For the better part of the past two years Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Davey Johnson presented a unified front. Two lifelong baseball men working together for the betterment of one of the game’s up-and-coming franchises.

Most of that has not changed. Johnson and Rizzo still talk daily whether around the batting cage or elsewhere. But Johnson who openly disagreed with Rizzo’s decision to fire hitting coach Rick Eckstein 2 1/2 weeks ago is on his way out.

He’s retiring or leaving as part of a mutual agreement — or as he said with a laugh last week being “run out of here.” Either way the end result will be the same: The Nationals will hire a new manager and the process of Johnson being involved in their decisions will eventually cease.

That fact was one of the guiding impetuses behind the Lerner family promoting Rizzo to president of baseball operations and extending his contract last week.

“It’s important for the manager to know who’s going to be his boss” Rizzo said after signing the extension. “I think it was a big part of the managerial decision.”

So who then will be on the list of candidates that Rizzo has surely begun assembling in his mind to replace the only manager ever to lead a Nationals team to a winning record?

Multiple people in baseball when asked about managerial changes in general noted that organizations often choose someone who brings a contrasting personality and style to the job than his predecessor.

Johnson is laid back. He doesn’t hold team meetings opting for private conversations. He prefers to let his actions speak giving players their confidence boosts through putting them in the lineup or letting them pitch out of a jam in the seventh inning or using them in a tight spot in relief. He has few qualms about divulging his opinions to the media.