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On Johnson’s future

Sep 26, 2012, 3:00 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Davey Johnson is widely expected to return to manage in 2013.

PHILADELPHIA — The issue of Davey Johnson's future status has been raised in recent days because the Nationals manager hasn't officially committed to returning in that capacity for 2013.

Make no mistake, though, there's only one person who will decide whether Johnson returns as manager next season: Johnson.

The veteran skipper is under contract to work for the Nationals through 2013 per the deal he signed last summer upon taking over for Jim Riggleman upon the latter's surprise resignation. That contract stipulates Johnson has a job as a consultant to general manager Mike Rizzo, with the option of returning to the dugout as manager.

Technically speaking, either side could decide not to select that option. But Rizzo has made it clear he wants Johnson to be his manager for as long as Johnson wants to do the job.

Rizzo affectionately calls Johnson "part of the furniture" with theRead more ยป

  1. Brian - Sep 26, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Mark – Who do you believe is the manager-in-waiting when Davey finally hangs it up?Is Randy Knorr, Bo Porter, or someone else?

  2. Section 222 - Sep 26, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    I can't imagine Davey won't stay. And surely, no one would fire him after he wins the Division…. oh wait, someone actually did that once, right? :-)I'm making the following offer to all the folks feeling nervous and blue about the Nats chances to win the division this morning. If we don't win the division, I will buy you two beverages of your choice at the watering hole of your choice. If we do win, you buy me one beverage of my choice at Nats Park during the playoffs (or a piece of pizza if they refuse to serve me because I've already had too many.) I hope to be at every game, and I'm now expecting to be very well lubricated. Who's in?

  3. MicheleS - Sep 26, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Glad to see that they are working on Davey back in 2013. It should be another great ride.

  4. Doc - Sep 26, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    One of the things that I most respect about Rizzo is that he has given Davey Johnson the respect that he has long deserved, and rarely gotten from management and ownership.Also, Davey has a team of players that understand and appreciate him. Not sure how different that is from other teams that he has managed, but it seems obvious that it exists with these guys.

  5. alm - Sep 26, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Section 222,I want in on some of that action, but I am betting on your side.Also, Davey for President, no wait, make that King!GO NATS!

  6. Section 222 - Sep 26, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    222-As I tried to explain before, there is virtually no chance we'll be the third seed. We'd have to get caught and passed by a team that currently has the same record as the Braves without allowing the Braves to catch us. Considering those teams' remaining schedules, that seems very unlikely. Very unlikely, yes. No chance, not really. If the Nats go 2-6, the Braves go 5-3, and the Giants go 6-2, we're the third seed. (Or if we go 3-5, the Braves 6-2, and the Giants 7-1). The Giants are 25-12 (.676) since Melky Cabrera was suspended. They're a good team with great pitching. They could pass us.But, like the Braves, they've already clinched a playoff berth. I don't see them going all out to move up one seed, just like I don't see the Braves going all out to catch us. The only real fight left is between the Reds and us for first seed and the Cards and the Brewers/Dodgers for the last WC spot.

  7. natsfan1a - Sep 26, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Yay, Davey!It doesn't sound like the Barves are planning to ease up. Just saying.

  8. Section 222 - Sep 26, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    I don't know 1a. Reading that article, I see a perfunctory quote by Chipper about not giving up hope of winning the division, but that's pretty much it. And they partied last night like it was 1999. Big contrast to the Nats' celebration when we clinched a playoff spot. Besides, even if they don't ease up, are they really going to win all of their remaining games? We got this.

  9. peric - Sep 26, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    They're not going to fold or collapse. They'll likely get more hitting and better pitching when they face the Cardinals. But make no mistake if there is any team the Nats want to face for six games to prepare you for the playoffs its the Phillies. They aren't going to go quietly in the night even though they are almost mathematically eliminated. This is their playoffs, sending a message to the Nats of "wait 'til next season … and then we'll see!" One thing is certain the Nats need a stronger left-handed pitching component beyond Gio in the NL East, hopefully Detwiler continues to improve. It certainly isn't Lannan. Its why the drafted Matt Purke and continue to work with he and Sammy Solis. One could almost bet that if he hadn't gone down the fifth starter next season might just be Solis, perhaps Zach Duke ends up in that role instead … In any case its a new NL East. A triumvirate of teams: The Nats, the Phillies, and the Braves; all world series contenders. The Mets and Marlins can't be taken too seriously due to poor ownership / management. But the Marlins do have talent and leverage it quite well when they face the Nats.Its going to be a tough road to haul from here-on-out for the Nats. The good news is it doesn't end here with this season as it has and will for many teams.

