“That group in there, they work well together, they get along with the players for the most part, which I think is important,” he said. “You have to be able to get along with them and at the same time be able to be honest with them and say, ‘Hey, you can’t do that.’ Or, ‘This is what we need to do.’ As far as that goes, that would be helpful having something from within.
“Then again, you go out and get someone from outside and bring in a sort of new mentality, a new way to look at things — that can be good too.
“It’s tough. It’s not really my position to do that. It’s why a lot of guys don’t feel comfortable talking about it. Being around Randy and Trent, those guys have both managed a bunch in the minor leagues. I think both of those guys would be great.”
Rizzo has understandably stayed mum on the pending move until this season is over. But he’s made it clear in the past how important continuity and creating a “Nationals Way” is during his stewardship of the club.
If the Nationals really want the continuity and camaraderie of much of Johnson’s staff to remain, if they want to bolster Knorr’s shot at the job, there is really only one way: show they can still play at an extremely high level the last 33 games.
If they really want to pay homage to the brief but memorable Davey Era, they can try and save some of his staff their jobs the next month and ensure that Rizzo’s goal of creating a stable, consistent, winning culture is maintained.
He may shake things up anyway. But if playing their best baseball late doesn’t result in an improbable run toward a wild card, at least they give some of the franchise’s foundation the past decade a fighting shot at remaining with the Nationals.
“To see him go is going to be heartbreaking,” Gio Gonzalez said of Davey’s impending retirement. “At the end of the day, Riz knows who he’s getting. He’s done a great job picking out who he wants and keeping this team together. I’m pretty sure the outcome of our next manager is in good hands.
“Be honest with you, I’m a huge fan of Randy Knorr’s. He’s great. He’s been fantastic. He’s one of the most well-liked coaches in this organization. That’s just my opinion, but I’ll leave the higher learning to Mike Rizzo.”
For more by Mike Wise, visit washingtonpost.com/wise