Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson was named the Sporting News’ National League Manager of the Year on Wednesday morning, the first award of what could be a season flush with them for the National League East champions.
The Sporting News’ awards are not considered the “official” postseason awards, those recognized league-wide and voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America, but it is an honor nonetheless for the Nationals’ 69-year-old skipper. He stewarded the best team in baseball, a 98-win unit, and helped deliver the first winning season since baseball returned to the District in 2005.
Johnson was awarded the title by a vote of National League managers, getting four votes for the honor to best Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker’s three and one each for Bruce Bochy (San Francisco Giants) and Ron Roenicke (Milwaukee Brewers).
“To be recognized by my fellow comrades, a particularly accomplished bunch, makes this award especially meaningful,” Johnson told the Sporting News. “I send my thanks to them and the folks at Sporting News, as well as the Lerner Family and Mike Rizzo for giving me the opportunity to manage such a special, talented group of men.
“To put on the uniform every day and compete is an honor I never take for granted.”
The award didn’t venture far on the American League side with Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter taking home the AL honors. It’s possible both men will be honored with the BBWAA award as well when it’s announced on Nov. 13.
The Sporting News has already announced its winners for the Rookie of the Year, an award that went to Diamondbacks pitcher Wade Miley in the NL with Bryce Harper finishing third, as well as its Comeback Player of the Year, which went to Giants catcher Buster Posey with Adam LaRoche finishing second. Harper is expected to be in the mix for the BBWAA Rookie of the Year award as well (announced on Nov. 12) and Gio Gonzalez is expected to be a contender for the BBWAA Cy Young Award (announced Nov. 14).
The Sporting News will announce its All-Star teams on Thursday and its Player of the Year on Friday.