  10. peric - Sep 26, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Whomever the new manager is / will be when it happens Davey is going to be an important voice in making that call. And you just never know when it comes to Davey.

  11. natsfan1a - Sep 26, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    222, there was also this from the skipper:"You don't know whether to laugh or cry or look for somebody to hug or slap in the back," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "This is special. You've got to give a lot of credit to those guys out there. After what we went through in September of last year and then for them to come out and win 89 games or something like that and we've still got a chance to get a few more and win a division, those guys are awesome."

  12. natsfan1a - Sep 26, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    That said, regardless of what the Bravos intend, the Nats just need to focus on taking care of their own business.

  13. peric - Sep 26, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    The Nats need to play against the Phils like there's no tomorrow because its almost a guaranteed scenario it will prepare them for their battle with the Braves. Whomever they face after that may turn out to be relatively easy pickings. It could go down just like that. If by some odd and strange coincidence the Ori'hoes made it that far … boy that would be interesting to see … if you think the invasion of the Philthie fans was bad … the old school Ori'hoe types might be worse.

  14. Section 222 - Sep 26, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    1a, meh. I didn't read that quote as displaying much fire in the belly for pursuing the Nats. Yeah, they have a mathematical chance. Good for them. Davey's response was much more telling: "What's the big deal?" Absolutely right that the Nats need to take care of business. And they will. But I expect we'll get a little help from the oh so relieved Braves.

  15. Avar - Sep 26, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    222 – No bet! Totally with you that we win the division. AND, I disagree that the Braves will let up at all. If they do, they're nuts. They know how dumb this one game thing is and want no part of it. I think they will go all in to win the division but at the same time they know it's an extreme long shot.

  16. Section 222 - Sep 26, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Chase has a nice little side story about Davey's reaction to the Medlen/Strasburg comparison. I wonder if the geniuses in Atlanta are wondering how many more games the Braves would have won before July 31, when Medlen started his first game, if he'd been a starter. Strasburg had started 20 games by then and was 11-4. The Braves lost the game in 15 of Medlen's relief appearances. Who knows, the Braves might be leading the NL East now if Medlen had been in the rotation from the beginning. Well, at least they have him lined up to start the WC game.

  17. Scooter - Sep 26, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    Y'all, this is totally not what we're talking about, but a couple-three days back, Drew was looking into how 19-year-olds have done historically — discovering the estimable Buddy Lewis in the process, which is nice. Anyway, not to pooh-pooh the dartboard approach, but this page might come in handy for future research. The middle column is the salient one, I think.

  18. Another_Sam - Sep 26, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    22 et al.: druing the long grind of the season, percentages and averages carry the day so for me no one day gets me too high or too low. but now, with 8 games left, things change, IMHO. if tonight — and btw both the Nationals and the Braves are 0-0 right now for tonight's game LOL — the nationals win and the Braves loose, i'll be icing the champagne and getting the gatorade baths ready. But if it goes the other way, . . . i may be thinking of joinng the LoD here.There is nothing in professional sports that compares to baseball this time of the year. i love the cliches: "I have all winter to rest." "I told the skipper I could face a couple of hitters if he needed." I love those ultimate series games — when the whole staff, even the guy who threw 120 pitches the day before — walks to the pen, just in case.

  19. Scooter - Sep 26, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Another_Sam, I concur mightily. That [stuff] is awesome.

  20. Scooter - Sep 26, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    when the whole staff, even the guy who threw 120 pitches the day before — walks to the pen, just in case.That's it, right there. I love that moment.A few years back, I didn't know who CC Sabathia was. I knew of him, and knew he was a good pitcher, but … the man pitched in Cleveland, for goodness sake. Then the Brewers got him, and he started their last 14 games, won 22 of them, pitched 46 complete games in those last two weeks. I have hearted him ever since.

  21. Another_Sam - Sep 26, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    What was that series in which Randy Johnson pitched game 6 and appeared in game 7 as well?

  22. Another_Sam - Sep 26, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    and scooter: LOL

  23. Section 3, My Sun Monster Sofa - Sep 26, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    Another_Sam, that would be 2001, with the D-Bax v. NYY.

