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Ouija board: Nationals manager Davey Johnson resorts to dark forces to make lineup

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Desperate for his team to escape the gravity of .500 and finally contend for real in the National League pennant race, manager Davey Johnson is trying anything to get the Washington Nationals hitting.

Even sorcery.

''I am going crazy,'' Johnson concluded.

Whatever it takes, the Associated Press reports:

''I don't have the answers. I mean, I still love this ballclub. I still like the talent. I like the makeup. My Ouija board is just, I'm having a problem with it. It seems like when we hit, we all hit, and when we don't, we don't hit. ... We've been in that cycle for a long time.''

Ouija?! Is this a Washington Mystics game? Johnson dabbling in dark forces worked out Thursday, as the Nationals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-5 with the help of a big day from Wilson Ramos. He homered and drove in five runs after missing 44 games because of a strained left hamstring. Hey, nothing that some good, old-fashioned witchcraft couldn't cure.

Ian Desmond also contributed three hits, two stolen bases and two runs scored after being moved from the sixth spot in the batting order to second. Johnson said he had an "epiphany" Wednesday night and decided to make a change.

An epiphany, or a seance?

Black magic lineup, they got a black magic lineup. They got a black magic lineup, scoring runs so the Nats can win.

Unless it was jewelry.

Johnson was sporting the red, white and blue necklace given to all Nationals players and staff for the Independence Day matinee.

''It's my hit machine,'' he said.

Johnson was also clearly happy to have Ramos back in the lineup. [...]

''Hopefully he won't have any more problems,'' said Johnson, who then superstitiously knocked on the table four times.

Happy 43-42 record!

Big BLS H/N: Chicago Tribune

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