Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson and Jayson Werth watch the play against the Los Angeles Angels in the eighth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California on June 29, 2011. The Angels won 1-0. UPI/Lori Shepler.
Time to worry that the Nationals are 0-for-3 in the Davey Johnson Era? Nah.
Time to worry that Davey Johnson thought it was a good idea to bat Matt Stairs leadoff on Wednesday? Yes.
Washington Nationals new manager Davey Johnson leaves the field after batting practice before their MLB baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, California, June 27, 2011. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Angels 4, Nationals3: Danny ROY Espinosa ties game with HR in the 9th, but Burnett runs out of gas in the 10th.
At this hour, Jayson Werth is still standing at home plate (with Scott Boras behind him) with the bat on his shoulder, looking at strike 3 with the potential go-ahead run on second. Just another 0-5, 3 K night for Werth; good thing he has 6 1/2 more years to left to snap out of it.
(Davey Johnson and Mike Rizzo share a moment on a golf cart during spring training. Screen grab of TV/CSN Washington.)
“We could have absolutely no better choice to lead the Nationals at this time than Davey Johnson. He knows the game, he knows our players, he knows our fans, he knows the Washington, DC area, and he knows exactly what we need to be doing to build the Nationals into a contender.” (Mike Rizzo, via Nationals Press Release, 6/26/2011)
The Davey Johnson Era begins tonight in Anaheim...
...and the Nats are rolling. Don't go and change anything, okay Davey?
After the jump, text of the official release from the Nationals, describing the deal (he'll manage through 2011 with an option for 2012, and no matter what he'll get paid for a 3 year consulting gig.)
...you were looking at the standings again this morning, and thinking crazy thoughts, weren't you? Winning 5 consecutive series and 8 of 10 will do that to you. You're not alone. The Nats continue to be the hottest team in baseball, and now sit just 3 1/2 back of Atlanta for the NL Wild Card? Expect it?
(Danny Espinosa and Michael Morse share a moment after Espinosa's 7th inning HR. Morse seems to be having some sort of Beast Mode reaction after Ozzie Guillen pitched around him to face Danny. Headline inspired by @wa2chi. Screen grab of TV/MASN.)
That's it right there, above: John McLaren going ballistic and getting ejected from Friday night's game, an emotional roller coaster that was (of course) eventually won by the Nats under acting interim manager Trent Jewett's watch after 14 wild innings. I mean, we sort of knew going into it that McLaren had the potential to go off, but didn't think he'd get ejected in his first game as interim manager.
After the game, Mike Rizzo announced that McLaren was being removed from the bench entirely, and reassigned due to McLaren's apparent loyalty to Riggleman. Here's Rizzo:
"John and I had a long discussion. We're going to reassign him to a position to assist me in scouting and other duties, in a non-uniform capacity. ...I think he had an allegiance to Jim Riggleman and had some thoughts about really wanting to get out of uniform and into trying something different." (Mike Rizzo, via Mark Zuckerman/CSNWashington.com, 6/25/2011)
So, unless McLaren gets himself ejected from Sunday's game in spectacular fashion -- his last game in a Nationals uni before Davey Johnson takes over for the rest of the season -- , we're going to go out on a limb and call Friday night's ejection THE defining moment of the John McLaren Era for the Washington Nationals. And it was awesome.