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People are starting to call for Davey Johnson’s head

Aug 8, 2013, 12:54 PM EDT

Davey Johnson AP

The Nationals’ season has turned into roadkill, but until now most in the media and talk radio world have been content to marvel at how bad it is in general rather than call for heads to roll specifically. Mike Harris of the Washington Times is the first to break:

For starters, manager Davey Johnson should resign now instead of at the end of the season as planned. He’s 70 and after this season, he’s starting to look like he’s 170 and sound like he’s 270.

It’s usually overly-simplistic to blame a manager when things go bad. Players play and managers manage and front offices do things and out of those three factors, a good argument can be made that the manager makes the least amount of difference.

That said, despite how good a manager Johnson has been over his career, there is no escaping the fact that when it ends for him with a given team, it always ends poorly. I figure this will be the same way.

  1. steelers88 - Aug 8, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    What is the point in keeping Davey Johnson around? The season is basically over for the Nationals. I mean the Nationals were the odds on favorite to win it and with that team they have they should have at least should have made the Playoffs. Someone has to pay for this.

    • Old Gator - Aug 8, 2013 at 2:11 PM


      • heyblueyoustink - Aug 8, 2013 at 2:51 PM

        Great, more taxes.

    • natslady - Aug 8, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      I think the general feeling around here is more like, what is the point of firing him? A lot of things went wrong this season and he was definitely one of them, but they already fired the hitting coach, if you are going for “symbolism.”

  2. onbucky96 - Aug 8, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    So Washington, aren’t you glad you sat Strasburg last year? Sincerely, Trolls across America.

  3. wogggs - Aug 8, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Gee, and I thought when the Nationals shutdown Stephen Strasburg last season (and harmed their chances to win a World Series), it was no big deal because they were going to have many, many chances to go to the playoffs and succeed. As it turns out, not so much. I did not really care about the Nats one way or another, but ever since then, I have actively rooted against them succeeding and rewarding such idiocy (at least until they fire Mike Rizzo). Who cares if Strasburg has a Hall of Fame career, if it’s all on a team that sucks? I’m guessing he’d have preferred the “risk” of pitching last year in the playoffs to what has gone down this year.

  4. jrbdmb - Aug 8, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Wow, and I thought Davey was going to be getting an extension and a raise, just like his buddy Rizzo.

  5. wannabebluesplayer - Aug 8, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    I feel for you Nats fans, but 1 game against the Cardinals doesn’t mean Strasburg would have pitched that way against the Cardinals in the playoffs. Look, the biggest reason the Nats lost to the Cardinals last year was inexperience in high pressure situations. Cardinals had/have it and knew what to do and how to stay calm. Name me one player on the Nats roster last year that had been there and knew what it took? Edwin Jackson had been there the year before with the Cards, but not really a great example. I’m talking a Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Carlos Beltran, Yadier Molina type player. Guys who have won multiple Championships (outside of Beltran who’s still arguably the best post-season performer in recent history).

    Nats will have their year. Too good not to with Harper, Strasburg, Gonzalez, and Co. Getting rid of Morse for LaRoche might not have been the best move, but other than that, can’t argue, the Nats have impressive talent. But just talent alone doesn’t win you a World Series. Look at the Giants, who has the better lineup, position by position, the Cardinals, but the Giants beat them.

  6. Last Road Reviews - Aug 8, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    I’ll admit I haven’t followed baseball as close this season so I can say if Davey is part of the problem. But really at the end of the day it’s on the players.

    A truly great manager can get a bit more from his players, but if you have an average or below average team you still will.

    My gripe with blaming the manager is it takes away responsibility from the players. Met fans complain about Collins and sure he has some head scratchers but no manager can make Ike Davis hit better than 199.

    I see this in all sports and even with a manager/coaching change nothing gets better. Players have it too easy. Blame the manager. Met fans have been doing that since Bobby V. Ain’t nothing really changed (until they got better players) and yet even after Willie was canned they still tanked.

  7. sbmcintosh36 - Aug 8, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    Seem to remember people calling for Mattingly’s head a short while ago as well. .. pretty sure Dodgers are happy they didn’t listen

  8. thebadguyswon - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    The best part of Nats ’13 is watching their fans swallow their excess pride, which swelled to unjustified proportions last year. Its been lovely.

    • mrpinkca - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:50 AM


      • thebadguyswon - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:35 AM

        Exactly. Being excited last year was totally understandable. But there was this belief among many Nats fans that they were assured several years of playoff appearances. The way they just dismissed that Strasburg decision was crazy. Like the knew they’d be back. That’s not how baseball works.

  9. mrpinkca - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    The Nats aren’t making the playoffs. To fire Johnson 2 months before he retires would be in truly poor taste.

    Get some better luck and contend next year with a new manager.

  10. baseballbarrister - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Davey Johnson may be the most under appreciated manager in baseball.

    Just ask the Orioles how ‘great’ things will be if you fire him.

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