Johnson talks attendance, hot start, plans to rest Zimmerman

Davey Johnson brought his sense of humor to today's pregame press conference.

Asked why he thinks Edwin Jackson's been traded so many times in his career (the total is now at six), Johnson took the comical approach with his response.

"I don't know; why have I been fired so many times?" he said.

A few minutes later, Johnson mentioned that he doesn't normally view left-handers as being good athletes.

Why's that?

Davey Johnson talks about how the Nats' recent success has attracted more fans

"Because they throw with the wrong hand," Johnson quipped.

OK, then.

Johnson said that he plans to hold Ryan Zimmerman out of tomorrow's lineup, because with the Nationals' scheduled off day on Monday, Zimmerman would be able to rest two days in a row. Looking at the weather for tomorrow, it seems like there's a good chance everyone in the Nationals lineup might get the day off, as heavy rain is supposed to fall throughout the day.

Through nine home games, the Nationals have drawn an average attendance of 24,485, ranking 24th in the league. The fans that have shown up have been vocal, especially late in games when the Nats have been involved in dramatic finishes.

Johnson said that if the Nats continue to win, he expects to see the attendance rise and the atmosphere at Nationals Park to grow more intense.

"It's always been the history of cities I've been in, that if you win, you draw more fans," Johnson said. "People like a winner. When it was Baltimore, which was known for being Johnny Unitas-town, when we started winning, we drew pretty good. I think the same thing would happen here in Washington. I think it's a good baseball area. We love our football, too, but I think the fans will come out more in droves when we prove that we can contend."

The Nats aren't just contending through their first 15 games, they're excelling. Washington sits atop the National League East by a full game and a half entering today's play and is tied for the most wins in the majors. But Johnson isn't letting the early hot start distract from the overall goal.

"I think it's always important to get off to a good start," Johnson said. "You kind of set the tempo of the kind of team you are. And we've kind of set the tempo of being involved in a lot of low run scoring games. We know we've got some work to do with the offense, pick up the offense a little bit to make it a little easier.

"It's such a long year. They're all important. Every day has its own value. I don't put any greater value on April than I do any other month."

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