Your clubhouse leader for least surprising press release of the 2012 offseason:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 31, 2011
DAVEY JOHNSON TO RETURN AS NATIONALS FIELD MANAGER IN 2012
The Washington Nationals today announced they have exercised Davey Johnson’s managerial option for the 2012 season. Nationals Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.
Johnson will continue the on-field efforts he began on June 27, when he assumed the Nationals’ managerial helm.
“After a series of discussions, it became obvious that the Nationals would be best served if Davey Johnson would continue as manager,” Rizzo said. “Davey’s remarkable connection to the clubhouse and D.C. community during the season’s final three months was well received. His baseball acumen coupled with a proper off-season of planning, including a full regiment of Spring Training, should put our players in a position to succeed in 2012.”
Apart from being 100% expected, this is fine. Any manager who isn't purely a placeholder deserves at least one full season. In 2012 Davey will have his players executing his strategies. We'll see what happens.
UPDATE: WaPo's Adam Kilgore says that current bench coach Pat Corrales is stepping down, to be replaced "by a younger coach who could potentially replace Davey Johnson as the Nationals' long-term manager after the 2012 or 2013 season."
That too just makes sense, as Davey will be the oldest manager in baseball in 2012, and if the Nats have a successor in mind, it's probably good to lock him in, and get him an apprenticeship of sorts under D.J.. If the Nats are serious about contending in 2012 and beyond, they'll want a manager who is familiar with the players, rather than someone who is coming in cold from outside the organization.