Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Return of Davey Johnson

Davey Johnson's most recent managerial stop
was with Team USA.
Davey Johnson is back as a manager. The Washington National turned to him after Jim Riggleman walked out on his team in the midst of a hot streak.

Johnson has an interesting history as a skipper. During 14 years at the helm of the New York Mets, Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers, his teams team finished lower than second place only twice. And one of those was a team he took over during the season.

Despite that, the former Baltimore Orioles and Atlanta Braves second baseman is not always considered among the top rank of managers of his era. A lot of that stems from his days in New York. The Mets were the most talented team at the time. They broke through in '86 with their wild World Series win over the Boston Red Sox. On the field, I always thought they won despite sloppy play.

But from the title year it was down hill. The Mets continued to contend, but were dogged by undisciplined behavior. I always thought they were sloppy in the field (although Keith Hernandez was a superb first baseman). Off the field, the team caroused and made headlines for unruly escapades. Johnson's tenure ended with many saying the team should have won more championships.

After the Mets, Johnson was out of baseball for a couple years. Talk radio was awash with rumors that Johnson had been blackballed. But no evidence was found that it was true.

Johnson finally got another job Baltimore, but ended up in a feud with owner Peter Angelos (although he's not exactly the easiest man to get along with). Jobs in L.A. and Cincy produced typical Johnson records: fine teams but no titles.

Now Johnson is back in the dugout leading another young team. I expect the team will continue to progress, but how far he can take them this season will be interesting to watch.

1 comment:

  1. Nationals have a lot upswing, playing real good ball lately and have a bright future.

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