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Johnson hired for ’11 with option for ’12

Jun 26, 2011, 5:01 PM EDT

Updated at 3:25 p.m.

CHICAGO — Davey Johnson’s hiring as Nationals manager was made official today. His status in the dugout beyond this season, though, remains unofficial.

The Nationals announced Johnson will serve as manager through the remainder of 2011, making his debut Monday night in Anaheim, while also announcing he’s signed a three-year consulting contract to remain with the organization through 2013.

Whether Johnson stays on as manager won’t be determined until season’s end. The Nationals are required by Major League Baseball to conduct a full search, with minority candidates included. Johnson will be a candidate, and if he returns, he’ll do so under a 2012 option already written into his contract.

If Johnson does not return, he’ll stay with the front office as a consultant and will be involved in the search for his replacement.

“It’s going to be a mutual, organizational decision,” general manager Mike Rizzo said before Sunday’s game against the White Sox. “Davey
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  1. Sunderland - Jun 26, 2011 at 5:53 PM

    Wasn't happy about how the Riggleman departure came down, but this has the possibility of being a really good thing for the Nats. Certainly if Davey is not manager next year, he will have a much better feel for whether Bo Porter is ready for this.

  2. Jim Webster - Jun 26, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    We need to start a pool, guessing when the resident naysayers here start piling on Davey the way they trashed Acta, Kasten, Riggleman, Rizzo, Eckstein and the Lerners. I give 'em until the third game after the All-Star break.

  3. Jeeves - Jun 26, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    Depends on whether they are winning or not, Jim.

  4. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 26, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    And if anybody thinks David Eckstein is will be under the gun, forget it. Davey Johnson is the guy who got him hooked up with the Nats.

  5. Cwj - Jun 26, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the reason Johnson was NOT signed definitively for 2012+ is because Davey himself wants to see how he holds up to the rigorous schedule as manager this year before committing. He's no Spring Chicken, as they say.Still very happy he's the manager for the rest of this season.Go Nats!

  6. JaneB - Jun 26, 2011 at 7:37 PM

    NatsJack, I'm glad to know that about Eck. What do you think about Davey's position on Bo?

  7. Anonymous - Jun 26, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    During a press conference, when questioned about Johnson's option for 2012 Rizzo flatly refused to discuss it, prompting Johnson to resign before ever managing a game for the Nats.

  8. John R. - Jun 26, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    Funny that Rizzo ended up discussing contract terms this weekend in Chicago, isn't it? Maybe, instead of blowing off Riggleman, he should have taken him seriously because he just spent all weekend negotiating a 2012 contract anyway! Yeah, I know it's technically only for 2011, but "The Nationals are required by Major League Baseball to conduct a full search, with minority candidates included." So, just as Dick Cheney's VP search committee chose Dick Cheney, Davay Johnson's Manager search committee will land Davey Johnson, because a manager will make five to ten times as much money as a "consultant."

  9. Gonat - Jun 26, 2011 at 9:51 PM

    Can he just light a flame under Werth's butt? That batting average and strikeouts just keep growing!

  10. Cwj - Jun 26, 2011 at 10:00 PM

    Gonat- yeah it's frustrating watching Werth lately.He'll likely come around though. For all we know he may completely tear up the league for the remainder of the season.(fingers crossed!)40-38! Go Nats :)

  11. Section 222 - Jun 26, 2011 at 10:00 PM

    @Jim. Maybe we should start a pool on how long it takes apologists around here to start criticizing anyone who offers a dissenting view on a managerial decision made by the God-like Davey Johnson or the Nats management. Oh wait, it already happened. Give it a rest. Riggleman made plenty of decisions to question, including the big one after Thursday's game. Those of us who questioned him, or might question Davey, are entitled to our opinions, don't you think? If you disagree, explain why. But cut out the snide dismissals of our views. We care about the team and want to win just as much as you do.

  12. Cwj - Jun 26, 2011 at 10:17 PM

    I think Jim's point was that some people will never be happy with any decision this Team makes.

  13. Gonat - Jun 26, 2011 at 10:34 PM

    I was a Riggleman supporter but one of my criticisms of Jim was he didn't often seem to think ahead 2 to 3 batters like you saw McLaren today. Early in the season Riggleman's use of the bullpen bit him in the a$$ and his last 2 weeks he couldn't do anything wrong.McLaren had Burnett up and then Storen was on the ready. He pitched Clippard against one batter which is great as it turned out so Burnett did his job against the LH batters.

  14. #4 - Jun 26, 2011 at 10:36 PM

    It's hard watching Jayson Werth play right now. His tentativeness at the plate is paralyzing. Having said that, I would offer two reasons that Nats fans should remain patient. First, Werth's history has been to tear it up in the 2nd half. The guy is a proven big league hitter. Second, he is the player most responsible for the team's attitude turnaround. He is the only guy in the line up who has played every day for a winner. The improved atmosphere is because of him. Questioning his work ethic or saying he "doesn't care" is ludicrous.

  15. Cwj - Jun 26, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    Gonat- Yeah I thought McLaren managed very well during his brief stint.If for whatever reason Davey doesn't want the job next year, McLaren should definitely be considered.It's awesome that he's staying with the Team as a scout.Would have been sad to see him just completely let go.

