Diamondbacks 3, Nationals 2 (The SportsXchange)

PHOENIX — A.J. Pollock singled off pitcher Ryan Mattheus’ right leg to drive in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, and Paul Goldschmidt got his National League-leading 125th RBI in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 3-2 victory over Washington in Nationals manager Davey Johnson’s final game Sunday.

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Nationals honor retiring manager Davey Johnson (The Associated Press)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Nationals honored Davey Johnson on Sunday, paying tribute to the retiring 70-year-old manager who last season guided the team to its only playoff appearance.

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Nationals’ Johnson to talk to Harper (The Associated Press)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington manager Davey Johnson is planning to talk to Bryce Harper after the outfielder failed to run out a ground ball to second during Friday night’s 3-2 loss to the Mets.

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Nationals’ Johnson to talk to Harper (The Associated Press)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington manager Davey Johnson is planning to talk to Bryce Harper after the outfielder failed to run out a ground ball to second during Friday night’s 3-2 loss to the Mets.

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Nats GM: Johnson won’t be fired this season (The Associated Press)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Over the last week, the struggling Washington Nationals have fired their hitting coach and demoted the team’s former closer. Whatever changes the organization makes over the remainder of the 2013 season, removing manager Davey Johnson from his post will not be one of them.

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Drew Storen pitches through flu, dad not happy with Davey Johnson’s decision (Big League Stew)

With the Washington Nationals getting clobbered 6-0 in the first half of their day-night doubleheader against the New York Mets on Friday, manager Davey Johnson turned to struggling former closer Drew Storen in the ninth inning to handle mop up duties. Unfortunately, the assignment didn’t go smoothly for Storen. With two inherited runners already on base, he would immediately allow three consecutive hits, including a three-run homer off the bat of Ike Davis. That made the score 11-0, which ended up being the final , and pushed Storen’s season ERA to 5.95.
Not a pretty outing, and certainly not good numbers overall for Storen, but according to Storen’s father, sports radio host Mark Patrick, his son never should have been put in that position to begin with since he’s currently battling a nasty case of the flu.
102 degree temperature, sicker than a dog…Let’s make him wear it!
— Mark Patrick (@mpos) July 26, 2013
According to the Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore , Johnson was well aware of Storen’s condition before the afternoon game, even mentioning that his reliever would be unavailable for either game “unless he has a dramatic recovery.” When asked about it afterwards, however, Johnson seemed to contradict his original response while defending his decision to use the obviously ailing right-hander in a tough position.

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Washington Nationals fire hitting coach Rick Eckstein as offense continues to struggle (Big League Stew)

It was “World Series or Bust” coming into this season for manager Davey Johnson and his Washington Nationals. For hitting coach Rick Eckstein, it’s just bust.
Eckstein was fired Monday by the under-performing Nationals — a popular preseason World Series pick. At 48-50, the team sits in third place in the NL East, seven games behind the division-leading Atlanta Braves.
The Nats are 29th in baseball in runs scored, ahead of only the Miami Marlins. Their team batting average is fourth worst, better than Miami, the Houston Astros and the New York Mets, not a good group to call peers. The Nats are also bottom five in on-base percentage, hits and RBIs.
As Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post notes, Johnson had been standing behind Eckstein, who is the older brother of former major leaguer David Eckstein:
Manager Davey Johnson had been a staunch supporter of Eckstein, who had been the Nationals coach since 2009. “If you want to fire the hitting coach, you might as well fire me right with him,” Johnson said in mind-June. Even Saturday night, Johnson called Eckstein “the best hitting instructor” he had ever worked with.

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Detwiler cleared to start Wednesday for Nats (The SportsXchange)

Left-hander Ross Detwiler of the Washington Nationals was cleared on Monday to start against the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday after coming out of a weekend throwing session without pain in his left side, according to Manager Davey Johnson.

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Davey’s All-Star Game Memories

With the All-Star game at Citi Field fast approaching, it felt like a good time to stir the memories of former Mets manager Davey Johnson, who was in town herding his Washington Nationals this weekend. Johnson, a four-time All-Star himself (1968-70, ’73), was, of course, the skipper of the 1986 World Champion Mets when the longtime tradition tabbed him to helm the National League squad in 1987.

Johnson’s NL squad in ’87 found runs hard to come by, but they held firm until they were able to push two scores across the plate in the 13th inning and secured an All-Star shutout, 2-0. In fact, Johnson has always been associated with All-Star victories, as his NL teammates won all four games when he was on the roster in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

“Back then, just like it is now,” Johnson said proudly, “is always a great honor.”

Johnson’s best recollection of that game in ’87 naturally involved his pitchers. “I remember the game was out in Oakland, and the last guy to pitch for us was Sid (Fernandez) at the end of the game (who got the save).

“I had used the great Cubs closer, Lee Smith, for three innings (the longest stint by any NL hurler that night), and I guess I didn’t care about him (picture Davey smiling broadly as he said this). I needed Sid for the second half (of the Mets’ season).”

Hey, a win is a win, no matter how you get it. “We won the game, so that was pretty good.”

Johnson’s memories of his All-Star appearances are a little fuzzy, perhaps purposely, as he collected only one hit in his times at-bat, often filling in for Hall of Famers such as Rod Carew late in the game, and in ’69, he didn’t even make it into the game, which is a fate that befell many All-Stars in the days when sometimes a Willie Mays or a Hank Aaron would play the entire game.

Interestingly, Johnson’s teammates in the ’73 included eight future Hall of Famers. The AL squad placed nine future Hall of Famers onto their boxscore.

