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Johnson wants change

Jul 1, 2011, 10:52 PM EST

In his previous managerial stints, Davey Johnson never shied away from speaking his mind. Eleven years away from the big-league game haven’t changed that.

Before making his home debut as manager of the Nationals, Johnson outlined a number of changes he’d like to see made to his roster, changes he believes will make him more “comfortable” guiding this team through the rest of this season and possibly beyond.

“I’m not really comfortable with the way everything fits together right now,” the 68-year-old skipper said. “I love the ballclub. I love the talent level. But I’m not really comfortable with the pieces and the way they fit together.”

Among the pieces Johnson would like to see added to the roster…

— A bench boasting more offensively minded players instead of the current defense-first group.

— A long man in the bullpen who could also serve as a No. 6 starter of
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  1. Anonymous - Jul 1, 2011 at 11:13 PM

    Great … now old Davey doesnt like the makeup of the team. More offense less defense? tell it to the boss, Davey.I guess Davey can't manufacture runs the way his predecessor could. Or he wants to resurrect the Orioles of the 70's — sit tight and wait for the 3-run clout … really Davey?Finally, he wants to play all 25 guys. That's good. The Rec department has a job for you when Rizzo is done with you — coaching little league where everybody plays and has fun. Geez … I think the world has passed you by, Davey. Or, you just .. well .. maybe it's a younger man's game.

  2. Anonymous - Jul 1, 2011 at 11:15 PM

    davey needs to win a game before he starts complaining about things. He has done nothing. I hope Riggs is sitting back laughing.

  3. Anonymous - Jul 1, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    Maybe if Rizzo listened to Riggs we would be 3 games over 500. Anony 7 13pm you nailed it.

  4. Tim - Jul 2, 2011 at 12:48 AM

    Seems to me what we have here is a failure to communicate.We need everyone to be on the same page.

  5. devilsadvocate - Jul 2, 2011 at 1:01 AM

    I hate to say I told you so but….

  6. baseballswami - Jul 2, 2011 at 1:06 AM

    I'm a little confused. I thought the organization ( Rizzo) had decided that this club should go in a defensive direction. I also thought sure that I heard that Johnson was manager only until the end of the season, which would mean no permanent changes. Are Rizzo and Johnson saying two different things? I also find it a little odd that 3 coaches that were pulling a lot out of this team are gone, but the dead weight on the bench is still there. No wonder these guys are a little tied up in knots right now. Mommy and Daddy aren't presenting a united front. The all star break can't come soon enough.

  7. masnstinks - Jul 2, 2011 at 1:10 AM

    I think it's interesting that our new manager wants change. I want change, too. I want housing prices to go up, I want people to have good jobs and good health care. I want gas prices to go down. I want to win the lottery. I want a raise. I want a beautiful woman to knock on my door and….. oh, wait, sorry.Fantasies can be fun, can't they? This man did know who was on the roster when he took this job, didn't he? Was he watching the games? If so, he should have seen what works and what doesn't work already. This should not be new information.

  8. Anonymous - Jul 2, 2011 at 1:24 AM

    Maybe what he is saying is he prefers a guy like Lombardozzi, Antonelli, perhaps Aubrey on his bench instead of Cora, Stairs, and Ankiel. Hairston was at least hitting before his injury. These others not at all. He wants a bench that can be offensive not Riggleman's exclusively double-switch defensive replacements. Clearly Riggleman didn't like Stairs bases on Stairs comments. Lombardozzi is a switch hitter. No need to worry about which hand the pitcher uses and he appears to be an offensive player who can play defense. Antonelli even more so. Aubrey is a left-handed bat that could back up Morse while providing some pop off the bench. The problem is Lombardozzi needs to play. Every day. So, is he saying Espinosa might move to shortstop if Desmond doesn't start hitting? And then there's Zim's post surgery/rehab slump? Sure seems to me as if Davey might welcome evaluating Lombardozzi, Antonelli, and Aubrey.

  9. JaneB - Jul 2, 2011 at 1:35 AM

    If Davey was "advising" all along, it sounds like Rizzo wasn't listening. He has been clear all along he was about the defense. now Davey wants a different sort of team. Hmm mm…I thought one of the reasons so many teams in baseball were less productive was because so many teams are better at defense. I also am curious about the changing in the coaching staff, and how people who truly did start to make lemonade outta these guys, can just be gone. It's political — I get THAT. But it's kind if too bad, and I hope it doesn't unsettle this team.

  10. Sec3MySofa - Jul 2, 2011 at 3:06 AM

    I think you're missing the point. They don't have to sacrifice defense or pitching to improve the bench and bullpen, is what I'm hearing him say.This was a 100-loss team for three years running. Now they are at .500, Riggleman is gone, and they are ready to take the next step. Does Davey still got it? We'll see. He's looking way too much like Stengal (Mets Stengal, not Yankees) for my liking, but "that's why they play the games." We'll see.

  11. Sec3MySofa - Jul 2, 2011 at 3:09 AM

    But if Ivan Rodriguez can be "Pudge," I don't see why Davey can't be "The Ol' Perfessor."

  12. Sec314 - Jul 2, 2011 at 3:10 AM

    Should Desmond by looking for apartments in Syracuse?

  13. Don - Jul 2, 2011 at 3:13 AM

    Wait, I'm sorry, are people complaining about a coach that wants to increase offense? Before Riggs left everyone was complaining about was the lack of offense, the new coach comes in and agrees with you and now you complain about the coach making changes.Does it sound a bit hypocritical on Johnson's part, maybe, we don't know how he was being used as an advisor.Overall it sounds like everyone should be jumping with joy. I wonder if Eckstein will be around much longer.

  14. Unkyd - Jul 2, 2011 at 3:35 AM

    Sofa and Don…. Um, yeah… Sayer basically summarizes mist of the things we've been bitching about, all year, and gets roasted…Huh…?

  15. Unkyd - Jul 2, 2011 at 3:37 AM

    Sayer?! Davey…….

  16. Steve M. - Jul 2, 2011 at 3:40 AM

    Davey Johnson must read NatsInsider.

  17. Drew8 - Jul 2, 2011 at 3:46 AM

    Hey Unkyd: Can ye sooth sayer hack the gorse?BTW, Dunn passes LaRoche on the interstate.LaRoche: .172Dunn: .171My goodness…..

  18. JaneB - Jul 2, 2011 at 8:37 AM

    I'm not complaining about that Davey wants more offense. I'm questioning what the heck kind of advice he was giving …or even whether Rizzo was taking it…as he was " advising" these last two years. His stated priorities aren't the stated priorities of Rizzo. I lime Davey's better. I'm just curious about what looks to be a disconnect.Oh Adam Dunn. You really did know DH wasn't for you.Sec3, what do you mean about Davey going Casey Stengal? I loved Casey in his Mets years. This isn't rhetorical. What was I missing about Casey then? He had a rag tag team no one thought could do much, and somehow, they did.





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