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Latest Davey Johnson Items
One very bad week clinched Dusty Baker's fate. The Reds decided they weren't going to bring him back.
The Reds fired Dusty Baker on Friday, ousting the manager who led them to their best stretch of success since the Big Red Machine but couldn't get them past the first round of the postseason.
Nats GM Mike Rizzo does not expect to run the decision by his players. What he might find if he asked, though, is a group that already has a pretty good idea of who they'd like to lead them.
Members of the Nationals are Catholic, or Mormon, or from Protestant denominations. Some are indifferent, or apathetic. Some are Jews, or Jehovah's Witnesses, or those who have more scientific beliefs. But this year, perhaps more than in years past, religion has become a frequent topic inside the Nationals' clubhouse.
The Nats figure to be a contender again next season. The right manager can lead them back to the playoffs. The wrong manager? He can make a mess out of a team that needs to come back strong from this disappointing season. This team can win and it needs to do it next year.
Still, Zimmermann's season solidified his place among the game's elite as he finished 19-9 with a 3.25 ERA, earned his first All-Star selection with a mind-bogglingly good first half, and continued his progression into an ace.
The 2013 season is a warning to the organization that acted as if last season's 98 wins and division title were the first of many such postseason runs. That, somehow, landing one strike away from advancing to the NLCS in 2012 meant those October opportunities will always be there in Washington.
As Davey Johnson said late Monday night, there are "a thousand different" reasons the Nationals' season ended in elimination, as opposed to celebration. Here are three issues that contributed to their struggle.
Their loss clinched the National League East title for the Atlanta Braves, who were in the midst of a victory over the Chicago Cubs. And as the Cincinnati Reds took the series from the Pittsburgh Pirates with an 11-3 victory, both NL Central teams' magic number to eliminate the Nationals from wild card contention dropped to two.