The Washington Post

Davey Johnson: ‘I’m real close to monkey tilt right now’

(Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)


The Nats are currently 10-10, which isn’t an awful place to be three weeks into the season. But clearly the general expecation was that the Nats are supposed to be a better team than that .500 suggests, and the villagers are securing their torches as we speak.

Davey Johnson is a little more even-keeled, and he talked to the Junkies on 106.7 on Wednesday about it.

“Baseball’s just like life,” he said. “At times you go through bad times. What do you do? You don’t jump off a cliff, or do crazy things. You just keep perseverance.”

The Nats manager also admitted that he wasn’t always the calm and collected guy we know today.

“I tried to copy Early Weaver,” he said, when asked who he models his managerial style after. “I think it was my first week of managing in New York and I came out to home plate, starting arguing with the umpire, kicking dirt around. And they threw me out and said, ‘We ain’t taking Earl Weaver crap here.’

“It doesn’t do a whole lot of good ranting and raving,” he continued. “I talk to guys individually, and it’s whatever…it takes a long time [for me] to boil over. When I do, you don’t want to be around me. I’d try to go in there and start fighting people, and me get beat up.”

That reminded the radio hosts of the term “monkey tilt,” which commonly refers to that moment in poker where anger leads to reckless bets that cost you money. Like betting half your roll chasing an inside straight. Or going all in pre-flop with a J-2 in hand.

Johnson had never heard the term, but after a brief lesson, he caught on quick to the phrase.

“A lot of us are on monkey tilt,” he laughed. “I’m real close to monkey tilt right now.”



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