  24. Section 222 - Sep 26, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    Thanks for that link Scooter. Fascinating. Trout is having a similarly fantastic year as a 20 year old, getting into to the top 10 of many categories, alongside the likes of Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Al Kaline, A-Rod, Frank Robinson, and Sherry Magee (yeah, I didn't know who he was either…). If Harper lifts his game to that level next year and beyond, we are going to be doing this postseason thing for quite awhile.

  25. Scooter - Sep 26, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    I wish I got to see more of Trout. He looks very exciting.

  26. Scooter - Sep 26, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    Oh, whilst I'm sharing links, a few of y'all might enjoy this ESPN thingie, which basically celebrates how well both local MLB teams are doing. I didn't see anybody else put this up, but I may have missed it.(The usual cautions apply: the linked article contains an implicit assumption that a team other than the Washington Nationals may actually be good, which some may find offensive. Do not read if your only use for the Orioles is to come up with "clever" puns on their or their owner's name. Unless of course you just like an excuse to feel persecuted, in which case, knock yourself out.)

  27. baseballswami - Sep 26, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    There were some good reminders in there about how unfinished this team is. When I say that I am not sure the Nats can hold on, I am not at all trying to be doom and gloom. It's just because we really shouldn't be here at all. ZNN – uncharted waters, Strasburg on the bench, Detwiler – first real year of learning to be a big-league starter, Gio – new from the AL, Harper – 19 years old, Danny – not ready for prime time – yet. Where we are right now is a head-scratcher to be sure. The Nats have made the post season. We have pooh-poohed this wild card as being almost nothing to pay attention to, but it is. It's the post season – for the first time. The Nats went from 80 wins to at least 93 wins – phenomenal.Add to that the major injuries? It's sad to watch them struggling in September, but we just have to look at the bigger picture. I saw a stat today that the Nats are the only team in baseball with a winning record every single month. September we are 13- 10 – we may not finish up that way, I hope so, but I am so proud of the 2012 Nats. No matter what happens in the next 8 days, I will be looking at their incredible season as a whole. I hope they can find just a little more magic.

  28. NatsLady - Sep 26, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    If Davey is the manager for next year, Morse won't be on the team.

  29. NatsLady - Sep 26, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Swami, I'm with you. And when you look back at the progress from 59 wins, it's scary. This is an 87-win team that people think could go all the way. The Kardiac Nats. No one said it would be easy. Hey, it's not even easy for the Yanks or the Rangers.

  30. Section 222 - Sep 26, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    NL, huh? Now there's a non sequitur if I've ever seen one. Does your disdain for Mickey Morse know no bounds? If Davey dislikes him so much, why is he letting him play now when he's not 100%? I've heard him say, "we need Morse in there." Is that just an act? Please explain.

  31. NatsLady - Sep 26, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Just a prediction, 222. Check back with me in the spring. Just a prediction.

  32. bowdenball - Sep 26, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    baseballswami said…"It's sad to watch them struggling in September"You recognized that there were well over .500 for September. So what's the struggle?My guess is that you think have "struggled" for the last eleven games, going 4-7 over that stretch. I don't think that's true. A LARGE part of the reason for this "struggle" is just plain bad luck, since they've actually outscored their opponents over those eleven games. Another part is that they have played four good teams over that time frame. They went 4-3 at home against those good teams. And unfortunately, they are 0-4 so far on the road against those good teams.So ultimately,the "struggle" basically comes down to four games- four road games, at that- lost in a row to quality opponents. Two of them were one-run games, and one of them turned on a horrible call. As a fan, those four games have been really painful, but if you take a step back, don't you think it's unreasonable to call these four losses a "struggle"?

  33. Feel Wood - Sep 26, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Morse is under contract for next year. $6.75 million. He'd have to be traded or cut for him not to be here. Which do you predict?And why would they trade or cut him? Even with time out for injury, he's hitting .288 with 14 HR. His injuries won't require surgery, just rest. He should be back 100% in spring training. He has more upside now than LaRoche did at this time last year.

  34. peric - Sep 26, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    (The usual cautions apply: the linked article contains an implicit assumption that a team other than the Washington Nationals may actually be good, which some may find offensive. Do not read if your only use for the Orioles is to come up with "clever" puns on their or their owner's name. Unless of course you just like an excuse to feel persecuted, in which case, knock yourself out.)Yeah, kind of like the Sports Illustriated cover that talks Washington-Baltimore but shows 3 Ori'holes. Maybe you should see if you can find a job with them "Scooter"?

