Coaches Page, Knorr back to Minors

Coaches Page, Knorr back to Minors

WASHINGTON -- Hitting coach Mitchell Page and bullpen coach Randy Knorr will work in the team's Minor League system next season. Page will be the team's hitting coordinator, and Knorr will return as manager of Class A Potomac. Both were in those roles before their promotion to the big leagues.

General manager Jim Bowden said that there is a possibility that that both Page and Knorr could return to the Majors in the same capacities they were in this past season, but Bowden is leaving the decisions up to the Nationals' new manager, who has yet to be named. Manny Acta and John Russell are among the candidates for the job.

"Mitchell and Randy did an excellent job, but the new manager should pick his own coaches," Bowden said.

Under Page, the team improved offensively from the previous two years under then-hitting instructor Tom McCraw. The team hit .262 in 2006, and such players as Brian Schneider and Nook Logan often credited Page for improving their skills with the bat.

Page decided to stay with the Nationals because of his loyalty to assistant general manager Bob Boone (the two worked together in Kansas City), and feels that he has unfinished business with the Minor Leaguers.

"I know I have a big brother in the organization. I am working with family," Page said about Boone. "The new manager might want to have a different guy as a hitting coach. I told Jim that if I'm the No. 2 choice, I have no problem working in the Minor Leagues. I have a good track record behind me. I don't feel like I have been demoted."

Knorr came to the big leagues last June after then-manager Frank Robinson relieved John Wetteland of his duties. Knorr is credited for helping pitching coach Randy St. Claire turn reliever Ryan Wagner into a quality pitcher.

Meanwhile, the Nationals announced that third-base coach Tony Beasley turned down a chance to manage Double-A Harrisburg next season, but Beasley denies this, saying that he needed more time to weigh his options.

"I never once declined [the job]," Beasley said. "When I asked for time, Jim's response to me was, 'You are refusing the job. You are turning down the job, and I'm going to give it to someone else.' That's how it went. I never turned it down, and I didn't decline."

Bowden remembered the conversation differently.

"I told him to take it up with Bob Boone," he said. "We offered him a job in Harrisburg, and he declined to take it."

Beasley had verbally agreed to take a job with the Pirates as a Minor League infield coordinator.

That leaves bench coach Eddie Rodriguez, whose contract expired on Tuesday, and who told that he most likely will not be back. The team did not offer him a Minor League position.

"[The Nationals] didn't offer me a single thing," Rodriguez said.

The Mariners have offered Rodriguez a Minor League job, and he is weighing his options. He also has had conversations about a similar position with the Mariners, Devil Rays, Pirates and Brewers.

In other news, as of 11:30 p.m. ET, 79 percent of the 214 people who participated in a poll on Wednesday believe that Washington will not re-sign free agent Alfonso Soriano. According to a published report, Soriano wants a $100 million contract, and that may be too rich for the Nationals, who are looking to replenish the farm system.

In addition, right-hander Ramon Ortiz did not file for free agency on Tuesday. He has until Nov. 11 to do so.

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