It’s always a juggling act for any All-Star manager these days of trying to win and trying to place every player into the boxscore.

“I remember I had Pedro Guerrero, just about the best hitter in the league at the time, and I didn’t start him. I gave him only one pinch-hit. I was trying to do him a favor cause I knew he had a little knee problem. But he was mad at me for a long time after that.”

Guerrero lined out in the tenth against Tom Henke in his only at-bat, pinch-hitting for Steve Bedrosian.

“Managing the game is very difficult cause you’re trying to win the game and trying to get everybody into the game,” Johnson emphasized. “They made the trip, so you want to get everybody in, but at the same time you want to pay service to your league and to the team.”

Putting the roster together is also a way to get yourself into trouble.

“There’s always going to be guys who deserve to be there and who you just couldn’t squeeze onto the team.”

As it turned out, Johnson ended up managing six future Hall of Famers – Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson, Mike Schmidt, Gary Carter, Ozzie Smith, and Tony Gwynn. The AL team featured six future Hall of Famers as well – Rickey Henderson, Wade Boggs, Dave Winfield, Cal Ripken, Jr., George Brett, and Kirby Puckett.

Johnson, 70, will join Mets manager Terry Collins as the two baseline coaches for this year’s All Star game at Citi Field on July 16.

Both staffs will have a definitive Mets flavor. As is the custom, the managers of the World Series the previous year run the squads, and have choice over selecting two other current managers as coaches. San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy, himself a former Met (1982), went with Collins and Johnson. AL skipper Jim Leyland, chose ex-Mets Robin Ventura and John Gibbons.

“I’m looking forward to just being on the bench and helping out Bochy,” added Johnson, “and watching him squirm trying to win and trying to get everybody in.”

Posted under Andy Esposito, Boxscore, Four Games, Future Hall Of Famers, Lee Smith, New York Mets, Pitchers, Rod Carew, Sid Fernandez, Star Appearances, Teammates, Top Story, Washington Nationals

Davey’s All-Star Game Memories

With the All-Star game at Citi Field fast approaching, it felt like a good time to stir the memories of former Mets manager Davey Johnson, who was in town herding his Washington Nationals this weekend. Johnson, a four-time All-Star himself (1968-70, ’73), was, of course, the skipper of the 1986 World Champion Mets when the longtime tradition tabbed him to helm the National League squad in 1987.

Johnson’s NL squad in ’87 found runs hard to come by, but they held firm until they were able to push two scores across the plate in the 13th inning and secured an All-Star shutout, 2-0. In fact, Johnson has always been associated with All-Star victories, as his NL teammates won all four games when he was on the roster in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

“Back then, just like it is now,” Johnson said proudly, “is always a great honor.”

Johnson’s best recollection of that game in ’87 naturally involved his pitchers. “I remember the game was out in Oakland, and the last guy to pitch for us was Sid (Fernandez) at the end of the game (who got the save).

“I had used the great Cubs closer, Lee Smith, for three innings (the longest stint by any NL hurler that night), and I guess I didn’t care about him (picture Davey smiling broadly as he said this). I needed Sid for the second half (of the Mets’ season).”

Hey, a win is a win, no matter how you get it. “We won the game, so that was pretty good.”

Johnson’s memories of his All-Star appearances are a little fuzzy, perhaps purposely, as he collected only one hit in his times at-bat, often filling in for Hall of Famers such as Rod Carew late in the game, and in ’69, he didn’t even make it into the game, which is a fate that befell many All-Stars in the days when sometimes a Willie Mays or a Hank Aaron would play the entire game.

Interestingly, Johnson’s teammates in the ’73 included eight future Hall of Famers. The AL squad placed nine future Hall of Famers onto their boxscore.

It’s always a juggling act for any All-Star manager these days of trying to win and trying to place every player into the boxscore.

“I remember I had Pedro Guerrero, just about the best hitter in the league at the time, and I didn’t start him. I gave him only one pinch-hit. I was trying to do him a favor cause I knew he had a little knee problem. But he was mad at me for a long time after that.”

Guerrero lined out in the tenth against Tom Henke in his only at-bat, pinch-hitting for Steve Bedrosian.

“Managing the game is very difficult cause you’re trying to win the game and trying to get everybody into the game,” Johnson emphasized. “They made the trip, so you want to get everybody in, but at the same time you want to pay service to your league and to the team.”

Putting the roster together is also a way to get yourself into trouble.

“There’s always going to be guys who deserve to be there and who you just couldn’t squeeze onto the team.”

As it turned out, Johnson ended up managing six future Hall of Famers – Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson, Mike Schmidt, Gary Carter, Ozzie Smith, and Tony Gwynn. The AL team featured six future Hall of Famers as well – Rickey Henderson, Wade Boggs, Dave Winfield, Cal Ripken, Jr., George Brett, and Kirby Puckett.

Johnson, 70, will join Mets manager Terry Collins as the two baseline coaches for this year’s All Star game at Citi Field on July 16.

Both staffs will have a definitive Mets flavor. As is the custom, the managers of the World Series the previous year run the squads, and have choice over selecting two other current managers as coaches. San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy, himself a former Met (1982), went with Collins and Johnson. AL skipper Jim Leyland, chose ex-Mets Robin Ventura and John Gibbons.

“I’m looking forward to just being on the bench and helping out Bochy,” added Johnson, “and watching him squirm trying to win and trying to get everybody in.”

Posted under Andy Esposito, Boxscore, Four Games, Future Hall Of Famers, Lee Smith, New York Mets, Pitchers, Rod Carew, Sid Fernandez, Star Appearances, Teammates, Top Story, Washington Nationals