Jun 28, 2011, 7:11 AM EDT
US Presswire photo
Davey Johnson walks off the mound following a pitching change.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Davey Johnson hadn’t stood there, in a major-league dugout, wearing a big-league uniform, in 11 years. He wasn’t the same man leaning on a railing at Angel Stadium Monday night as he was doing the same thing up the road at Dodger Stadium more than a decade ago. And the game, much as he doesn’t want to admit it, isn’t the same either.
But there was something comforting about the sight of the Nationals’ new, 68-year-old skipper running the show, high-fiving players, dodging foul balls, making the slow walk to the mound to change pitchers.
Even if the end result — a 4-3, 10-inning loss to the Angels — didn’t provide the storybook angle everyone wanted, Johnson’s debut with the Nationals seemed to leave everyone feeling good about the situation at large.
“It was old hat,” Johnson said of being handed the managerial controls again. “It’s kind of like flying an airplane. You don’t have to fly for a while, but you still get off the ground.”
The team Johnson officially inherited Monday played very much like the one he had been watching from afar over the last two weeks. The
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