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[October 17th] -- This from Tracy Ringolsby and the Rocky Mountain News:

Girardi a Yankees coach again?

Now that Lou Piniella has signed a three-year contract as manager of the Cubs, Joe Girardi is expected to return to Joe Torre’s Yankees coaching staff.

And with Piniella committed to the Cubs, there is the expectation that Girardi could move into the manager’s job if Torre retires at the end of next season.

Washington still is a possibility for Girardi, but indications are general manager Jim Bowden is pushing for former Kansas City manager Tony Pena. Pena is currently a coach with the Yankees, so if he left for the Nationals, that would open a spot for Girardi.

I could see this happening only if Joe Torre has let it be known that he will be voluntarily stepping down at the end of the 2007 season. Only then would Girardi be willing to put his managerial career on hold and return to the life of a baseball coach. That said, wouldn't it have made more sense for Lou Pinella to have been the "wait a year" guy and then move to New York? Pinella, after all, is a favorite of George Steinbrenner, and "The Boss" likes to have full control over his managers -- something he'll never have with the feisty Girardi. But because Pinella has taken over as manager of the Chicago Cubs for the next three years, I have to assume that there is no "wink-wink nod-nod" agreement in place, and that Ringolsby is just guessing.

I hope that the Nationals don't stay "inside the box" like so many other major league teams and hires a re-tread, a manager who has managed and failed in another city. Sure, I realize that several managers have succeeded after failing elsewhere (Jim Leyland in Detroit), but if we're going to grow this organization from the ground up, then we should start with someone who has talent but perhaps hasn't had the opportunity to show it just yet. If Girardi won't be available, then Ron Washington seems to be a bright star in the making. I think Tony Beasley could make a solid manager one day as well. But p-l-e-a-s-e, don't hire Tony Pena, he of the .415 winning percent duringuing his stay in Kansas City.

Give us fans someone to cheer for, okay?

Lopes to Phillies: Not willing to take his chances with the new D.C. skipper, first base coach Davey Lopes has signed on to be one of three new coaches in Philadelphia. Lopes, a former manager of the Milwaukee Breweers, joins Art Howe (Athletics) and Jimy Williams (Astros) as the newest members of the Phillies' staff. I'm surprised that Lopes wasn't given a chance at the Nationals' head job; after all, he was just as bad in Milwaukee as Tony Pena was in Kansas City.

St. Claire Stays: Good news from the off-season ticker: Randy St. Claire will be staying as the Nationals' pitching coach. This is an unusual move as most new managers have a free hand in naming his own staff -- especially the pitching coach. But St. Claire has done a fine job, making sirloin out of cube steak for four years. One when can only imagine what he can do when he's given some real horses to train.

Jim Leyland hasn't really failed anywhere. He managed a great Pirates team, won a series with the Marlins, and is now on the verge of winning one with Detroit.
you're forgetting that dismal year he managed in colorado, then quit rather than come back the next season. I'd call that a failure, wouldn't you?
Farid, If the Nats were going to sign Girardi as the new manager, they would have done it right after Piniella signed with the Cubs. It seems quite apparent that they are hell bent on signing a minority to manage the team and last time I checked, Girardi didn't qualify. When you think Nats ownership, just think Abe Pollin.
While I'm afraid you're right, Phil, I pray that you are wrong. I too noticed that the great majority of "candidates" for the position are all minority (with the exception of Girardi). One of two things are happening: 1)The Nationals are going to hire a minority because that person is a minority, or 2)they have no intention of signing a minority, and all those names are a "smoke screen." Either option is horrid.

I want the best man for the job -- I could care less who he is or where he comes from. But I have to think that because the "pool" is virtually 100% minority, that the Nationals are using them as window dressing, something I abhor. If Manny Acta is the best candidate, then hire him. If Tim Foli is the best candidate, then hire him.

Sadly, the hiring process in Major League Baseball is just as convoluted as the rest of their rules and regulations.
Who knows, they might even interview Wes Unseld for the job. He probably has a better shot than Girardi does.
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