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Nationals want him back, but will Davey Johnson keep managing after this season?

Sep 26, 2012, 11:19 AM EST

mike rizzo and davey johnson Getty Images

By moving from the front office to the dugout in the middle of last season Davey Johnson is in a unique situation with the Nationals, as his contract as manager ends after this season while his contract as a team consultant runs through 2013.

General manager Mike Rizzo made it very clear that he wants Johnson back next season, but there was never any doubt about that considering the Nationals’ league-best 93-61 record and seemingly roster-wide respect for the manager.

However, the 69-year-old Johnson has stopped just short of saying he’ll definitely be back as manager, telling Bill Ladson of MLB.com:

I’ve had conversations with Rizzo about that, and he had conversations with ownership. I feel good about my situation. I feel good about where we are at. Those things will be addressed after the season. I think Rizzo and ownership are perfectly comfortable when deciding to have me back after this season is over. Again, I’m comfortable with that, too. Let’s see what happens.

Johnson added that he won’t talk to Rizzo about contract stuff until after the playoffs, by which point he might be thinking about going out on a high note or at least have some pretty great leverage for a big raise. According to Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post “neither seem concerned that the talks will result in anything other than a new deal.”

  1. youjivinmeturkey - Sep 26, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    He’ll Be Back :)

  2. kevinleaptrot - Sep 26, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    So it turns out that when Davey screamed at Rizzo “then you come down and manage the team,” it was Davey’s response to Rizzo’s initial salary offer for 2013. Seriously though, hope that Davey is allowed to come back as long as he wants to. Rizzo really admires him and he’s worked wonders with this team. Hopefully next year he’ll be defending a WS championship.

  3. stex52 - Sep 26, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Your boss doesn’t have to like you; just so he thinks you’re the best for the job. If they make a dent in the playoffs I would think it would be hard to do anything other than offer him a good deal.

  4. natstowngreg - Sep 26, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    When appointing Davey as manager, Rizzo called him “part of the furniture.” in other words, Rizzo has enormous respect for Davey, and would keep him around even if he weren’t managing. The only way Davey isn’t managing the 2013 Nats is if his health declines (and there’s been no indication of that), or he just decides he’s lost his enthusiasm for managing (no indication of that, either).

  5. largebill - Sep 26, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Realizing Hall of Fame standards for managers are not exactly clearly spelled out, when does he start to merit consideration? Been successful at every stop and has one WS title on his resume. One Manager of the Year award and runner up four times. He’s 19th all time in managerial winning % and only six above him on that list have managed as many games.

    • natstowngreg - Sep 26, 2012 at 3:52 PM

      – .564 winning percentage over 2,275 games
      — 6 division titles (if the Nats hold on this season), 7 second-place finishes, 3 finishes below second
      — 12 winning records in 16 seasons (includes 3 seasons where he didn’t manage the full season)
      — Made playoffs with 4 different franchises, something only Billy Martin had done (one could look at this as an accomplishment for a mamager who keeps getting fired, of course)
      — One world championship

      Pretty good resume. However, even if Davey isn’t judged to be qualified as a manager alone, he could get in as a player and manager. While his playing resume wasn’t HOF-worthy (.261/.340/.404, 3 Gold Gloves), adding the managerial record could well get Davey in.

      • cosanostra71 - Sep 26, 2012 at 4:15 PM

        also managed the national team a few times, which is worth mentioning on a HOF resume IMO

  6. thesmedman - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    If he does not come back, the Nationals ought to pursue Ryne Sandberg and hurt the Phillies, since the Phillies do not seem willing to push Cholly Manuel to retiring (which he should do).

    I respect the job Johnson has done here but he is old. And frankjly, I do think a lot of credit needs to go to Jim Riggleman for getting the team into a position to contend, regardless of how/why he resigned.

  7. tomtravis76 - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    Oh what could have been in Baltimore if Angelos didnt screw it all up with Davey and Gillick.

    Davey is great for the Nats. I hope he stays for a couple more seasons, these guys are learning so much about the pro game of baseball from him. This Nats team doesn’t look like they are going to fall off from playoff contention year in and year out for a long while.

    Hope to see a Battle of the Beltway World Series.

    • vikesfansteve - Sep 26, 2012 at 3:29 PM

      You do know he quit the Orioles over a dispute with his wife and insider payments right?

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