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Davey Johnson could very well be the Nats manager in 2012

Aug 25, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Getty Images

When Davey Johnson was hired following the resignation of Jim Riggleman, it was thought to be a temporary gig.  With comparisons to Jack McKeon, the story was that Johnson, already on the payroll, would be the 2011 caretaker and that this fall and winter Mike Rizzo would find the guy to lead the Nationals into a glorious future.

A funny thing happened on the way to that glorious future. Everyone realized that Davey Johnson is a pretty good manager. Tom Boswell writes:

The Nationals will go through a process after the season to analyze their options. Things can change. A better candidate might be found. But the dots have become so huge it’s impossible not to connect them. Baring an earthquake, Johnson is returning. And it’s a saga that’s gaining a “meant-to-be” quality.

Boswell has Rizzo as agreeing that, yes, they’ll look at other candidates, but quotes him saying “that’s a tough list to compile: managers who are better than Davey Johnson.”

If Davey wants to keep the job, I’m having a hard time seeing why the Nats wouldn’t want to give it to him.

  1. Jeremiah Graves - Aug 25, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    Dude has always been a great manager, if he’s up for babysitting that crew and sticking around to lead the next/first good Nats team, let him do it.

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 25, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    Davey Johnson is 6 games under .500 while Riggleman had them playing a game over. How the hell does that make Johnson a “pretty good manager”? This is simply the case that Johnson is the one of the few guys who will actually be able to work with a gem of a person like Rizzo.

    • The Common Man - Aug 25, 2011 at 11:22 AM

      Well sure, if you want to ignore the entire rest of his managerial history and the entire rest of Jim Riggleman’s managerial history. I mean, based on that logic, the Nats never should have replaced John McLaren, who had a .667 winning percentage after 3 games. Davey Johnson has won everywhere he’s gone, he’s well respected by both old-schoolers and new-schoolers, and he’s done fine considering his mediocre roster. What’s not to love?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 25, 2011 at 11:34 AM

        Well, Riggleman was doing 7 games better with the “mediocre roster”. And I am not knocking Davey as much as I am Rizzo. Sure, for his career, Johnson has been a great manager. But he is not doing all that well with the Nationals this season.

        Of course, he told the Phillies fans at Citizens Bank Park South to sit down after Desmond closed his eyes and hit a tying home run, so maybe he is a national hero down there. He sure was one on HBT.

      • The Common Man - Aug 25, 2011 at 11:37 AM

        Small sample, regarding the team’s performance this year. I’m simply saying that, given the roster on hand, neither one of them has done anything to make it readily apparent this year that they were helping or hurting. But when we look at track record, it seems more likely that Johnson’s a better choice, doesn’t it?

        As for Rizzo, he may be difficult to deal with, but he’s done well at bringing in useful players (or players who are going to be useful) over the last couple years. Too bad he started in such a hole.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 25, 2011 at 11:45 AM

        TCM, in my opinion, from everything I have read about Rizzo, he is just a bad person and a GM not a lot of baseball people want to deal with. His treatment of Riggleman was disgraceful and while you want to talk about sample size, I will still say that he had the same roster playing 7 games better than Johnson. That doesn’t mean Riggleman over his career is a better manager than Johnson. Nor does it mean that Riggleman would have continue to have them playing over .500 ball. But the facts are the facts, and for this team, this year, Riggleman was the better manager.

      • The Common Man - Aug 25, 2011 at 11:53 AM

        No, that means that the team was one game over .500 for Riggleman and 6 games under for Johnson. It says nothing about how much the manager did or did not contribute to the club. It says nothing about the quality of their managing.

      • The Common Man - Aug 25, 2011 at 11:55 AM

        As for Rizzo, I don’t see what he did with Riggleman that was so horrible. You’ll need to point that out to me. It’s a pretty high bar to call someone “a bad person.” Does he not mock the plight of orphans? Does he trip the elderly? What makes him such a bad human being?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 25, 2011 at 12:01 PM

        I don’t feel like going back over all the negative things said about Rizzo. But he wouldn’t even give his manager 15 minutes after an afternoon home game and rarely was there to talk to the manager at all for a season and a half. Maybe somebody else has a list of links that would show how people around the league have zero respect for Rizzo as a person.

      • The Common Man - Aug 25, 2011 at 12:18 PM

        OK, well if you actually think of anything other than “I’m pretty sure he’s a bad guy because I think I remember some people saying something about it” and “he wouldn’t meet with his pushy manager who wanted a contract extension to tell him, “no, actually, you can’t have one because we don’t want to give you one,” let me know.

  3. The Common Man - Aug 25, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    The world is a better place when Davey Johnson is managing somewhere.

  4. siftin thru nonsense - Aug 25, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    Does any1 really care who the mgr of the Nats is? I don’t.

    • The Common Man - Aug 25, 2011 at 11:34 AM

      Sure. Davey Johnson has a family. And I’m pretty sure Ryan Zimmmerman has a passing interest.

      • cur68 - Aug 25, 2011 at 12:03 PM

        I bet Jim Riggleman is paying some attention.

      • Utley's Hair - Aug 25, 2011 at 12:08 PM

        Possibly Rizzo, too. Oh, and that guy that works in payroll…and the HR department…

  5. Jonny 5 - Aug 25, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    I hope he stays. That way he can chuckle when Phills fans don’t have to sit back down again.

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