pitcher in a playoff game might also be a Maddon/Martinez-type move. But we would have to hear what Martinez would like to do first.
I still subscribe to the understanding that Mike Rizzo will go opposite of his last hire, even with some of his recent Arizona Diamondbacks interviews. Martinez, Ron Gardenhire, Bud Black or Baker might fit that style.
The latter three have a lot of major league managerial experience, and Martinez comes in as noted tactician with experience in defensive positioning, baserunning and bunting. Former players who were coached by Martinez such as Evan Longoria, Alex Cobb and Ben Zobrist recommended him for the Tampa Bay Rays managerial vacancy when Maddon went to Chicago.
* In Arizona Fall League play, Glendale came back to beat Salt River 7-5. The Rafters led 5-3 heading through seven frames.
Abel De Los Santos (0-1) gave up three runs on three hits in the eighth. He struck out the first batter in the inning, but then allowed a double. A wild pitch by De Los Santos allowed Adam Engel to get to third. He then walked Brandon Dixon.
Reese McGuire then doubled to tie the game at 5-5. A passed ball by Chris Rabago allowed the runner to reach third. An RBI single brought McGuire home to make it 6-5 Desert Dogs.
Drew Ward played third, going 1-for-4 but striking out twice and committing two errors.
Salt River (3-4) is at Mesa (1-7) at 9:35 p.m. Eastern time tonight. Right-hander John Simms (1-0) won’t have to piggyback tonight - he gets his first start in AFL play.
* Second baseman Emmanuel Burriss elected free agency right after his season concluded with Triple-A Syracuse. The D.C. native played in five games for the Nationals this season, but with the likes of Wilmer Difo, Trea Turner and Chris Bostick waiting in the wings, Burris wasn’t going to be a starter for the Nationals next season. Burris went 2-for-3 at the plate in his short time with the big club.