(Photo by Getty Images. The Nationals Enquirer says yes to Bob Melvin.)
If not Jim Riggleman, then...?
If Mike Rizzo is convinced he needs to make a change (and anonymous sources with no knowledge of the situation tell us he is); we're not interested in Don Mattingly. Or Bobby Valentine (but it sounds like that has little or no chance of happening, anyway). The Nationals Enquirer is officially endorsing Bob Melvin to be the next manager of the Washington Nationals. Why? Will a "lesser of all evils" explanation suffice?
Now, in his Thursday chat on Washington Post, Tom Boswell claims that Mike Rizzo has a serious man crush on Donnie Baseball; that Mattingly is the favorite should the Nats decide not to bring back Jim Riggleman. Boz also seems to have a bit of a man crush on Mattingly, and pretty much dismisses Bobby Valentine from the conversation; then got his O's mixed up, referring to Bob Melvin as Doug Melvin. Here's an excerpt:
Rizzo really likes Mattingly. If they don't hire Riggleman back, still the highest probability, it will probably be Don. ...Valentine will be interviewed but there is little chance he will be hired, though Kasten likes im well enough personally. But Bobby V has 100-pounds of Bowden-like baggage -- enemies left behind everywhere he's been. Do the Nats want to go down that road? No, they don't. They need to develope young talent not bring in a win-now high-pressure guy like BV. There must be a factory somewhere that grinds out Bobby V rumors. It is not going to happen. It is not even on the board. ...Doug Melvin, whom I've known since he caught for the O's, will also get a look. ...I'm a big Mattingly fan, have known him much longer than Riggleman, whom everybody likes.
Meanwhile...yesterday, Thom Loverro of the Washington Times pointed out that Mattingly isn't a good fit for Washington; says that Bob (don't call me Doug) Melvin would be a good choice, and that Bobby V. - like Boz said - has no shot. Here's an excerpt:
So Don Mattingly is a hot candidate for the Washington Nationals managing job. ...But I would be very suspect of handing this mess over to an inexperienced manager. ...Bobby Valentine's name has been thrown out there, but that's not going to happen, for a number of reasons, most importantly that the Lerner family won't pay the kind of money Valentine will be looking for.
So this much we know - it sounds like Bobby V. has no shot; Jim Riggleman has a shot; Don Mattingly is the sexy pick; and Bob Melvin is the unsexy pick.