"It was not a tough decision for me to step in," Davey Johnson said this afternoon during his first press conference when asked about his choice to take over on the bench in D.C. as the Washington Nationals' manager, "I was really excited about even having the chance to." Asked if the team would continue to play as it has this season under his guidance, Johnson said, "Every team that you manage is different. I had, in Baltimore, it's kind of a bad comparison, we had good players, Cal Ripken, a great player, but when we came in there it was kind of like a used car lot. We didn't have a whole lot of speed and we tried to hit HR's all the time, and it took me a while to get in that swing of things."
"Cincinnati was kind of a race horse," Johnson continued, "and you manage that a little different. This ballclub here is very intriguing for me because it has a lot of speed. We've been very good stealing bases. Everybody in the lineup can actually go deep. So, there's getting to know exactly how to play it. I definitely think this club has been an underachiever offensively. I don't like to give up outs. I'll bunt when I have to, I'll hit and run when I feel like it, but I think this club just hasn't quite come into its own and it doesn't really know how a good offensive club can be and they definitely have a chance to be a good one."
As for the future, Johnson said, "The challenge that I'm facing right now is not one where I'm looking ahead. Each day I want to be good, but with an eye on tomorrow because I want to get better tomorrow. At the end of this season, I hope I'll be able to voice an opinion, but what I want is what's best for the Nationals. I want this club to win a pennant and I want it to win a World Series and I like the direction and I think it has a good chance. The future's real bright. If at the end of the season, the organization wants me to continue on, that would be something we'd talk about. But, I'm really glad that I have a number of years after this year managing to be a part of this club and its success."
• Other quotes:
• WTOP's Craig Heist (@cheist): "Davey Johnson has said he has asked Pat Corrales to be his bench coach."
• Washington Post's Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP): "Can the Nats make the playoffs? 'Most definitely,' Davey Johnson said."
• Washington Times' writer Amanda Comak (@acomak): "Davey Johnson has asked Pat Corrales to be his bench coach, he said because "then I won't be the oldest guy on the staff."