Nationals show interest in Ausmus

Bob Levey

Brad Ausmus is reportedly a candidate to manage the Nationals in 2014.

The Washington Nationals will consider former big league catcher Brad Ausmus for their open managerial position, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.

Ausmus, 44, played 18 seasons in the big leagues with the San Diego Padres, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, and Los Angeles Dodgers. In 1,960 career games, Ausmus crouched behind the plate in all but 22 of his appearances. An All-Star in 1999, Ausmus hit just .251/.325/.344 in his career, posting an OPS+ of 100 or above just twice. However, he is widely regarded as one of the best defensive backstops of the modern era, and his three Gold Glove Awards do little to justify his outstanding reputation.

Since retiring after the end of the 2010 season, Ausmus has turned his attentions towards managing. In September of 2012, the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame inductee managed the Israeli national team in the qualifying round of the World Baseball Classic. With a team chock-full of minor league talent, the Dartmouth graduate led the squad to the pool's final round, but the team ultimately lost to Spain during extra innings. In 2010, Ausmus joined the Padres' front office as a Special Assistant to Baseball Operations, a position which he still holds.

The Nationals have been skippered by Davey Johnson since the middle of the 2011 season, but last winter the club announced that 2013 would be Johnson's last season in the dugout. As of now, there is no favorite to replace Johnson, with bench coach Randy Knorr, third base coach Trent Jewett, and Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams among those believed to be candidates for the position.

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