Filtering by Tag: Davey Johnson

The Washington Nationals Leadership Void

You've got to have heart right now. You've got to play as a family, and everybody's got to want it, starting with the manager on down to everybody. --Bryce Harper

The above quote is from Bryce Harper's post game comments, and it highlights something that has been an issue with the Nationals all season long. Back in Spring Training when asked about retirement Davey Johnson gave a weird comment about working until you die and if it were up to him this wouldn't be his last season. Right from the start it sounded like there was a rift in the organization. That if Davey Johnson had his way he would be here for more than one more season and that essentially he was being forced out, but no one expected this to be a problem because Davey Johnson is a professional. 

Then Spring Training got underway and the Nationals had one of the most boring Spring Trainings in recent memory. The roster was set even before pitchers and catchers reported, and because of this Davey Johnson ran a loose and fun Spring Training, but then April came. The Nationals got off to a hot 7-3 start but there were signs of trouble. The defense was poor and error prone, base runners ran into far too many outs, and mistakes would be in at bats with batters swinging at a pitcher's pitch in a 3-0 or 3-1 count. Many of these issues have fixed themselves as the season has gone along. The defense has tightened up and the base running has improved, but the Nats still look robotic when ahead in the count swinging more to swing than waiting for a pitch that can be driven.

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Nontroversy of the Day: Resting for the Playoffs

Earlier today, Davey Johnson made the statement that should the Nats clinch the Division, that he would be resting his starters. Since word of that broke, the world has gone crazy. I’m not talking about Nats fans, although truth be told I haven’t been on twitter much today so I don’t know what the landscape looks like on this “issue”. I’m talking once again about the outsiders, the national media and fans of other teams.

Let’s get one thing straight; should the Nats clinch the division, Davey isn’t going to bench the entire starting lineup from the next day until the end of the regular season.

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Treading Water

Much has been discussed about the 'premature' shutdown of Stephen Strasburg, as the Nationals head into the last month of the regular season with a commanding lead over the Atlanta Braves for the top spot in the NL East. I won't inundate you with links for the thoughts, and opinions of many who have weighed in on the matter; a bit of googling or 30 seconds of listening in to the sports talk radio show of your liking will give you all of the fodder you need to keep abreast of the situation. In the end, the decision to keep Strasburg at what many consider to be a pedestrian 160ish innings for the season, postseason be damned, rests with but a handful of people; those people will continue to toe the company line, and say that this decision was done with the best of intentions, not only for Strasburg, but for the collective futures of those affiliated with the Nationals.
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Clippard's Closing, Not A Bad Plan A

Much has been ado about the last two outings of current Nationals closer, Tyler Clippard, and his propensity for ladling up the late inning long ball, lunch lady style. Put into the role during Drew Storen’s extended stay on the DL, the bespectacled wonder has done an admirable job as the fill-in while Storen has rehabbed a bum elbow for nearly all of 2012. The return of the ‘other’ 1st round draft pick of the Nats in 2009 has Twitter a-twitter over who will man the 9th for the first place Nats. Will the overall success of Clippard in the closer role be enough to convince manager Davey Johnson to stay put with Clip, or will having Storen back on the roster mark the return of Clip to 8th inning set up duties, where his dominance of that inning was worthy of a 2011 All-Star selection?
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