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Spring storylines: Davey’s last ride

Feb 10, 2013, 4:05 PM EDT

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This will be Davey Johnson's 17th and final season as a manager.

With the countdown to spring training in its final stages, we're counting down the five biggest storylines facing the Nationals in Viera. We continue today with spring storyline No. 2: Davey Johnson's farewell tour…

Davey Johnson never expected to be back in a big-league dugout in the first place. So, really, everything that's happened since he donned the uniform again in 2011 has been gravy.

"Shoot, I thought it was my last year 10 years ago," he said earlier this winter.

Johnson, though, didn't agree to become the Nationals' manager 1 1/2 years ago just for kicks. He sensed a franchise on the verge of something big, and he wanted to help it reach those previouslyRead more »

  1. MicheleS - Feb 10, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    World Series or Bust!!!!

  2. Gonat - Feb 10, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    World Series and Trust…

  3. Joe Seamhead - Feb 10, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    I feel like we all have been privileged to have had Mr. Johnson for the manager of our team. I said the day that he took the job that the fortunes of the NL East had just changed and that the baton had been passed from the Phillies to the Nats and the Braves. I am looking forward to this, his last year at the helm, with the same expectations that he has expressed. We're going for the gold ring and we have a great chance of getting it.GYFNG!!!

  4. SonnyG10 - Feb 10, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    All the boys will be working extra hard to send Davey out in style. Should be a great ride for us to tag along.

  5. Uncle Atom - Feb 10, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    Looking forward to wearing my #5 Davey Johnson jersey to lots of games this year. World Series or bust!

  6. whatsanattau - Feb 10, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    As Curly said, … one thing, just one thing….

  7. JayB - Feb 10, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    He is going to have to manage differently in the post season. This year he clearly was going to stick with "his guys" and let them win it or lose it. Faced with plenty of Data that Danny was done he refused to adjust. That will not get you a world championship and he knows it. Watch for a much more proactive manager in the post season. He knows he made some really poor decisions in Oct last year.

  8. Gonat - Feb 10, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    JayB, I'm in agreement with you. I thought so at the time that EJax didn't deserve to be the 4th starter and Danny was slumping.

  9. peric - Feb 10, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    Faced with plenty of Data that Danny was done he refused to adjust. That will not get you a world championship and he knows it.Espinosa had a torn rotator cuff injury. Let's see you swing a bat with that JayB. You'd look like a limp noodle up there dude. Sheesh.LaRoche had the same issue in 2011. How did he hit?But, yeah Danny can be stubborn and not going through with the surgery is just another indicator of that … BUT if LaRoche couldn't "adjust" to the injury how is that Danny suddenly should?

  10. peric - Feb 10, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    In any case I don't see how Espy will be able to play an entire season with that torn rotator cuff and be effective at the plate. Its seems almost a foregone conclusion that Lombardozzi will eventually end up as the starting 2nd baseman with Rivero backing him up. As Danny goes under the knife.A sad turn of events for a truly great athlete who seemed destined to become a great baseball player.

  11. JaneB - Feb 10, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    I'm so glad we have Davey at the helm. And I am embarrassed to say how many times I come to this site, just to see the countdown clock counting down.

  12. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Feb 10, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    Smartest guy in baseball.

  13. Oldguy - Feb 10, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Do some research on torn Rotator cuff. (Wiki: Rotator_cuff) It ain't that simple.

  14. JayB - Feb 10, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    Danny was supposed to sit not hit P.Drew was supposed to rest for game 5 not pitch useless innings leading up to it.Ajax was supposed to sit and let Mathews pitch where he had proven himself all year. Davey should have walked to get the closer out once he lost the lead. Tons of poor manager moves in the post season.

  15. natsfan1a - Feb 10, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    Gulp, bang!MicheleS said… World Series or Bust!!!! February 10, 2013 11:17 AM

  16. SCNatsFan - Feb 10, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Peric I still think it is Rendon not Lombo playing second as the playoffs start

  17. NCNatsie - Feb 10, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    World Series or Bust? all in due time. Right now I'm just psyched to see the Pitchers and Catchers clock at 1!

  18. Gonat - Feb 10, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    peric said… Espinosa had a torn rotator cuff injury. Let's see you swing a bat with that JayB. You'd look like a limp noodle up there dude. Sheesh.____________________________I guess you are responding to JayB but the issue isn't fighting through pain the issue is going to your Manager and getting it checked out. Maybe Espi is put on the DL when the injury occurred and why didn't he have off-season surgery if there's a high likelihood that he can't make it through a full season.All in all is he hurt the team offensively down the stretch and especially in the playoffs where his slash was .067/.176/.067/.243 with just 1 hit.

