Nationals talk to Pirates' minor league skipper Jewett

WASHINGTON -- The Pittsburgh Pirates' top minor-league skipper has interviewed for the vacant Washington Nationals managerial job, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

Trent Jewett, who manages the Pirates' Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis, met with Nationals GM Jim Bowden and team president Stan Kasten last week, the Post reported. The Nationals have been looking for a new manager since dismissing Frank Robinson at the end of the season.

"I thought they had an excellent plan," Jewett told the Post. "They're very realistic as to where they are, but at the same time realistic and aggressive about where they want to go."

Jewett, 42, has spent his entire coaching career in the Pirates organization, starting as manager of Pittsburgh's short-season Class A team in 1992. He has been the Pirates' Triple-A manager for nine seasons and spent three seasons as their major league third-base coach under Gene Lamont and Lloyd McLendon.

"He's a guy who carries himself with a lot of confidence because he's done it for a long time, and he's had a lot of success," Pirates GM Dave Littlefield told the Post. "He has a good feel for the players, is a good evaluator and has a good feel for the pitching staff, which is obviously a key component in a manager."

The Nationals, who pursued Lou Piniella and Joe Girardi, are said to be considering several candidates, including John Russell of the Philadelphia Phillies' organization, New York Mets third-base coach Manny Acta, New York Yankees first base coach Tony Pena and ex-Cubs and Giants manager Dusty Baker.