When Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo addressed the media after dismissing Matt Williams, much of the attention was focused on Rizzo’s repeated mention of the next manager bringing previous managerial experience in the majors to the table. But Rizzo also stressed several other important qualities.
“As we go through the laundry list of things that we look for in our manager and the perfect leader of the ballclub on the field, leadership qualities, knowledge of the game, Xs and Os, are all important,” Rizzo said. “Communication in the clubhouse, communication within the coaching staff, is vital.”
The next candidate Rizzo speaks to may not have big league managerial experience, but could fulfill the rest of the GM’s wish list. According to longtime baseball writer Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, Giants bench coach Ron Wotus is due to interview with the Nationals brass on Monday.
And Baggarly adds on Twitter: “They need a communicator. So this should be right up his alley.”
Wotus, 54, had a cup of coffee in the majors as a second baseman and shortstop for the Pirates in 1983 and 1984. He never made it back to the big leagues and finished his professional playing career in the Giants organization in 1989.
Wotus remained with the Giants following his retirement, serving as a minor league manager from 1991-1997. He was twice named Manager of the Year while compiling a 554-412 record (.574) on the farm. His teams made the playoffs in the six of seven seasons. Wotus was promoted to the Giants’ major league coaching staff in 1998 and has served as bench coach since 1999.
Wotus owns three World Series rings (2010, 2012, 2014) as part of manager Bruce Bochy’s staff.
Wotus also served under former San Francisco managers Dusty Baker and Felipe Alou. Baker reportedly interviewed with the Nationals for the managerial opening earlier this week.
The Tampa Bay Rays interviewed Wotus last year before deciding on Kevin Cash as their next manager.
The Nationals have also reportedly interviewed Triple-A Reno skipper Phil Nevin and former Padres manager Bud Black for their opening.