Saturday, June 25, 2011

Davey to manage Mon., McLaren leaving staff

CHICAGO -- Davey Johnson will join the Nationals Sunday, fly with the team to Anaheim and make his managerial debut Monday night against the Angels, general manager Mike Rizzo confirmed following today's 3-0 loss to the White Sox.

The Nationals still haven't officially announced Johnson's hiring due to "a few technical things to figure out still," according to Rizzo, but the club is already making plans to transition the 68-year-old into the manager's office, a move that will produce more change to the coaching staff.

John McLaren, who is serving as interim manager during this weekend's series at U.S. Cellular Field, will not remain on the coaching staff beginning Monday. He'll be re-assigned within the organization, a joint decision between himself and Rizzo.

"John and I had a long discussion," Rizzo said. "We're going to reassign him to a position to assist me in scouting and other duties, in a non-uniform capacity. ... I think he had an allegiance to Jim Riggleman and had some thoughts about really wanting to get out of
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JayB said...

Lets get this cleaned up fast....Dan Rad. must be let go too.....Get the new coaches in by Monday....and then on to a second half to be proud off.

Grandstander said...

And so with much fanfare, the Davey Johnson era is set to begin. I like the sound of that.

In 1983, the Mets went 68-94, the perennial basement dwellers in the NL East. The first year he took over, they went 90-72 and finished 2nd. Two years after that they went 108-54 and won the World Series. He's signed with the organization for the next two years.

Rizzo mentioned during the broadcast that Davey Johnson was using sabermetrics before there were sabermatricians, and that's partly true. There's a famous story of how he ran a computer program to optimize the O's lineup when he was playing for them. He gave it to Earl Weaver who took one look at it and threw it away.

I wonder what, if any, changes he'll make to the Nats lineup.

SonnyG10 said...

I'm not sure what to make of Rizzo's statement that Davey is only going to finish out this season and then they'll see. I wonder if that was a condition imposed by Davey or Mike, or both.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

No matter what happens to Johnny Mac, he'll always have a warm spot in my heart for that terrific tantrum he threw in the eighth inning Friday night after that moron home plate ump big-footed the first base ump on that tag play. We should all end our careers on such a noble note. But he's a Riggs' guy and that's the last thing Humpty Dumpty Rizzo needs as he tries to put the pieces back together of this ship of fools that he's running.

One question, maestro: Is Johnson signed to manage for 2012 or not? Rizzo seems particularly vague on that. And these "technical issues?" Might that be, oh, I don't know, little things like salary and duration? You know, those nibbling little things that drove Riggs outta this team in the first place?

Mr. Rizzo would seem to need an injection of truth serum, and fast.

GYFNG. You too, Rizz.

Anonymous said...

That is just rizzo stiking a final knife in riggs a bit tacky riggs will never work in bb again but rizzo is not above kicking him again....jaybe

Feel Wood said...

No doubt it was Davey Johnson who didn't want to commit to managing beyond this year. He has spurned previous entreaties to return to managing because he didn't want to return to the daily grind of the job at his age. This time, Rizzo has convinced him to take over because the team is in a pinch. Johnson will see how it goes this year, and if he decides he's up for it he will definitely be the manager again next year. If not, he will have a big say in who is - possibly using his experience with current members of the coaching staff the rest of this season to evaluate their qualifications for the job. And in return for helping Rizzo and the team out in this time of need, he has received an extension to his contract as an advisor to Rizzo and probably a substantial raise. Basically, Rizzo is telling Davey Johnson that he can manage the Nats as long as he wants to.

And if you wonder how I know this, it's basically what Rizzo told the Fox announcers during the game today, with a little reading between the lines.

Harper is Awesome said...

Why is MLB Network still reporting that Davey Johnson's contract goes through 2013? Why am i stil confused? Mark? Anyone?

Grandstander said...

He's not signd to manage in 2012. Rizzo said it was possible he would but he would definitely be on the team that decided who would. He's signed as a special advisor with the team through 2013.

Rizzo said they had agreed to terms with Davey, that means salary and duration. He said there were only "formalities" left. Probably just having his agent and some lawyers look over the contract and give the OK, but who knows.

Dave said...

Once again, I'm trying to wrap my mind around how any of this is sticking the knife in Riggleman's back. Rizzo did not do anything except not cave in to a foot-stamping demand to discuss terms right now--not at the end of the season, as Rizzo had already said many times.

Really not getting all the Rizzo hate I'm reading on the Interwebs.

natsfan1a said...

I don't get that, either, Dave.

SonnyG10 said...

I'm certainly not unhappy with Rizzo. He's my main hope for a winning Nats future.


Chris Klug said...

The thing I loved about watching Davey everyday in the Mets years was his fearlessness. He'll try anything to see if it will make the team better (Kevin Mitchell at SS, anyone?) He made Backman his 2B when the rest of the organization could only see his flaws, he made Gooden his ace; he knows, simply, how to assemble the team that has the best chance to win.

Doc said...

It's not that Rizzo lies, it's just that he doesn't tell the 'whole truth'--hence he always leaves us a little confused as to the actual facts. He's been around players' agents too much!

Davey Johnson was always under-rated as a manager. He should have had a career like LaRussa.

He's unique in his approach to managin, and could always think outside the box better than most other managers.

Davey has has always had a knack for honking off owners and GMs---probably becasue he was a better baseball man than they were.

Let's hope his health holds up.

natsfan1a said...


John R. said...

Davey Johnson was the manager of the last great Orioles team. They have not been the same since Angelos fired him. However, I am puzzled as to why he then failed with the Dodgers in 99-00 and never was hired again over the past eleven years.

And is it relevant that he was the manager of a great Mets team that imploded way before its time? Strawberry and Gooden's personal foibles occurred on his watch as well as the second Miracle Mets team of '86.

I don't know the answers to these questions, but they give me pause.

Dave said...

@John R., I'm not sure how you get that Davey failed as the Dodgers manager.

True, their record in 1999, was 77-85, only good for third place in their division that year.

But in 2000, the Dodgers were 86-76, second in the division.

Maybe I've been a Nats fan for too long, but that doesn't really look like abject failure to me.

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