  19. SCNatsFan - Feb 10, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    Regardless if Espinoza or Johnson knew the extent of the injury Danny was horrid at the end of the year; leaving him the lineup at that point is something I have to defer to Johnson on but it turned out to be wrong. Ah hindsight, isn't it beautiful.

  20. LoveDaNats - Feb 10, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    World Series or Bust? all in due time. Right now I'm just psyched to see the Pitchers and Catchers clock at 1!What Natsie said!

  21. whatsanattau - Feb 10, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    So you're saying Davey sucks? Please. That's just crazy talk. Kind of like saying that Rizzo sucked or that the bench sucked in 2012. Those things were not true then and these current charges are equally misguided.Of course if you want to insist that Davey makes too many mistakes, then just hold on. You won't have to worry about him in 2014.

  22. JayB - Feb 10, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    Davey was managing like he was playing with house money. Like he had already banked his profit with the 98 wins and the post season was just a icing on his year. That is not how you win WS. Love Davey and he is going to manage much differently this Oct if he get the chance. Ask any number of teams in past years. No guarantee of making it back the next year. Angles had lots of talent the past year. The fact that Davey and Rizzo did not go all out to win last year was short sighted in my view. We shall see if they make it back and if so what Davey has learned.

  23. natsfan1a - Feb 10, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    Yeah, maybe one of these days Davey will learn something. (Hi, Davey!)

  24. Tony - Feb 10, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    If there's only one thing that Davey has learned in his long career it has to be that guys like JayB don't know squat.

  25. JayB - Feb 10, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    16 years 2283 1286 995 .564 1.9 1 Pennant and 1 World Series TitleSay it again and say it often. Davey is the single most important reason this team has turned things around. That said….He blew the post season and if you read all the quotes all Sept and Oct…..you can see why. He did not make winning in 2012 the priority. We shall see what this year brings.

  26. JayB - Feb 10, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    Yea….playing Danny in October instead of Lombo was really smart. Pitching Drew what 4 days in a row and letting him implode on the mound was smart too….come on…Davey is great…..but he makes mistakes…..and in game 5 and those leading up to it….he made plenty of mistakes.

  27. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 10, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    Storen didn't blow the save because he was overused. He was nibbling, not aggressive, i.e., green. And he did not get a couple of calls, apparently. A day off won't fix that.

  28. sjm308 - Feb 10, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    One thing I have learned in the months and months of waiting for pitchers and catchers is that JayB was/is not happy with how Davey managed in Oct. How have I learned that?? Because he posts the same damned thing day after day, week after week. Those of us how come here on a regular basis get what you are trying to say. Please please please find a new rant. Here is an idea – why don't you complain about our bench?? Oh wait, that might have been the 2011 rant. Sorry I am not much help here. Just stop!!

  29. sjm308 - Feb 10, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    "those of us who come here"

  30. John C. - Feb 10, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    P&C report tomorrow! Must be time for some to complain about the team. Ah, spring …I'm happy to have another harbinger of Spring, and another baseball season, on the way. I'm happy that Davey is managing the ballclub this season, and really happy that the legions of mind reading smarter-than-thou types are not. The worst kind of baseball moves are the ones that don't work, and if they don't work, someone "smarter" will point out how the man in the arena should have done it. Davey knows that second-guessing is an occupational hazard. It's proven in here every day.Best 25 go North!

  31. Joe Seamhead - Feb 10, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    I'm with sjm308.Somebody pull the plug on the jukebox for crying out loud. JayB, one more strike from Storen and you wouldn't have any claim to after-the-fact genius status.Give it a break, will you? Do you have any idea how wrong you were with all of your predictions about the bench last year? Or about many other of Rizzo's moves? Or how you thought the team would finish before the season started? Nothing you, or anyone else, can say will ever take the joy out of what Davey Johnson brought to this town last year.

  32. Joe Seamhead - Feb 10, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    JaneB said… I'm so glad we have Davey at the helm. And I am embarrassed to say how many times I come to this site, just to see the countdown clock counting down. February 10, 2013 1:03 PM ————————————–Me,too, Jane, me,too.

  33. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 10, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    We spend an awful lot of pixels in here on singing lessons. Just saying.

  34. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 10, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    But I will say, the irony with perfectionists is that they succeed far less often than satisficers, for whom "good enough" is good enough.

  35. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 10, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    Some people look at things as they are and ask why. Some people look at things that never were, and think "I can do that."

