MLB.com’s Bill Ladson is reporting that GM Mike Rizzo held a press conference with local reporters on Wednesday afternoon. One of the more noteworthy points that was made by Rizzo was that the team hoping to make a formal announcement regarding their 2012 manager in the days following the conclusion of the World Series. According to Ladson’s sources, it is expected that Davey Johnson will return to the role for next season.
Now, to most people this comes as no surprise. It has widely been expected since the team’s regular season ended that the job was Johnson’s if he wanted it. To many, the past month has been spent under the assumption that Johnson was going to return, as the Washington job has frequently been overlooked in every offseason discussion about possible coaching changes. However, there is a segment of the baseball fan base, myself included, that has been questioning who the right man for this job would be.
Now, I’ve made no secret to the fact that I don’t believe Johnson is the right manager for this team beyond the 2012 season. I have never said, however, that he couldn’t be the right manager for the 2012 season. I am just a firm believer that any team needs to generally focus on the short and long terms equally. And I don’t see the Nationals as a team ready to take that next step in 2012, meaning the long term is of slightly higher priority right now.
Those feelings aside, Johnson did a fair job with the team once he took this past season and I’m anxious to see what he’s able to do heading into a full season with the job in hand. Ladson stated that Rizzo declined to get into specifics regarding the upcoming announcement – meaning he didn’t provide any insight into who might have been interviewed/considered or what the team plans to do with regards to the coaching staff.
Johnson reportedly will be given the opportunity to voice his opinions and concerns to Rizzo, apparently a point that was important to him if he was going to remain in the position. We do not know yet any details regarding his contract status. Johnson’s original deal that brought him to the Nationals in an advisory capacity had a contract which runs out after the 2012 season. I’d guess that when an announcement is formally made we’ll learn more about that aspect of things.