  35. Section 222 - Sep 26, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    Ok. And I'll predict if Davey is back, Burnett is not on the team. Not that one has much of anything to do with the other…

  36. Section 222 - Sep 26, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    I should have just refreshed earlier. If I had, I would have said, "What Feel said."

  37. peric - Sep 26, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    If Davey is the manager for next year, Morse won't be on the team.Davey likes big, hairy chested right-handed bats Natslady. He isn't making that much money and they can always use him on the bench. He is far more flexible than Tyler Moore in that he can play multiple positions.Stop trying to get rid of Morse because you don't like his speed and fielding Natslady. He isn't leaving because he still hits close to .300 even when injured. Who else do they have that can say that? Hmmm? Davey gets rid of NO BATS like your favorite Ankiel. Not lesser grade gloves with big bats.You'll be wrong.

  38. peric - Sep 26, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Morse is under contract for next year. $6.75 million. He'd have to be traded or cut for him not to be here. Which do you predict?She just doesn't like him because he doesn't field like her favorite guy Ankiel. She has complained about Morse at first base … many times.Of course when I do it the Slap Happy Nats Clique is all over me for repeating things too many times. How many times has Natslady complained about Morse? Probably at least 100 times now.

  39. Feel Wood - Sep 26, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    If you want to talk 2014, I could see Morse not being back, because he'll be a FA then. Could be the Adam Dunn situation all over again. But 2014 is a long way off yet.

  40. peric - Sep 26, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    If you want to talk 2014, I could see Morse not being back, because he'll be a FA then. Could be the Adam Dunn situation all over again. But 2014 is a long way off yet.He'll be 32. He could also end up as a semi-permanent fixture on the bench depending on whether a young prospect steps up to beat him out. I don't see any out there unless its Brian Goodwin. First base I see pretty much locked up by Zim and Morse could back him up. But, methinks they might use Tracy for that. Let's put it this way Natslady. If Tracy comes back so will Morse, they're about equivalent fielding wise at first base and Morse is better in the outfield. Yes, Morse can play third base as well.

  41. baseballswami - Sep 26, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Bowenball. When I talked about watching them struggle it wasn't based on 13-10. It was based on what I see. Yes, we have been playing teams with something to play for. What I have been watching in September looks different. It actually started with that sweep by the Phil's- things seem more precarious, less consistent . These guys are battlers every day, though. Never a lack of effort. I know they are giving it everything they have.

  42. Section 222 - Sep 26, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    I'm with you bowdenball. This season has been built on consistently good play — very few losing streaks of any significance. Our longest losing streak was five games. That happened once, and we've had four winning streaks of five games or more. The consistency has continued this month. No, we're not as hot as we were in July and August, but we're playing well enough to have a very good chance of wrapping up the division before the last home series. I'm sure not going to complain about that.In our last eight games, we've alternated wins and losses. That's much worse than we've played all year long, but if we just do that for the next eight games, the Braves only have to lose once for us to take the division. So despite the downturn, we're still sitting pretty.

  43. bowdenball - Sep 26, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    baseballswami-I suspect that what you think you see is actually you projecting your anxiousness on the team. The team's situation is precarious and less definite than it was when we arrives in Atlanta with an 8.5 game lead. When us fans feel that about the team, we find ways to see it in the team's play. However, I bet if you looked at the stats you'd find that the team has been doing things about the same as it has all year.

  44. peric - Sep 26, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    However, I bet if you looked at the stats you'd find that the team has been doing things about the same as it has all year.They are still short both Ramos and Strasburg and the latter is what all the bandwagon types seem to want to point at. Strasburg had a horrific start his final time out … was it the pressure of knowing his shutdown day was near? Could it be worse than what John Lannan must be experiencing knowing he has two KEY starts against the Phillies to close out the regular season? Talk about choke potential! In the end Strasburg is still a young pitcher who hadn't experienced a pennant race or the playoffs. Just like Detwiler, you're going to see them ALL choke … its how they manage that (as Boz said) that tells the tale in the end.Is Suzuki better than Ramos? It'll be interesting to see how that plays out in ST 2013. My guess is Suzuki gets the nod while Ramos and Flores duke it out for #2. If Flores is still with the team … they could bring back Solano and trade Flores … or even Leon.So, a lot of this might just be the pressure … only a sparse few are familiar with the pressures of the pennant race and they've got a couple of positional starters and one starting pitcher who've been through it. They are going to be hiccups.

