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Davey Johnson Says He'd Like To Return As Nationals Skipper In 2012

Usually when the topic of Washington Nationals manager in 2012 comes up current manager Davey Johnson is quick to dodge questions about it or just change the subject, but for the first time the Nationals manager made his feelings known on Wednesday afternoon before the season finale with the Florida Marlins:

"I didn't plan on starting this job, but when I start something, I like to finish it," Johnson said. "We haven't finished anything yet."

"Coming into 2012, there will be very few questions. The competition will maybe be for one or two jobs," he said. "When that happens, you have a chance to contend. Because of the people in that room over there, that's why this job is attractive to me - the challenge to get to that (contending) level."

Per MLB rules the Nationals must conduct a managerial search which include minority candidates, but if GM Mike Rizzo had his way, Johnson would already have an extended contract as he tried to sign Johnson back in June. The Nationals have a very short list of candidates with Johnson on top. Third base coach Bo Porter and Triple-A manager Randy Knorr will also most likely be interviewed.

Porter recently had a second meeting with the Marlins for the open manager job, but with Florida going with former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, Porter will most likely be retained by the Nationals even if he is not to get the head job over Johnson.