In Davey We Trust

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At nearly 70 years of age, there isn’t much that Davey Johnson has yet to accomplish in the game of baseball. He has already won a World Series as both a player and a manager, one of just five living men to do so. Coming into 2012, he had skippered three different franchises to the playoffs. And yet, he managed to notch a whole bevy of firsts in his first full season at the helm of the Washington Nationals. For his efforts, he was rewarded with the second BBWAA Manager of the Year Award of his career.

Davey Johnson won his second Manager of the Year Award this season.

He guided the franchise to a Major League-leading 98 wins, 17 more than the previous franchise high, set back in 2005. That success translated into the franchise’s first NL East title and Washington D.C.’s first postseason berth in 79 years. Mind you, of course, that while nobody else predicted such unprecedented success from the club, Johnson calmly and confidently told the baseball world exactly that – his team would be in the playoffs, all the way back before Spring Training began.

Despite a ton of early-season injuries to a good portion of his starting lineup, Johnson’s club either led the NL East or shared its top spot for all but 10 days this season. When the dust had settled, they owned the best run differential in Major League Baseball, outscoring their opponents by 137 runs over the course of the year.

Johnson, along with Executive VP of Player Personnel and GM Mike Rizzo, made the decision to keep Ross Detwiler in the Major League rotation at the end of Spring Training. That, along with the healthy returns of Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann and the additions of Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson gave the skipper the National League’s best rotation ERA at 3.40. Once fully healthy, his offense went on to produce 194 home runs, second most in the league, establishing both franchise (1969-‘12) and D.C. baseball (1901-‘71, 2005-‘12) single-season marks.

Johnson has agreed to manage one final season for the Nationals in 2013.

Johnson registered the seventh 90-win campaign of his managerial career and joined the legendary Billy Martin as the game’s lone skippers to take four different teams to the postseason. Since shifting from a consulting role and returning to the dugout to assume the Nationals managerial helm on June 27, 2011, Johnson’s Nationals are 138-107 (.563). Just how good has he been at guiding his young squad? In that same time span, only the Braves (139) have won more games among NL teams.

Among those to manage 1,000 or more games, Johnson’s career winning percentage (1,286-995, .564) ranks second among all living managers behind his former skipper, Earl Weaver (.583). He will have one more season to improve upon those impressive credentials, having agreed to manage the 2013 season before retiring from the bench, back to the Nationals front office in 2014.

Congratulations, Davey. We can’t wait to see what you have in store for your grand finale.

12 Comments

awesome! God bless you and congratulations!

Congratulations, Davey! What a glorious season you and the players gave to us fans!

Davey was at the heart of a great season. Loved every minute!

No one could be more deserving. A thrilling end to a thrilling seasons!!

Good call. Always been a fan of Davey. Wish he’d never left the O’s.

Agreed 100%. Only Davey didn’t leave so much as the genius owner of the O’s fired him for, as I remember, “forcing” Orioles players to contribute to a charity that Mr. Angelos didn’t agree with. Congratulations, Mr. Johnson. And, here’s to Buck Showalter getting the same award in the AL, in spite of the owner of the O’s.

True that…although I think Davey just decided he didn’t want to work for Angelos anymore. Shame Buck didn’t get the award in the AL; nothing against Melvin but Buck should have gotten it.

We as Nats fans knew Davey Johnson would be the winner of Manager of the year. The players believed in him and that inspired them to give it their all and play according to the potential each one possessed. Thank goodness he is coming back to lead them even further in lucky ’13. Go Davey! Go Nats!

Never enjoyed a season more or looked forward more to get home every night to watch this exciting, masterfully managed team. Davey for Pope! We”ll follow you anywhere! This from a lifelong White Sox fan.

We’re so lucky to have you here in D.C.! Thanks to you and all the Nats for a great season. Nats in ’13 like the Mets in ’86!!

Way to go, Davey!!! A well-deserved award.

We are so happy to see Davey win this award. He has been the heart and soul of the Nats, which provided us a wonderful season to enjoy….can’t wait for Spring Training 2013 – we’ll be there watching Davey prepare his team for another run.

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