Every day the Washington Nationals are reminded of the baseball treasure they still have in their midst but will be losing at the end of this season. Each week brings new Davey Johnson quips and batting tips, old stories and fresh theories — where does he come up with them all? — on seemingly everything.
All of these moments form a portrait of how kind baseball can be to a 70-year-old. Some of us wondered whether Johnson, after 101 / 2 years away from managing in the majors, would have the same good-but-no-longer-great experience as Joe Gibbs after 11 years retired from the NFL. Now we know.
Gibbs went from 140-65 (counting the playoffs) to 31-36 and had to hire new coordinators to get him up to speed. Davey went from a .564 career percentage to .563 so far with the Nats and was named the National League manager of the year last season. In the Washington clubhouse, everyone lines up to learn from Davey while there is still time. No one doubts that the best baseball mind in the room is the manager.