With the retirement of manager Davey Johnson at the end of the 2013 season, the Washington Nationals began their search for their next skipper. Talks swirled around the “itch” Cal Ripken Jr. had to return to baseball, and rumors even arose about former Reds manager Dusty Baker. All these rumors were just that, as the Washington chose to name former Arizona Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams their next manager.
June 15, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams (9) throws batting practice prior to the game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Ken Rosenthal of MLB on Fox broke the news early Friday morning that Williams, who spent the last four years within the Arizona organization, will become the next head man of the Washington Nationals. According to sources around the team, Washington also interviewed the likes of bench coach Randy Knorr, Brad Ausmus, Demarlo Hale, and Trent Jewett.
It is believed Williams and GM Michael Rizzo’s relationship while Rizzo was a member of the Arizona organization was the deciding factor in the hiring. Williams retired in 2003 with 378 home runs and a career batting average of .268 while playing for the aforementioned Diamondbacks.