5 Reasons Why I Love The Davey Johnson Signing
I am absolutely ecstatic about the Nationals inking Davey Johnson, not just for this season but for the next two as well. I think he is a great fit for this team and franchise, and is the type of guy who can right the ship after the Riggleman debacle. Here are my top 5 reasons why I love this signing.
1. Johnson is a winner:
While managing in part of 14 Major League seasons, Johnson has had a winning percentage below .500 just 3 times, and two of those were in seasons where he only managed part of the year. A Johnson led team has only finished below 2nd place in their division twice in his career. He has a .564 career managerial record and a World Series title with the Mets back in 1986.
2. Johnson had success as a player as well:
It’s rare to find managers in baseball who had successful Major League careers, but Johnson is one of the exceptions to that stigma. He won’t be entering Cooperstown (at least as a player), but he was a 4 time All-star, 3 time Gold Glover, and a starter on two World Series Champions. That is a pretty impressive pedigree for a manager and shows his strong desire for his team to play their best. I really like the idea that these young players can now go to a manager who has not only been successful as a coach, but in the field as well and get pointers.
3. Johnson has some experience managing younger talent:
The Nationals future will be defined with how their young talented players like Danny Espinosa, Jordan Zimmermann, Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon and others develop. Which makes having a manager that can nurture them extremely important. Johnson has experience with young talent, including managing the last two summers in the Collegiate Florida League, where young college players go to further develop their games. He also previously managed Team USA in the 2008 Summer Olympics to a bronze medal. The team included a rising College Junior by the name of Stephen Strasburg, and was filled with upper minors talent.
4. This signing rights a wrong done to Johnson the last time that he managed in this area:
Davey Johnson came to the Baltimore Orioles as their manager (he previously played for them) in 1996. At the time the Orioles hadn’t been to the postseason since their W.S. victory in 1983. Johnson preceded to lead the Orioles to back-to-back ALCS appearances, including a 1st place finish in 1997. Despite the success, Orioles owner Peter Angelos fought constantly with his winning manager, which led to Johnson turning in his resignation the same day he was named Manager of the Year. The Orioles franchise was never the same again, and has yet to post a .500 record a single time since Johnson left. Now Johnson can come back to the area where he originally made a name for himself as a player, and also found some success as a manager.
5. Johnson is the right man to fix the damage done with Riggleman’s resignation:
Given his previous experiences, I have every faith in Johnson’s ability to get the most out of this team and not allow the recent issues affect this season. Johnson brings a winning attitude and track record, and he will demand the best out of his players. He might not be a fiery manager who will yell and scream, but he’ll command respect. And he also saves face for a franchise who looked quite loss after losing their manager. While I liked Riggleman, I firmly believe the Nationals came out ahead with this move, which I never expected.