Results tagged ‘ Randy Knorr ’
By Andrew Simon
Sunday afternoon’s loss to the Marlins was Dan Haren’s final start of the season at Nationals Park. By his own admission, it probably was his last there, period, as a member of the Nationals.
Haren signed a one-year deal with Washington last offseason, and despite a second-half rebound, the overall results have been rocky. At 9-14 with a 4.87 ERA, the veteran right-hander admits, “I was part of the reason we were so many games down,” in the playoff race.
Yet even if Haren doesn’t return, he sees a bright future for the Nats — as long as they stay the course. In his opinion, the club shouldn’t take this year’s likely disappointing finish as a sign to make radical changes. He pointed to his last team, the Angels, who went 89-73 but missed the playoffs with Haren in 2012. An altered roster, including big free agent signing Josh Hamilton, was 76-78 going into Sunday.
“This area has a lot to look forward to,” Haren said. “I think last year in L.A., we won 89-90 games and they kind of blew up the team, and I think they’ve struggled most of the year and got on track late in the year. I think that was the wrong thing to do.
“I know there’ll be some subtle changes, me probably being one of them. But I think the most important thing is to keep this group together. This could be a building block. Last year they had a great year and this year we’ve shown a lot of fight here the last few months. I think as close as things could stay to the guys in this room, I think the better.”
That means keeping the roster largely intact. But, as Haren said, it’s also “top-down, manager-wise.”
The Nationals, of course, must find a replacement for the retiring Davey Johnson, who has voiced support for bench coach Randy Knorr, in addition to third base coach Trent Jewett. The organization also figures to consider outside candidates, but Haren thinks Knorr would be a good choice.
“Randy I think could step in and do a real good job,” Haren said. “I think the guys overall really like him. So it just kind of goes into the organization not really needing to do that much. We got off to a slow start, but I think we’ve learned a lot of things.”
PHILADELPHIA — With Davey Johnson retiring at the end of the 2013 season, bench coach Randy Knorr said Monday he would like to be considered as the next manager of the Nationals.
“I would like [the Nationals] to consider me. But I know [general manager] Mike [Rizzo] has a bunch of people in mind, also,” Knorr said. “It would be an honor to be considered for that job. … I try not to think too far ahead. I like to take things day by day.”
Knorr is more than qualified for the job. Of current players on the Major League roster, Knorr managed 11 of them, including Ryan Zimmerman and Stephen Strasburg, in the Minor Leagues.
In 2008, while managing Class A Potomac, Knorr guided the team to the Carolina League championship.
Knorr is also not afraid to speak his mind. While filling in for Johnson last Friday, Knorr called outfielder Bryce Harper out for not hustling against the Mets. In a game against the Pirates on July 26, Knorr quickly yanked Rafael Soriano out of the game in the ninth inning as he struggled with command.
“I think it’s very important to speak your mind,” Knorr said. “Your players will never be in the dark in what you believe in. I don’t have secrets with my players. They asked me a question, I’ll be as honest as I can with them. You have a better relationship with them. They are not always trying to figure you out. … They know where you are coming from, they have no problems with it.”
By Tom Schad | Associate Reporter
Bryce Harper has become one of the most popular players in baseball because of the intensity that he brings to every play. But with two on and two out in the eighth inning on Friday, that intensity was lacking.
Harper fouled a 3-0 pitch from left-hander Scott Rice before hitting a routine ground ball to second base. The All-Star’s jog to first base would have gone unnoticed, except for the fact that Daniel Murphy bobbled the ball. Harper was easily thrown out and slammed his helmet on the ground.
After the game, bench coach Randy Knorr questioned Harper’s effort on the play.
“The thing about Bryce right now that’s tough [is] he gets frustrated,” said Knorr, who took over for Davey Johnson in the fourth inning Friday when the skipper left the dugout with an illness. “I don’t think he does it intentionally, but he’s going to have to start picking it up a little bit, because we’ve got everybody else doing it. He gets frustrated at times, and it just comes out of him. It’s something we’ve got to fix.”
Harper, who missed 31 games with bursitis in his left knee earlier this season, said he was confident that Murphy would have thrown him out on the play.
“I mean, ground out to Murphy. He’s pretty good over there, so in that situation I think he makes that play every single day,” Harper said.
Knorr agreed that Harper would’ve been thrown out on the play, even with maximum effort. But the bench coach also said that play was indicative of a larger trend this season.
“[It’s] something that we’ve got to get to the bottom of and keep talking to him, because eventually we’re just going to have to take him out of the game,” Knorr said. “He’s been trying, but it just shows up at times. Like in that situation, he’s got a chance to tie the ballgame up or go ahead and he doesn’t get it done. He knows he’s out, and it just comes out of him.”
