Once the Los Angeles Dodgers announced they’d parted ways with Don Mattingly, speculation as to who the next Dodgers’ manager would be quickly took off.
Several names were tossed out by fans and media alike, with Dodgers’ director of player development Gabe Kapler and Chicago Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez the two candidates mentioned most often.
To a lesser extent, former San Diego Padres manager Bud Black and San Francisco Giants skipper Dusty Baker were also labeled as potential candidates.
With an informal moratorium of sorts in place during the World Series, major announcements aren’t made until after the Fall Classic has concluded.
That doesn’t prevent agreements from being reached or information being leaked however, and according to James Wagner of the Washington Post, the Nationals are expected to hire Black:
The Nationals intend to hire former San Diego Padres manager Bud Black to become the sixth manager in the team history, according to multiple people familiar with the situation.
Black was fired by the Padres midway through this season after San Diego got off to a disappointing 32-33 start. He spent eight and a half seasons with the Padres organization, going 649-713 during his tenure and never making the postseason.
In 2010 Black guided the Padres to a 90-72 record and was named National League Manager of the Year, despite his club collapsing late and missing the playoffs.
Assuming the 58-year-old Black is hired as reported, he’ll replace Matt Williams, who was fired one day after the Nationals’ 2015 campaign came to an end. Williams won NL Manager of the Year last season, his first as a Major League skipper.
However, the Nationals, a team with World Series aspirations and expectations, grossly underperformed this season, and Williams often faced criticism for his in-game decisions.