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Davey Johnson on resting regulars: “I really don’t give a rat’s ass what somebody thinks”

Sep 24, 2012, 1:50 PM EDT

Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Getty Images

Managers of contenders and non-contenders alike often talk about wanting to put their best lineups on the field late in the season out of some sense of fairness to other teams, but not Davey Johnson.

Johnson told Mark Zuckerman of that once the Nationals lock up the division title he’s going to rest regulars even if other people think that might be helping one of their late-season opponents like the Cardinals:

I really don’t give a rat’s ass what somebody thinks about my club and who I put on the field to either help somebody else or I’m not supposed to rest my regulars after we clinch it, I’m resting my regulars. End of conversation.

Fair enough. You win a division so convincingly that you can essentially take the final week off and … well, you’ve earned it. Tough for anyone that might hurt, but resting regulars in baseball isn’t quite like doing the same in basketball or even football. It’s not as if Johnson has trotted out the same lineup for 150 games already. And of course in the Nationals’ case their previously choosing to “rest” Stephen Strasburg will overshadow, say, Adam LaRoche getting a couple days off.

  1. El Bravo - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Their bench is still better than a few of the teams out there anyhow. Lombardozzi was raking before his forced benching when Espo returned from injury. You watch, they will end the season with a bunch of friggin’s Ws anyway. I hope I’m wrong b/c the Braves have an outside shot at the division still.

    • dcfan4life - Sep 24, 2012 at 5:43 PM

      The Nats are where they are because of their bench. Players filling in for Zimmerman, Werth, Morse, Ramos (out for the year), and Desmond. But the more important thing that goes missing here is not the lineup getting days off, its the pitching staff. Thats where we may lose games, leads, that we havent all season because we are not wasting Storen and Clippard on meaningless games.

  2. chill1184 - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Johnson does have a WS ring so it’s hard to argue with the guy. However as we all saw last season all it takes is for one team to get hot and the others to get cold, such is baseball

  3. gogigantos - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    It has got to difficult to disagree Davey Johnson. I am really glad he has found his way back to the game, we are all better for it.
    That said, I hope the SFs roll all over his boys, hehehe

    • kkolchak - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:52 PM

      Like they did earlier in the season? Oh, that’s right, the Nats kicked the Giants’ butts.

    • natstowngreg - Sep 24, 2012 at 5:10 PM

      And we Nats fans hope the opposite, if our teams meet. Of course. I’m sure Davey and Bruce Bochy have respect for each other’s teams, especially their rotations.

  4. thetruth702 - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    He better make sure tgey have that division locked up first before he starts resting people. Doesnt want a one game playoff

    • kkolchak - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:52 PM

      Duh…that’s what the man said.

  5. kevinleaptrot - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Davey, please! NLDS schedule works out a lot better for me if the Nats have the best record. Help me out here, wouldya?

    • natstowngreg - Sep 24, 2012 at 5:21 PM

      It seems the managers aren’t that worked up about who plays whom in the NLDS. The Reds and Giants didn’t play complete lineups yesterday, and Davey rested Michael Morse this afternoon (a 12-2 Nats win over the Brewers, dropping the magic number to 5). More important to Davey to make sure the team is as healthy as possible, and the rotation is set up for Gio to pitch Games 1 and 5 (if needed) of the NLDS.

      Of course, for those of us who will have playoff tickets, the possibility of an extra game or two (or 3) at Nats Park is nice. But winning series in fewer than the maximum games is better. Oh, and getting the Metro problem straightened out before any 8:30 playoff game starts.

  6. sabatimus - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Johnson needs to say this on a radio show and put a few more f-bombs and gutter conversation into it. Call it Manager’s Corner, and get Earl Weaver to host.

  7. mdpickles - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    If the Nats had a healthy Strasburg, I’d say they are the favorite to come out of the NL. But the NL is just another crapshoot for the WS. I’m gonna go with the Braves, even though I’d like them to to fail so I can read miserable CC posts.

    I did not forget about the Reds, but I am very suspicious of their bullpen and a tired Chapman.

    • metalhead65 - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:10 PM

      the only thing that will stop the reds is their manager and his insistance on trotting out a .216 hitter to strike out every at bat because he is fast. that and his leaving in a struggling pitcher 1 pitch to long. yep it is always smart to leave him untill after he has given up the tying or go ahead runs before taking him out. chapman will be fine and is only tired because of over use. only so many times a guy can pitch 3 staright days before it catches up with him. happened in July and he came back fine and should be no different now.

  8. baseballisboring - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    They’re trying to be fresh for the playoffs and win a World Series. Don’t blame him. Any other team isn’t his problem.

  9. phillyphan93 - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    This coming from the same guy who blamed the media for Strasbugh getting shut down.

    • kkolchak - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:53 PM

      Another idiot comment from someone who doesn’t even know how to spell, “Strasburg.”

  10. recoveringcubsfan - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Resting the regulars makes a lot of sense – Morse, Desmond, and Werth are all a little banged up, and Zimmerman’s shoulder doesn’t need extra abuse. Plus, in the ‘pen, Burnett and Clippard have struggled lately – the former because of elbow problems, the latter because of mental ones (I think…maybe he’s hurt and not talking). Plus, as someone said, hitting-wise, Lombardozzi, Moore, Bernadina, DeRosa, Perez, Flores, even Tracy, can be good players for a week. The first 3 guys would start on a few teams around the NL.

    • kkolchak - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM

      Yep–Nats have had more than their fair share of injuries this year, and a couple of the regulars are still banged up.

  11. timmons94 - Sep 24, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Go Expos

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