Two things were made official in Washington on Friday afternoon.
Well, I take that back, one thing was made official and the other part will almost certainly become official.
What we know for sure is Davey Johnson, a Manager of the Year finalist in the National League, will return for his third season as Washington Nationals skipper — his 17th overall. What could be true is this will be Johnson's swan song, as sources have told MLB.com's Bill Ladson that the 70 year old plans on retiring at the conclusion of the season.
Assuming Johnson follows through with his plan — which isn't always a wise thing to do with managers and coaches — he'll finish with a career record well north of .500. His overall mark currently sits at 1,286-995, while his record with Washington is 138-107 in just over a year and a half on the job. He also led the Nationals to their first playoff berth since moving to Washington, and their first overall berth since 1981 when they were the Montreal Expos.
Needless to say, Johnson is worthy of his selection as a MOY finalist based on those achievements, and all signs point to him being the overwhelming favorite to win it.
But when looking back at his entire managerial career, it's somewhat amazing to note that Johnson has led four of the five teams he's managed to division titles despite the fact only one of those tenures lasted more than two full seasons. That would be with the New York Mets where he spent seven seasons and won the NL East in 1986 — which turned into a world championship — and 1988. He then guided the Cincinnati Reds and Baltimore Orioles to division championships in 1995 and 1997 respectively, before turning the trick with Washington this season.
The only team he didn't get to the playoffs were the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1999-2000, but he still managed 163-161 record thanks to a nine-game improvement in his second season, putting him over .500 at all five stops.
In other words, Davey Johnson's teams have consistently improved, played to their potential, and ultimately achieved success under his watch. And if that trend continues, Johnson's could end up going out on top as the Nationals are unquestionably set up to build on their 2012 success.