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Russell would like to talk with Nats
Nationals dismiss Siegle; Russell says he's interested in manager's job

Date published: 10/26/2006


John Russell isn't fond of the term rebuilding.

He'd prefer stabilizing, and the longtime minor league manager would like a chance to help stabilize the Nationals.

Russell hasn't interviewed Washington's vacant managerial spot, but he could soon hear from Nationals officials. Washington recently asked Philadelphia for permission to speak with the Phillies' Triple-A manager.

"That's kind of what I've done my whole career is help bring young players along," Russell said in a telephone interview from Venezuela, where he's managing Las Aguilas del Zulia in the Venezuelan Winter League. "It's all teaching and trying to build a foundation."

Russell, 45, is one of five candidates for the vacant Texas Rangers' managerial job and he said an interview with Rangers general manager Jon Daniels last week "went very well."

He's recently been added to a fluctuating pool of candidates to replace former Nationals manager Frank Robinson.

Fired Marlins manager Joe Girardi, considered Washington team's top managerial candidate, and Atlanta hitting coach Terry Pendleton, recently pulled out of the running, leaving team officials to shift their focus.

The team has done so in private, and general manager Jim Bowden hasn't commented since Robinson was officially fired Sept. 30.

However, several candidates remain in the running, including Russell, Mets coach Manny Acta, a former Expos coach who interviewed Monday with club officials, as well as former Kansas City Royals manager Tony Pena and former Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker.

St. Louis Cardinals coach Jose Oquendo also could draw interest from team officials after the World Series.

Russell said he was somewhat surprised when he found out the Nationals had expressed late interest in him--he doesn't have connections to any team officials--but jumped at a chance to manage a big league team.

Russell's playing career spanned 10 seasons and three teams (Philadelphia, Texas and Atlanta) and he was known best for catching Nolan Ryan's sixth no-hitter with the Rangers.

He managed eight seasons in the minor leagues with the Minnesota Twins and was named Baseball America's minor league manager of the year in 2002 before joining the Pittsburgh Pirates' staff for three seasons.

He managed Philadelphia's Triple-A team, the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Red Barons, to an 84-78 record this year and was named International League Manager of the Year.

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