WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 16: Davey Johnson: "Baseball town!" Ump: "Football town!" Davey Johnson: "BASEBALL TOWN!!" Ump: "FOOTBALL TOWN!! Davey Johnson: "BASEBALL TOWN!!! (ed note - "Not real quotes.") (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
69-year-old Washington Nationals' skipper Davey Johnson was featured in a segment of the MLB Network's show MLB Tonight last night. The MLB Network's Alanna Rizzo talked to the Nationals' manager and spoke to Nats' GM Mike Rizzo, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, left-hander Gio Gonzalez, reliever Brad Lidge and second baseman Danny Espinosa about Johnson and the impact the veteran of thirteen seasons as a player and sixteen as a manager has had on the nation's capital's Nats. It was Johnson though who provided the headline grabbing quote, just as he did during Spring Training when he told CSNWashington.com's Kelli Johnson that the Nationals could fire him if the team didn't make the postseason. Now Johnson's back with another bold pronouncement:
"I like challenges and this is a challenge to put Washington on the map. It’s a baseball town, not a football town.
"The talent is here. If we play up to our potential, we’ll win. It’s that simple and it’s my job to make it easy for them to play up to their potential and If I don’t do that then I’ve failed. I’ve been fired a few other times so it won’t be the first [time]."
It's Johnson's history in the game, confidence in his team and willingness to stir things up that seems to have impressed his players, with Ryan Zimmerman telling the MLB Network's Ms. Rizzo, "He has supreme confidence in us and nobody has had that in us for the past five years, or ever since I’ve been here, nobody has even talked about that." Unfortunately for all the love Johnson gets, not one of the Nats asked could name the four teams the one-time Orioles, Phillies, Braves and _ _ _ _ infielder played for during his on-field career? Anyone? C'mon Nats and Nats fans know your manager's history!! OK, I'll admit I forgot about Davey's time with the fourth team.
• You can watch the entire MLB Network segment below...