Nationals Reassign Two Coaches to Minors

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 1, 2006

The Washington Nationals announced yesterday that two major league coaches had been reassigned to the minors, saying the incoming manager -- whenever he is hired -- should have the most input on his coaching staff.

Mitchell Page, the hitting coach in 2006, has been reassigned to his former position of minor league hitting coordinator, a job he held in 2005. Randy Knorr, who served as the bullpen coach for the final three months of the season, has been reassigned to manage Class A Potomac, the job he held before he replaced John Wetteland, who was fired in June.

"Mitchell and Randy both did excellent jobs," General Manager Jim Bowden said. "We think it's important that the new manager have input on his staff. That's the ideal situation, that he makes his choices, and they're the right choices."

Bowden said Page and Knorr could be considered for jobs on the new manager's staff. Pitching coach Randy St. Claire is the only member of Frank Robinson's staff who has been rehired already.

"I know I can do the job," Page, who was the hitting coach with the St. Louis Cardinals from 2001 to 2004, said by telephone yesterday. "I know I'm good at what I do. I'm an organizational guy, and if they want me to go to the minors, I can do that. But I would like the new manager to look at what I've done with different guys."

Tony Beasley, the third base coach, was offered the job managing Class AA Harrisburg. He said three days after the season, he asked Bowden for more time to consider his options, but he was told that he couldn't have it. He has accepted a job as an infield coordinator in the Pittsburgh Pirates' minor league system.

"I wanted to explore my options before making a hasty decision," Beasley said by phone. "I told them I needed time, and Jim said: 'You're turning down the job. I'm going to give it to someone else.'

"That's fine. That's no problem with me. I definitely wasn't going to make a quick decision. They made me a nice offer. It was very fair. But I thought it ought to be right and fair to me to have the opportunity to explore options."

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