Turns out he had decided this was a playoff team six months previously, before Edwin Jackson and before Gio Gonzalez and before he was even assured of managing the Nats in 2012.
“We weren’t .500 last year, but I knew,” Johnson told USA Today in a long profile that ran on Tuesday. “I knew in August this club had enough talent and, if we played up to our potential, we could win the pennant. My consulting to Rizzo was, ‘You need to hire me back.’”
The Dick Cheney strategy! And at the same time that USA Today was celebrating Johnson, some players were making unflattering comments about Jim Riggleman.
“I don’t see us in this position if [Jim] Riggleman is our manager,” Jayson Werth said, via Kilgore.
“Between last year and this year, it’s night and day, Werth said, via Ladson. “Just the whole atmosphere in the clubhouse. You have an iconic manager that really knows how to handle this team. If we still had a guy like Riggleman as the manager, I don’t think the team is where it’s at.”
“I’m sure every manager wishes he had the track record and the résumé of Davey to be able do whatever he wants,” Ryan Zimmerman said, via that USA Today story. “He’ll make a decision, and you’ll be, like, ‘Man, that was pretty gutsy.’ It’s something a lot of us had never seen before, but it made us more comfortable.”
BECAUSE YOU DON’T READ THE PAPER...
Kilgore has a nice story about Jayson Werth, which closes like this: “I feel good. I feel comfortable. I’m in a good place. I love my team. I love my town.”
Tracee Hamilton says chill out, everyone, the Nats just had a bad weekend.
Robert Griffin III says he’s ready for the Saints and Week 1.
Skins trade Barnes, cut Rackers.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
After a night of obsessive retweeting, RGIII says he’s sorry.
Good morning peopleMake the most of this dayFor me that means starting by apologizing to my followers for all the RT last night— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) August 28, 2012
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
Chad Tracy is impressed by Roger Bernadina:
“The guy is a Greek god. I’ve played against him but you don’t realize how solid he is until you see him with his shirt off....If I had that body, I’d never have clothes on.”
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
The Nats are in Miami at 7 on MASN2. The Orioles host the White Sox at 7 on MASN. All TV/Radio listings are here.
The Redskins signed Billy Cundiff and released Graham Gano. That means the team will trot out at least its 17th place kicker over the past 18 seasons, which is remarkable. See the list here.
OUT OF WORK KNUBLE
“My situation will be in a limbo until the labor situation is settled,” the former Caps fan favorite told his hometown paper. “There are a group of free agents who will get kind of plucked and hopefully put places, and that includes me.” (Via Japers)
Upcoming: a mural outside Ben’s Chili Bowl featuring Bill Cosby, Barack Obama, Donnie Simpson and Chuck Brown. See DCist.