Davey Johnson's Future With The Washington Nationals Still Not Crystal Clear

6:37 PM, Oct 16, 2012   |    comments
The Nats complextion would be much different without Davey (US Presswire)
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Want to know why Davey Johnson was so effective at running the Washington Nationals this season? Read this tweet from Thomas Boswell:

There will be no such thing as replacing Davey Johnson, who provided some interesting comments to Washington Post beat reporter Adam Kilgore on Tuesday about his future.

Nearly everything he touched turned into gold in 2012 for the Nats. Ross Detwiler over John Lannan? Steve Lombardozzi in left field? Leadoff Jayson Werth? Sure, why not.

The starting rotation flaming out the gates helped the team's cause, but we all know the players and the town would be devastated by Johnson's departure. It was Johnson's crafty touch and hands-off style which appealed to the clubhouse.

Although it doesn't seem realistic to think he would retire under the circumstances on how his ball club was eliminated, Johnson is turning 70-years-old in January. He very may well decide relaxing in Winter Park, Florida with his wife sounds more appeasing than traveling for 81 road games. Johnson has always been his own agent and has had messy relationships in the past with ownership, although that will highly unlikely be a problem with the Lerner's.

So what would Mike Rizzo and the Nationals do? Who would they turn to? Here is a potential list.

Bob Brenly

Currently: Broadcaster for the Cubs and TBS

History: Manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks 2001-2004. Won a World Series in 2001, lost in NLDS 2002, fired in 2004. Career record of 303-262.

Why him: A scout conversed to me that Brenly has been interested in leaving the press box and returning to the dugout. Brenly's style would be similar to that of Johnson's -- laid back. He also has experience dealing with stellar rotations. Remember the potent Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson duo back in 2001.

Ryne Sandberg

Currently: Third base coach of the Philadelphia Phillies.

History: Long time Chicago Cub was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005. Managed three years with the A-Peoria Chiefs, one year with the AA-Tennessee Smokies, one year with the AAA-Iowa Cubs and two years with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Why him: Sandberg has been tabbed by some as the best upcoming prospect in terms of MLB managers. He's paid his dues for long enough riding the bus in the minor leagues and was stiffed by the Cubs in 2010, when he was a finalist. Sandberg has essentially been named the manager in waiting for Charlie Manuel in Philadelphia, but it's hard to believe he could turn the Nats -- and their much better roster -- down.

Mark McGwire

Currently: Hitting coach with the St. Louis Cardinals.

History: 12-time all-star, two-time World Series champ, hitting coach since 2012.

Why him: Yes, the Cardinals lineup is as stellar as they come. But who is keeping their minds right? Who is studying the opposing pitching and picking up signs? McGwire's strong impact in St. Louis has been noted, and if the Cards repeat as champs, someone is going to swoop up McGwire.

Randy Knorr

Currently: Bench coach with the Washington Nationals.

History: 10-year veteran, World Series champ in 1993 with the Blue Jays, manager of the A-Potomac Nationals in 2008 and the AAA-Syracuse Chiefs in 2011.

Why him: It's the least sexy choice in this list, but Knorr was essentially tutored by Davey Johnson during 2012, and would hopefully pick up the veteran manager's pointers. Knorr, 43, is relatively young too.

Bo Porter

Currently: Manager of the Houston Astros

History: Florida Marlins third base coach, outfield and base running instructor from 2007-2009, Arizona Diamondbacks third base coach in 2010, Washington Nationals third base coach from 2011-2012.

Why him: A native of Houston, Porter was quoted as calling the Astros gig a "dream job." Still, many Nationals pundits had pegged the fiery Porter as Davey's successor. If Porter realistically thinks about it, would he rather manage the worst team in baseball -- who is also heading to the league's toughest division in the AL West -- or a team poised to compete for a World Series the rest of the decade? Coaches have spurned teams before (think Lane Kiffin and Bill Bellichick) and I don't think many people would ridicule Porter for sticking with the Nats.

Mark DeRosa

Currently: Bench player for the Washington Nationals

History: 15-year veteran, World Series champ in 2010 with the Giants.

Why him: There is probably less than a 2 percent chance of this happening, but if the Nationals players were making the decision, it's likely they would choose DeRosa. Davey Johnson considered him an extended arm of his coaching staff, and his rah-rah speeches and humorous approach would keep guys interested.

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