Pena shows interest in Nats job

Pena shows interest in Nats job

WASHINGTON -- A day after watching his team get eliminated by the Tigers in the American League Division Series, Yankees first-base coach Tony Pena said by telephone on Sunday that he is interested in managing the Nationals.

Pena was one of the first names mentioned as a managerial candidate after it was reported that Frank Robinson wouldn't be asked back to manage the Nationals in 2007.

"I've heard a lot of rumors, but they have not contacted me yet. I just need to wait," Pena said.

Pena, who declined to talk any further about the Nationals, has ties to general manager Jim Bowden. The two worked together when both were in the Pirates organization in the 1980s. Pena was a starting catcher and Bowden was an up-and-coming executive.

Pena also is a person that has performed miracles as a manager. In 2003, he guided the Royals to a surprising 83-79 record and earned the American League Manager of the Year Award. He managed the Royals for three-plus seasons and the team went 198-285 under his leadership.

Bowden wanted to hire Pena last offseason as a coach, but Pena ended up taking the first-base coaching job with the Yankees.

Meanwhile, a baseball source said Lou Piniella is still a managerial candidate with the Nationals. There have been published reports out of New York that Piniella will be named manager of the Yankees, but Piniella told FOX Sports on Sunday evening that he has not been contacted by them.

In other news, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that Bowden will go to Atlanta this week to interview Terry Pendleton for the managerial position. Pendleton is currently the hitting coach of the Braves and has expressed a desire to manage one day.

Pendleton is often credited for being the leader on the field in the early years of Atlanta's division-title run. He helped the Braves go from last place in 1990 to the pennant the following season. In 1991, Pendleton won the National League Most Valuable Player Award by hitting .319 with 22 home runs and 86 RBIs.

This past season, the Braves finished second in the National League in hitting with a .270 batting average under Pendleton, who does not have managerial experience in the Major Leagues.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.