The first woman to be an assistant coach in Major League Baseball could also be the first ever woman ever hired as manager of a team. The Giants confirmed that they’ve interviewed assistant coach Alyssa Nakken for the head coaching position.
Your San Francisco Giants’ assistant coach Alyssa Nakken became the first woman ever to be a full-time assistant MLB coach when hired by then-manager Gabe Kapler in 2020. She then became the first woman to coach onfield in an MLB game in April 2022, when she took over as first base coach when the regular first base coach got ejected.
But now Alyssa Nakken is possibly in line for the real prized promotion. After the Giants fired Kapler near the end of this season, The Athletic reported Sunday that Nakken interviewed for the Giants manager job, making her the first woman to ever interview to serve as head coach of an MLB team. The AP reported Monday morning that Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi “confirmed Sunday night that Nakken had gone through a first-round interview last week.”
Though possibly complicating matters in Nakken’s candidacy, the AP adds that Nakken is currently pregnant. Her due date is reported as February 9, 2024, pitchers and catchers typically report to Spring Training in late February.
As ESPN points out, MLB’s Miami Marlins have a woman general manager in Kim Ng, and a New York Yankees minor league affiliate has had a woman coach Rachel Balkovec for the past two seasons.
Per the AP, the Giants hope to make their final decision by the beginning of free agency. Free agency begins five days after the conclusion of the World Series. The World Series will end sometime between October 31 and November 4, so the Giants will likely name their new manager in the first or second week of November.
Sports Illustrated reports that the Giants have also interviewed internal candidates like bench coach Kai Correa (who took over for Kapler to coach the last couple games as interim manager), and third-base coach Mark Hallberg. The Chronicle adds they’re planning to interview Texas Rangers bench coach Donnie Ecker, who was the Giants’ hitting coach during that spectacular 107-win 2021 season.
Ecker is expected to be the hot candidate for many MLB teams with coaching vacancies. Other teams looking to hire a new manager include the Cleveland Guardians, New York Mets, and Los Angeles Angels, and possibly the Milwaukee Brewers, who may not retain current manager Craig Counsell.
Image: SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 29: Special Assistant Alyssa Nakken #92 of the San Francisco Giants looks on from the dugout prior to the start of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Oracle Park on September 29, 2023 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)