Ryan Zimmerman was running to second base at the time and had his back turned to Harper. While he couldn’t say whether the 20-year-old went all-out in that instant, Zimmerman said that Harper plays hard every game like everyone else. Ian Desmond saw the play from the dugout steps.
“I know that when he got 3-0 and he let it go, I know that takes a lot of guts in that situation, lefty-lefty. Those same guts are going to be what makes us give this final push in this last month,” Desmond said. “As far as the baserunning goes, it takes guts also to run out the ones that you think are going to be outs. He does it 95, 99, almost 100 percent of the time, and I think this one might’ve just got pointed out because the guy made a bobble or whatever.
“I mean, he’s 20 years old and I think he’s still dealing with some emotions of the game,” Desmond continued. “It’s hard to remember a lot of the time that he is 20. What most of us were doing at 20 wasn’t this.”
By Tom Schad | Associate Reporter
One of the Nationals’ most controversial managerial decisions of the season occurred in the ninth inning of Thursday’s win against the Pirates. And manager Davey Johnson wasn’t the one who made it.
After Johnson was ejected in the fifth inning, bench coach Randy Knorr assumed the team’s managerial duties and decided to remove closer Rafael Soriano from the game in the ninth. Knorr put in rookie Ian Krol, who walked Pedro Alvarez, struck out Jose Tabata and then allowed a two-run single that tied the game.
“In the past, I’ve seen [Soriano] pitch and when it’s not a save opportunity, he doesn’t have the same effect when he’s pitching,” Knorr explained. “He wasn’t throwing the ball over the plate and a couple lefties were coming up. I like the way Krol throws the ball. Figured if you don’t want to be in that mode to shut the game down, I’ll bring somebody else in.”
When asked Friday morning if he agreed with Knorr’s decision, Johnson said that he didn’t know.
“I know I was watching in my office, and I don’t try to control things from my office. Once I get ejected, I’m done,” Johnson said. ”I [would] want to see it coming out of his hand and the way hitters are reacting. But, a good baseball man trusts whatever they do.”
Friday’s ninth inning marked the first time that Soriano has pitched less than one inning all season, but Johnson doesn’t think that will affect him.
“No, I mean, he’s a professional,” he said. “Strange things happen in a baseball season. He’s been hooked before.”
General manager Mike Rizzo is expected to name a new skipper for the rest of the season no later than Monday.
It’s only speculation, but one has to assume that third-base coach Bo Porter and bench coach John McLaren are candidates.
Porter interviewed for the job after the 2009 season, but Jim Riggleman ended up being named the permanent manager. Porter is considered one of the reasons Washington has improved its defense this season.
McLaren, who is currently the interim skipper, managed the Mariners in 2007 and ’08. The team was 66-88 under his leadership. As a member of the Nationals, McLaren would take over the managerial duties once Riggleman was ejected from a game.
The Nationals could also turn to Randy Knorr, who has moved up the ladder in the Nationals’ Minor League system. He managed Class A Potomac and guided them to the 2008 Carolina League Mills Cup.
Last year, Knorr guided Double-A Harrisburg to the Wild Card Western Division Championship. Knorr is currently managing Triple-A Syracuse.
Knorr, a Minor League manager dating back to 2005, also has the distinction of managing Ryan Zimmerman, Drew Storen and Stephen Strasburg before they reached the big leagues.
Rizzo could turn to Bobby Valentine, who was a finalist before Riggleman was named permanent manager.
Valentine has .510 winning percentage (1,117-1,072) in 15 seasons while managing the Mets and Rangers. His best year was in 2000, when he guided the Mets to the World Series. Valentine also managed in Japan, guiding Chiba Lotte to the 2005 Japan Series title.
After having conversations with Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and interim manager Jim Riggleman, Randy Knorr has decided to become the manager of Double-A Harrisburg, replacing John Stearns.
Knorr spent last season as the team’s a bullpen coach, but Rizzo and Riggleman told him his future was as a manager.
Knorr said if he had to do it all over again he would have been more vocal when it came to the pitching staff and try his best to convince Josh Bard and Wil Nieves that catching was more important than hitting.
“I love managing. It’s a new job. I want to be on the bench,” Knorr said.
Knorr has a history of success in the Minor Leagues. In 2008, for example, he guided Class-A Potomac to a 79-61 record en route to the Carolina League Championship.
The Nationals have not announced who will replace Knorr as the bullpen coach.
In other news, Rick Schu will replace Ralph Dickenson as the Nationals’ hitting coordinator. Best known as an infielder with the Phillies, Schu was a hitting coach with the Diamondbacks for almost two seasons.