According to reports the Washington Nationals have hired 68-year old special assistant to the team Davey Johnson to manage the Nationals for the rest of 2011 and beyond. The deal, that was being negotiated on Friday night, is said to last through 2013.
Johnson has not managed in the Majors since 2000, but has playoff and World Series experience managing teams like the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers and a U.S. Olympic Team. He also has a career .564 winning percentage and is greatly respected throughout the league. It is unknown when Johnson will join the team and take over duties from interim manager John McLaren, but rumor has it could be as soon as Monday when the Nationals begin a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels.
Johnson will be taking over a rising Washington team from exiled manager Jim Riggleman who resigned on Thursday due to contract disputes. McLaren was named interim manager that same night with full knowledge it would possibly just be a weekend job as GM Mike Rizzo was firm and focused on finding a replacement as soon as possible. McLaren was ejected from Friday night's game against the White Sox for disputing a reversed call in the eighth-inning.
Johnson taking over the reigns can only be viewed as a step in the right direction and is a lightning quick, but solid hire for the Nationals.