WASHINGTON – As expected, Nationals manager Davey Johnson will return to manage the team in 2013 in what will be his final season as a Major League skipper before returning to a consultant position with the team for the 2014 season.
Johnson led the Nationals to a 98-win season and the National League Eastern Division championship in 2012 before the team was eliminated from the postseason by the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Divisional Series in five games. The Nationals either led the NL East or shared the top spot for all but 10 days this season, and by the end of the year, owned the best run differential (+137) in MLB.
“l love managing this ballclub in this town, and for that, I owe a debt of gratitude to the Lerner Family and Mike Rizzo,” said Johnson. “As everyone knows, we have some unfinished business to tend to in 13. I have a feeling this upcoming season will be filled with many memorable moments.”
Johnson took over the Nationals after Jim Riggleman resigned in June 2011. Since then, he has led the Nats to a record of 138-107 (.563). In that same time span, only the Braves (139) have won more games among NL teams.
He has an overall record of 1,286-995 (.564) and has taken four different teams to the post season winning 6 division titles during his 16-year managerial career, (Mets, Reds, Orioles and Nationals) winning one pennant (86 Mets) and one World Championship (86 Mets).
Johnson is coming off his seventh 90-win season, joining Billy Martin (Twins, Tigers, Yankees, Athletics) as the game’s lone skippers to take four different teams to the postseason.
Among those to manage 1000 or more games, Johnson’s .564 career winning percentage ranks second among all living managers behind his former skipper, Earl Weaver (.583).
The fiery skipper will turn 70 in January said earlier had the Nationals won the World Series, he might have considered “pulling a LaRussa” and retire but since that didn’t happen, he will be back to give it one more shot. When it does come time for Johnson to retire, GM Mike Rizzo has indicated a desire to hire from within the organization. Johnson’s bench coach, Randy Knorr appears to be the leading candidate with first-base coach Trent Jewett, Triple-A Syracuse skipper Tony Beasley and Double-A manager Matt LeCroy all possibilities.