Davey Johnson: ‘I’ve been terrible’


(Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

After enjoying 12 months of Hosannas from Nats fans, Davey Johnson has come under a bit of fire recently, because fans are grumpy and tired of losing. Eric Bickel of 106.7 The Fan’s Junkies mentioned that to the manager Wednesday morning, and then asked him to evaluate his own performance.

“Hey, I’ve been terrible,” Johnson said. (Listen to the audio here.) “Horse bleep. You know, my job is to put guys in situations where they can do well. And obviously, I’ve not done my job, because guys have not performed well. And that’s a problem.”

So, is he worried about his job security?

“No,” Johnson said. “I mean, it’s not like I haven’t been fired before. You know, I don’t have to agree with it. Any time somebody doesn’t do what you know they’re capable of doing, if you don’t look in the mirror and think there’s something you did wrong, you’re crazy.”

At which point John Auville noted that Johnson might be more worried about Social Security than job security.

“Hey, I’ve got Social Security, baby,” Johnson reassured the hosts. “Don’t worry about that. I started taking mine a long time ago. And this month I’ve also got to start taking money out of my IRA. So if they want to fire me, I’ll be fishing somewhere.”

Bickel also asked about another popular whipping boy for fans: hitting coach Rick Eckstein.

First of all guys, we’ve got the best hitting coach in baseball,” Johnson said. “And I’ll tell, you what, he teaches exactly what I teach. So if you fired him, you might as well fire me. First of all, he’s the hardest worker on the ballclub. He takes every guy personally. He would be there 24/7 for anybody to hit. He’s very well organized. His philosophy I agree with 1000 percent….He’s, as far as I’m concerned, the best hitting coach in baseball. I agree 1000 percent with what he teaches. And besides that, he’s just an outstanding individual.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg · June 5, 2013