Step Two: Chip Hale as Interm Manager, Joe Girardi in The Offseason
If Martinez is fired, to the dismay of many in Washington the team will likely not bring in a big-name manager during the middle of the season. It is almost 100% likely if he is let go, someone inside the organization, most likely Chip Hale, will take over the duties for the rest of the season.
The current Washington bench coach has had managerial experience in 2015 and 2016 with the Arizona Diamondbacks but was unable to win 80 games in both of those seasons. Now if Hale somehow pulls a miracle out of the sky and gets this Nationals team even close to competing for the postseason, he likely would have a good case to be the full-time manager in 2020.
But, this will likely not be the case and Washington will probably finish somewhere between 70-77 wins this season. So then begins the real manager search, and Washington should look no further than former Yankees skipper Joe Girardi. The 54-year-old manager has been out of the dugout since 2017, and actually was the color analyst for the Nationals vs. Cubs game last Saturday.
In his 10 seasons as manager of the New York Yankees, his team never had a losing season. Five straight winning seasons is remarkable, and Girardi posted ten in a row. He qualified for the postseason six out of the ten years and won the World Series in 2009.
In 2017, Girardi took a very young Yankees team, much like Washington, to the ALCS and finished one game away from heading back to the World Series once again. In New York Girardi faced criticism regularly for his attitude with the media, and some questionable decisions he made. Girardi is old school and sometimes was unable to relate to his players on a level that is preferred today.
No matter what your criticisms of the guy are, there is one thing he does well, win, and at the end of the day, that is all that really matters. One hurdle is the Lerner family deciding to spend money on a very high-profile manager. Just three years ago it seemed all but finalized that Bud Black would be the Nationals’ new manager, but the management griped over his salary demands and eventually walked away from a deal.
The Lerners have never given a manager a contract that it would likely require to bring Girardi to D.C., but they also never have had a $200 million dollar team lose 90 games. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and the Lerners likely will be very aggressive this offseason trying to improve this Washington team. Joe Girardi would bring a winning, and hard-nosed attitude to Washington, and is the perfect man to replace Martinez in D.C.