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Rizzo: Davey Johnson will be managing the Nationals 'very soon'

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Mike Rizzo, Nationals GM, announced that Davey Johnson will take over as field manager for the team and will be in uniform for Monday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels.

Davey Johnson. (Photo: Associated Press)

Johnson, who managed the New York Mets to a World Series championship in 1986, has been a senior adviser to Rizzo since 2009. Rizzo said that Johnson has agreed to a three-year consulting contract that will have him remain with the Nationals after this season and allow him to participate in the hiring of his successor.

The full release from the Nationals Sunday afternoon is below the AP story.

Washington Nationals make Davey Johnson manager

CHICAGO (AP) - Davey Johnson was announced as the manager of the Washington Nationals on Sunday, three days after Jim Riggleman stunned the team by resigning.

Johnson will manage the rest of the season and his first game will be Monday against the Los Angeles Angels. He has been a senior adviser with the team since 2009, though he hasn't managed in the big leagues since 2000 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Johnson also agreed to a three-year consulting contract that will allow him to remain with the team and participate in the selection of a successor.

Interim manager John McLaren ran the team for the third straight game in Sunday's series finale against the Chicago White Sox. Riggleman's former bench coach will leave the team after the game and be reassigned to scouting duties within the organization.

The 68-year-old Johnson managed the Mets, Dodgers, Reds and Orioles over 14 seasons and compiled a 1148-888 record. He led the 1986 Mets to a World Series championship, and 11 of his teams finished first or second 14 times.

Even though he hasn't managed in the majors for 11 years, Johnson did skipper Team USA in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, the 2008 Olympic team in Beijing, and two summers ago managed amateur players in a Florida summer collegiate league.

Riggleman resigned abruptly Thursday after the Nationals beat Seattle, unhappy that general manager Mike Rizzo declined to have a conversation about picking up his option for 2012. The departure was stunning for its timing - the Nationals have won 12 of their last 14 games.

It was the second time in a week a manager has resigned and been replaced. Florida skipper Edwin Rodriguez quit last Sunday and was replaced by 80-year-old Jack McKeon.

"I know they've got great vision here. I know Davey Johnson is gonna do a great job here," McLaren said before his final game Sunday. McLaren said he met with Nationals players in groups to tell them about his future.

"I didn't want them to not hear it from me," McLaren said. "I feel bad about Jim Riggleman. It's a tough situation for everybody. He's a good friend. I wish it hadn't gone down like this, but it did and I think we'll move on."

###

The full release from the Nationals:

NATIONALS NAME DAVEY JOHNSON FIELD MANAGER

From: John Dever

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Washington Nationals today announced that Davey Johnson has been named to serve as field manager and will be in uniform Monday for the Nationals game against the Los Angeles Angels. Nationals Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

Johnson, a senior advisor to Rizzo since 2009, will direct the Nationals on the field for the remainder of the 2011 season. He also agreed to a three-year consulting contract that will have him remain with the Nationals after this season and allow him to participate in the hiring of his successor.

“We could have absolutely no better choice to lead the Nationals at this time than Davey Johnson,” Rizzo said. “He knows the game, he knows our players, he knows our fans, he knows the Washington, DC area, and he knows exactly what we need to be doing to build the Nationals into a contender.”

Rizzo said he and Johnson talked about the appointment immediately after Jim Riggleman announced his resignation suddenly Thursday. He said Johnson agreed to manage for the remainder of the season and would work with Rizzo during the post season to evaluate management needs for 2012.

“We are extraordinarily fortunate to have Davey Johnson as a member of our staff and one who can provide so much immediate leadership and credibility,” said Theodore N. Lerner, Nationals Managing Principal Owner. “He has been valuable as an advisor, and he’ll be even more valuable as our field manager. I believe our fans and our players will love having him at the helm and will feel confident with his leadership.”

A former World Series winning player and manager, Johnson assumes the helm of the Nationals, his fifth big league club. Johnson previously skippered four big league teams—the Mets, Reds, Orioles and Dodgers—for 14 seasons, compiling a 1148-888 record and a .564 career winning percentage that ranks second to only Earl Weaver (.583) among living managers with 10 or more years of experience.

In 14 big league seasons, Johnson’s clubs finished first or second 11 times, including five division titles, one pennant and one World Championship earned with the Mets in 1986. Johnson’s clubs authored six 90-win campaigns and his 1994 Reds were on pace for 94 wins and led the NL Central at the time of the strike. His 1986 and ’88 Mets registered triple-digit win totals, posting 108 and 100 victories, respectively.

In 1997, Johnson was named American League Manager of the Year after guiding the Orioles to a 98-64 (.605) record. Those ’97 Orioles claimed the AL East flag, finishing 2.0 games ahead of the 96-win Yankees.

He is one of only seven living men to have won a World Series ring as a player and manager, joining Alvin Dark, Joe Girardi, Ralph Houk, Lou Piniella, Mike Scioscia and Red Schoendienst.

Johnson joined the Nationals on Nov. 18, 2009 after managing Team USA to a semi-finals berth in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Johnson has managed or coached five Team USA professional squads since 2005, including the 2008 Olympic team.

As a player, Johnson hit .261 with 136 home runs and 609 RBI in 13 big league seasons during a career that included a stint in Japan. Johnson was a four-time All-Star, won three Gold Gloves, played in five post-seasons and earned a pair of World Series rings with the Orioles in 1966 and 1970. He also owns the distinction that he was the only player to have hit behind Hank Aaron and Japan’s all-time home run king, Sadaharu Oh.

Johnson was among the 10 finalists for consideration among Managers and Umpires for Hall of Fame election through the Veterans Committee in 2009.

John Dever
SR. DIRECTOR, BASEBALL MEDIA RELATIONS | BASEBALL OPERATIONS

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