Earlier on Thursday, minutes after the Washington Nationals completed a three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners, manager Jim Riggleman suddenly announced his resignation, as he and the team's front office didn't see eye-to-eye on his contract situation. That left the Nationals in need of finding a new skipper on very short notice, and via Ben Goessling, they opted to stay in-house:
John McLaren will take over as Nationals interim manager.
McLaren had been serving as the Nationals' bench coach, and given his prior managerial experience, he was a pretty obvious choice. But what's interesting here is that the Nats don't intend to let McLaren finish out the year. Rather:
A club source said McLaren will serve as "short-term" manager for the immediate future until an interim skipper can be named for the remainder of the season.
What this suggests is that the Nationals are just buying themselves some time and doing what they can to keep things stable while they look outside the current coaching staff and possibly outside the organization for a more permanent fit. That sucks for McLaren, I guess, but it is what it is.
McLaren, incidentally, was the guy who took over in Seattle in 2007 when Mike Hargrove also suddenly resigned during a hot streak, so for him this isn't an altogether unfamiliar situation. But in Seattle, McLaren was viewed as a potential long-term fit, and kept the job until the middle of 2008, when he was dismissed and replaced by...Jim Riggleman. You know how they say that MLB coaching staffs are always drawing from the same pool of guys? Yeah.