According to FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal, the Washington Nationals plan to hire Matt Williams as their manager with the goal of keeping current bench coach Randy Knorr, who was also a candidate for the managerial job, on in his current role.
Sources: #Nationals plan to hire Matt Williams as manager with goal of keeping Randy Knorr as bench coach. Timing of announcement not known.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) October 25, 2013
Williams was a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks while Mike Rizzo worked for the organization, which certainly played a factor in Rizzo's interest in the Diamondbacks third base coach.
I'm sure that Williams was the most qualified candidate for the job, at least in the opinion of Mike Rizzo and his front office colleagues. However, I must admit I have one initial concern about the hire, and it really has very little to do with Matt Williams. And it might be an irrelevant concern.
The Nats greatly underperformed in the 2013 season, which caused them to be on the outside looking in on this year's postseason. It's easy to look at that situation at that and think "the Nationals need new leadership." Unfortunately for Knorr, he might have been the victim of that thinking.
Meanwhile, the Nationals starting lineup in 2014 will likely remain unchanged. and so will the core of their pitching staff. Many of those guys were vocal proponents of Randy Knorr's managerial candidacy. With a young group of guys, many of whom have known Knorr for many years through the Nats minor league system, I have a bit worried of inter-organizational resentment toward Williams if players see Knorr as "snubbed."
But, as The Post's Adam Kilgore noted on Twitter, Knorr says he'd stay on as the team's bench coach because, "I love this team." If that's the case, and Knorr is simply happy to be part of the organization, my concerns will surely be unfounded. Only time will tell, and we have just over five months to wait to see what Williams can do in his first career managerial role.