Bates: Is Davey Johnson a Hall of Fame manager?

From SABR member Mike Bates at Sports on Earth on August 12, 2013:

Davey Johnson’s swan song was supposed to go much better than this. Blessed with as good a lineup as any in the National League, incredible front-line starting pitchers, and a deep bullpen, a lot of people (myself included) figured the Nationals were a shoe-in for 95 wins. The year was supposed to end in October, with a trophy, a fitting cap to one of the brightest managerial careers in baseball history. But what was supposed to be a storybook end to a tremendous career has turned into an injury-filled, offensively bereft, under-.500 slog.

Johnson will not be replaced during the season, but that also means he is going to have to deal with another round of Blame Davey, the popular game that seems to be played whenever Johnson’s magic stops working. It will be a shame to have it end this way. There’s also cause for concern that this disappointment, combined with the imminent inductions of Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre, will overshadow what has been a Hall of Fame-worthy managerial career.

That may provoke some eye rolling — but Davey Johnson has been a hell of a manager, and despite a relatively short career and low victory total by Hall of Fame standards, he actually stacks up well both historically and against his contemporaries.

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Originally published: August 12, 2013. Last Updated: August 12, 2013.