  36. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 10, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    I think Bob Dylan said that.

  37. JayB - Feb 11, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    My prediction for 2012 was 90 wins. The bench was great….I was wrong…not about DeRosa and Cameron and that crap Rizzo always picks up. I did not know Lombo, Moore and Roger would all come online as they did. Love the young guys. Hate the Rizzo vets…..M. Owens…..come on enough with those guys. Oliver Perez….just crap signs year after year. Problem is they take AB's away from T. Moore types.

  38. sjm308 - Feb 11, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    JayB – no one (at least not I) is claiming you are not a fan and have a great affection for our team. Again, you have made your thoughts known so please move on which it appears you have with this last post. I also want to see T. Moore play more.

  39. JayB - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. JayB - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    Believe me….I want to move on badly…I can not wait until we have our first game and we can follow the standings and stats in 2013. This post was about issues facing the team. Davey one of the top 5 managers in the game right now but he does not get a pass from me for being old, or beloved, or super smart as Gibbs loved to say. He has to prove it and he has to make better decisions than he did in 2012 in the Playoffs. He has to win.

  41. MicheleS - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    There will always be those who complain. Those who have no joy in today. Those whose bitterness override the happiness in the moment. I feel no pity for them, for I will not walk among them.

  42. peric - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:52 AM

    Peric I still think it is Rendon not Lombo playing second as the playoffs startRendon hasn't played 2nd base regularly at all? He may get some reps there in ST but then he goes back to third in the minors. That will not be enough preparation to come up an play 2nd at the major league level. If Zimmerman goes down again its likely either Rendon or Rivero gets the spot.As far as second base its Lombardozzi not Rendon at this point. If Lombo goes down then its Rivero … given Espinosa going under the knife. That's how the depth chart is aid out. Rendon isn't a UTL people. He is a projected starter at third base at this point. And then Zim moves to first.

  43. peric - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    Plus they've got to find a way to get Tyler Moore as close to 500 bats as possible. That's going to be one of Davey's big challenges this season. Given the respective ages of Werth and LaRoche and Espy's rotator cuff I don't see that as an impossible task.

  44. Tony - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    If Tyler Moore can wrestle one of those ABs away from Oliver Perez he'll be almost there.

  45. Tony - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:23 AM

    If Tyler Moore gets anywhere close to 500 ABs this year, the terrorists will have won.

  46. realdealnats - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:37 AM

    My Sofa at 6:45–"Bob Dylan's Dream"?By the early 1970s my friend's Dad had already shortened Bobby's Kennedy's words to "Some say why, I say why not." He said it boldly and he said it often! No one ever corrected him.

  47. Tony - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    The Village People said "Why? MCA." No one ever corrected them either.

  48. Faraz Shaikh - Feb 11, 2013 at 3:02 AM

    isn't that actually from George Bernard Shaw's play that line 'some say why…'?

  49. SCNatsFan - Feb 11, 2013 at 3:02 AM

    Watch peric soon as Danny comes out the box slow you will see Rendon playing 2B in the minors getting ready for late season in DC

  50. natsfan1a - Feb 11, 2013 at 3:06 AM

    Is it time for the 7th inning stretch already?Tony said… The Village People said "Why? MCA." No one ever corrected them either. February 10, 2013 9:47 PM

  51. peric - Feb 11, 2013 at 6:28 AM

    Watch peric soon as Danny comes out the box slow you will see Rendon playing 2B in the minors getting ready for late season in DC.Then what do you do with Lombardozzi who has put the requisite time in the minors and specs out as a decent starting second baseman? He isn't really well suited to the UTL role by comparison to Rivero and even Espy. And Anthony Rendon isn't a UTL. And Zim many not last at third base. If Rendon comes up it will either be at third base to replace an injured Zim or for a bench role. He projects as a starter. Using him in bench role would make player development extremely unhappy. They weren't happy about Lombo in that role until Davey promised 300+ AB's. Anything is possible but I just don't see Rendon moving to second base as long as Lombardozzi is on the roster.

  52. peric - Feb 11, 2013 at 6:30 AM

    And Tony is still meeting with the Ku Klux Klan. Must be the ecumenical council version … its going on far too long.

  53. grizzskinner - Feb 11, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    I hope if Espy can't get the job done because of his injury that he would be frank with Davey so we don't have to suffer through many poor performances before Lombo comes in and Danny goes under the knife.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
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ATLANTA 70 64 6.0
MIAMI 65 67 10.0
NEW YORK 62 72 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 61 72 14.5
Through Thursday's games

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FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 4:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
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