On October 5th, the Washington Nationals did what everyone expected them to do, and fired Matt Williams. From losing the division lead, and eventually the clubhouse, there was seemingly no way that the Nationals could allow him to remain with the team in a managerial capacity. Now that the inevitable has happened, Mike Rizzo and his front office can begin the process of hiring Williams' successor.
Rizzo has already gone on the record and said he won't make the same mistake again, and will likely target someone with previous experience.
"We're going to interview a group of people with diverse backgrounds, diverse experience, and diverse skill sets. I think that's something that we did not do last time. Last time, we brought in managing candidates with little or no managerial experience. I think we'll have a greater pool of manager candidates this year."
His quote is undoubtedly music to the ears of some former managers who are looking to get back into baseball. Bud Black, Rick Renteria, Ron Gardenhire, and Dusty Baker have all expressed interest in the job. Of the four, Baker might be the least likely to get the job, as he has a troubled history of managing his pitchers' workloads, which could undoubtedly, and rightfully scare off the Nationals.
Based off of Rizzo's comments, Renteria might also be a long shot, as he only has one year of MLB managerial experience under his belt, whereas Black and Gardenhire have nine and 13 years, respectively.
With the offseason just getting underway for most of the league, the Nationals shouldn't be in a hurry to name their next manager. There will be a lot of candidates, and they owe it to their players to take as much time as they need so that they can install someone that they will trust.