  16. Cwj - Jun 26, 2011 at 10:47 PM

    #4- Agree about Werth.Also I'll add that it's way too early, as Bob and FP mentioned during the game, to think Ryan Zimmerman is somehow "off". It only seems that way because he was gone for so long. We're used to seeing players find their groove about now (close to half way point of season).As they pointed out he's 2 months behind the rest of the team and coming off of surgery.He'll regain his form I'm sure.

  17. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 26, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    #4 and Cwj…. me too on Werth.

  18. Joe Seamhead - Jun 26, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    For whatever it's Werth, I'm with #4 and Cwj. Both guys will come alive, Morse will hit a wall, Morse will get hot again,etc. Zimm & Jason will be fine.GYFNG!

  19. A DC Wonk - Jun 26, 2011 at 11:21 PM

    CBinDC: in an earlier thread you said something like: please tell me Davey Johnson hates Angelos. The answer is: yes. Johnson and Angelos never got along and that's why even though he did great there (finished 2d then 1st with manager of the year) Angelos fired him. If I'm remembering right!!

  20. Golfersal - Jun 26, 2011 at 11:25 PM

    One thing for certain, Rizzo knows how to get out of a tough situations.His handling of the Riggleman problem was awful but he covered his bases and had some quick solutions. Too bad, Riggleman is looking terrible in all of this and we probably won't ever know the truth on this, but just like a cat covering up his business with cat litter, Rizzo has probably given us a better chance at a possible playoff spot with Johnson.It's true Riggleman was just getting us to the next level and was not going to be a part of things, unless by chance he got us to the playoffs this year. Too bad we won't ever know if Riggleman could of done it, frankly it was his choice to bail.The same with John McLaren. Funny how Rizzo talked McLaren into a nice situation in which he will leave the dugout and trade a uniform for a suit. He was also pissed not to get a chance to manage for the rest of the year but at least Rizzo listened to him and worked out something. Funny if Rizzo could of had the same patience and done it with Riggleman, but it's done and over with.I honestly hate to say it but things worked out better in all of this than we thought, we are going to have a better manager and one that will motivate players to win more.It will be fun to watch all of this in the coming months.

  21. Golfersal - Jun 26, 2011 at 11:30 PM

    Oh, one thing that is not getting out. Been told that Johnson will get $2 million a year for this year, 2012 and 2013. So it's amazing on how Rizzo wasn't about to give Riggleman $600,000 but is willing to spend $6 million for a Johnson who could only be manager for the rest of the season.You see between this and Werth, the Nats do know how to spend some money.

  22. Golfersal - Jun 26, 2011 at 11:34 PM

    One last thing, the Davey Johnson deal is what Riggleman was looking for.Oh well, guess he got his wish, Rizzo spent his trip to Chicago not only doing Johnson's contract but also paying off McLaren. To think that he could of just had a ten minute conversation with Riggleman and this all wouldn't of happened.

  23. Cwj - Jun 26, 2011 at 11:39 PM

    Golfersal- The Nats have plenty of money.I'm guessing again that Johnson wants to see how he feels (as in physically and mentally, not monetarily) after finishing this season as manager, before committing… but also definitely wants to stay on as team adviser regardless.The Nats clearly like him. I do as well and hope he stays on as manager for next year.

  24. Joe Seamhead - Jun 26, 2011 at 11:48 PM

    Can we all just move on? Jim is a good guy that made a bad decision. He made his own bed and fell out of it.The King is Dead! Long Live The King!GYFNG!

  25. Mark'd - Jun 26, 2011 at 11:56 PM

    #4, I didn't read anyone questioning Werth's work effort just getting some hits going. On Friday night he had many key spots with RISP and failed then got his only hit with 2 outs and nobody on after Desmond knocked in Ramos. He failed with a runner on 3rd with 1 out Friday night and that is the spot he has to produce.I am waiting on Werth coming through in a key spot where we can clearly see something CLUTCH.

  26. Anonymous - Jun 27, 2011 at 12:03 AM

    As much as I love NatsJack, I have to point out it is RICK, not David, Eckstein!

  27. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 27, 2011 at 12:14 AM

    My Bad…. I know that. Thanks.

  28. Anonymous - Jun 27, 2011 at 3:02 AM

    Davey ain't no idiot. he has been watching these terrible at bats from our "big league" hitters. Hopefully he's gonna get in town, call Eck in his office and in Lombardi fashion yell "What the hell is goin on out there!!"

  29. A DC Wonk - Jun 27, 2011 at 3:16 AM

    Golfersal said… One last thing, the Davey Johnson deal is what Riggleman was looking for.But Riggs is no Davey Johnson (who is a previous manager of the year, World Series winner, etc etc.)

  30. Sec3MySofa - Jun 27, 2011 at 3:20 AM

    That's what I love about English: if you yell loud enough, everyone can understand it and do what you want.

  31. NatsLady - Jun 27, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    "To think that he could of just had a ten minute conversation with Riggleman and this all wouldn't of happened."Yeah, we got pretty lucky on that one!

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