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Nationals Hire 88-Year-Old Jack McKeon as Senior Adviser to GM Mike Rizzo

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJanuary 29, 2019

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 31:  Manager Jack McKeon of the Florida Marlins looks on against the New York Mets at Citi Field on August 31, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Marlins 3-2.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Jack McKeon, the beloved cigar-smoking ex-manager who led the 2003 World Series champion Florida Marlins, was hired by the Washington Nationals at 88 years of age as a senior adviser to general manager Mike Rizzo.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported the news, and Bob Nightengale of USA Today confirmed the hire.

McKeon was last in the bigs in 2011, when he led the Marlins to a 40-50 record after taking over at midseason following a five-year managerial break. He stepped down after the year ended.

McKeon is no stranger to the front office, as he was the San Diego Padres' general manager from 1980 to 1990. The Padres were up and down then, with the apex a 1984 World Series appearance and the nadir a last-place finish three years later. McKeon earned the nickname "Trader Jack" for staying active on the transaction front.

A two-time National League Manager of the Year (1999, 2003), McKeon managed five different franchises, including the Marlins. He earned a lifetime 1,051-990 record over 16 seasons.

As Nightengale noted, McKeon is not the only octogenarian on the Nationals staff. Phillip Rizzo, who is the father of GM Mike, is 89 years of age. A long-time scout, Rizzo joined the team in 2009.

The Nationals have been busy this offseason, with their biggest acquisition being southpaw starting pitcher Patrick Corbin. He, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg have the chance to form the best starting pitching trio in the game next year, though the Nats may encounter trouble offensively if free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper signs elsewhere.

Washington opens the 2019 season Thursday, March 28, at home versus the New York Mets.

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