  45. Scooter - Sep 26, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    bowdenball, I agree with your overall point, and the tenor of your comments. I do think you're being a tad harsh on swami. After all, the team has struggled (just for a few games hither and thither), and it is September. So what he said was true … from a certain point of view.

  46. Section 222 - Sep 26, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    Tracy has been a stellar member of the Goon Squad this year, but talking about him in the same sentence as Morse is kind of silly. Tracy's best year was 2005, and he hasn't had an OPS+ of 100 or more since 2007. (Well except for this year, when he's had only 95 ABs). Morse's best year was last year. He hasn't had a season with an OPS+ under 100 since 2008 (even his injury riddled 2012 hasn't been horrible). Morse is only 2 years younger, but he's got a lot more left in the tank, as their comparative contracts show.

  47. Scooter - Sep 26, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    Well, 222 brings it with the reasonable, making the excellent point that struggle is relative. Everyone should have our problems, when .500 ball is a "struggle."

  48. Feel Wood - Sep 26, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    The consistency has continued this month.They've lost 7 of the last 11 to the Braves, 3 of the last 5 to the Marlins, and 5 in a row to the Phillies. Outside of the Mets, they're consistently struggling against the rest of the NL East, the division they're trying to win. And of the 8 remaining games, 5 of them are against an NL East team. If they want to win the division, they need to quit struggling against it.

  49. Section 222 - Sep 26, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    If they want to win the division, they need to quit struggling against it.Really? They have 5 games left in the division, and 3 outside it. The magic number is 5. They can win the division by going 3-5, as long as the Braves go no better than 6-2. The math isn't that hard. And yes, the consistency has continued this month. They are 13-10, they've had one 3 game losing streak, one three game winning streak, and a five game winning streak. Games against the Mets and Cubs count just as much toward the division standings as games against the Phils and Braves. I know you're worried about the less than stellar results for the last week. But we're not going to blow the division. We're just not.

  50. JT - Sep 26, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    The old war horse isn't showing any signs of breaking down so why not ride him a while longer before commiting him to pasture. I see a few more stake races that he could finish in the money in. Gallop on DJ.

  51. bowdenball - Sep 26, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Feel Wood said…They've lost 7 of the last 11 to the Braves, 3 of the last 5 to the Marlins, and 5 in a row to the Phillies. Outside of the Mets, they're consistently struggling against the rest of the NL East, the division they're trying to win. And of the 8 remaining games, 5 of them are against an NL East team. If they want to win the division, they need to quit struggling against it.Can you explain to me the logic of excluding the Mets but not the Marlins?Also, why do you use their last 11 games against the Braves? And then only five for the Phillies and five for the Marlins? And of course, none for the Mets.This is a classic example of results-oriented analysis. You want to show that the Nats are struggling, so you define the terms to make that point and to exclude all contrary data. It's meaningless garbage.

  52. Feel Wood - Sep 26, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    Can you explain to me the logic of excluding the Mets but not the Marlins?They're not struggling against the Mets, as I said. They lost the season series to the Marlins.Also, why do you use their last 11 games against the Braves? And then only five for the Phillies and five for the Marlins? And of course, none for the Mets.Okay, then just look at the last four against the Braves. They lost them all. They have been struggling against the NL East, except for the Mets. And it's been for more than just the last week.

  53. Joe Seamhead - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    I have been a Michael Morse fan since long before the last manager quit. Last year, his helmit smacks, Beast Mode schlick, his bombs and his you tubes were just a blast. Way before Davey, Michael never complained when he got yanked, instead insisting how happy he was to just be on a major league roster. What worries me right now is that for some reason Michael just doesn't seem to be having as much fun . Every at bat Mrs. Seamhead says, " Come on, Michael, just have fun!" Mrs. Seamhead is a very wise lady. To all of the Nats she says, "Come on boys! Just have fun!"

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
x-WASHINGTON 87 64 -- 0
ATLANTA 76 76 11.5
MIAMI 74 77 13.0
NEW YORK 73 80 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 82 18.0
Through Wednesday's early games
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
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