Caught off-balance by manager Jim Riggleman's sudden resignation, the Nationals made a rare early exit from the Manager Search Freeway even before "interim."
While searching for an "interim manager", they've named a "short-term manager": Bench coach John McLaren.
Presumably, that means that McLaren's tenure will last anywhere from ... a day, to, a weekend?
General manager Mike Rizzo said earlier Thursday that he promised the team a manager would be in place Friday, when the Nats open a series in Chicago against the White Sox, and in naming McLaren, he keeps that promise.
As for a more permanent interim following Jim Riggleman's startling resignation, sources say, the Nationals will not name that man before Friday.
The Nationals have two men in the front office working as assistants to Rizzo with extensive managerial experience: Davey Johnson, the former New York Mets and Baltimore skipper, and Bob Boone, who has managed in Kansas City and Cincinnati.
Johnson in particular could lend immediate stability and respectability to a team that has won 11 of its past 12 games, including a three-game sweep of Seattle this week.
Named a senior advisor to Rizzo in November, 2009, Johnson managed the New York Mets to the 1986 World Series title and was the American League manager of the year in Baltimore in 1997. He is one of only six living men to have won a World Series ring as both a player and a manager, along with Alvin Dark, Joe Girardi, Lou Piniella, Mike Scioscia and Red Schoendienst.
More relevant in recent years, Johnson managed Team USA in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, has managed or coached five different Team USA clubs since 2005, including the 2008 U.S. Olympic team that won the Bronze medal in Beijing.
In recent years, he has expressed interest in managing in the majors again.
And at 68, he's 12 years younger than "new" Florida manager Jack McKeon. So he's got that going for him.