It looks like the Washington Nationals have their man, and that man is Davey Johnson. I cannot argue that Johnson is not a clear upgrade over John Riggleman, especially in the game tactics, but I am a little concerned about the trend in baseball to hire retreads. More to the point I am very concerned about retreads hires in all of sports, but with Jack McKeon taking over the Florida Marlins, specifically in the National League East.
Much like McKeon, although their have been reports to the contrary, Johnson gets the balance of the 2011 season to see what he can do with the Nationals. Davey has a lot of experience, but is has been a long time since his New York Mets won the 1986 World Series. After leaving the Mets, he took two years off from managing before taking a job with the Cincinnati Reds. After a feud with then owner Marge Shot, he moved on to mange the Baltimore Orioles. He then feuded with Orioles owner Peter Angelos, and was fired the same day he was named American League Manger of the year. He would then move to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and after two season full of mixed results left the game as a manager. He also managed the American team in the 209 World Baseball Classis.
The good news here is for the most part clubs that hire Johnson see a almost immediate bump up in performance. Since the Nationals have been playing well, going 8-2 over their last 10 a good bump up in performance could help tem erase the 8.5 games they currently trail the Philadelphia Phillies.
Johnson is a good manger, but I have to wonder the wisdom of hiring him short term when this team looks to need a long-term solution. I also have to question Johnson’s passion for the game as he has often said in the past he did not have it anymore. We shall see on this one.