Johnson will return to manage in 2013, shift to consultant role in 2014

The Washington Nationals today announced that Davey Johnson will return in 2013 for his final managerial campaign before shifting to a consultant position with the Nationals in 2014. Nationals Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

“I love managing this ballclub in this town, and for that, I owe a debt of gratitude to the Lerner Family and Mike Rizzo,” said Johnson. “As everyone knows, we have some unfinished business to tend to in ‘13. I have a feeling this upcoming season will be filled with many memorable moments.”

In 2012, Johnson’s first full season as Nationals skipper, he led Washington to an MLB-leading 98 wins, an NL East title and DC’s first postseason berth in 79 years. The Nationals either led the NL East or shared its top spot for all but 10 days this season, and by season’s end, owned the best run differential (+137) in MLB.

Along the way, the 69 year-old Johnson managed one of baseball’s top rotations (NL-best 3.40 rotation ERA) that employed only eight starting pitchers, five of which started at least 27 games. His lineups produced 194 home runs (second in NL) to establish both franchise (1969-2012) and DC baseball (1901-71, 2005-12) single-season marks. Meanwhile, the Nationals’ 51 unearned runs allowed tied for the third-fewest in the NL (as recently as 2010, Washington ranked 29th in MLB allowing 84 unearned runs).

Since assuming the Nationals’ managerial helm on June 27, 2011, Johnson’s Nationals are 138-107 (.563). In that same time span, only the Braves (139) have won more games among NL entries.

Johnson has authored six division titles (‘12 Nationals, ‘97 Orioles, ‘95 Reds, ‘94 Reds, ‘88 Mets, ‘86 Mets), one pennant (‘86 Mets) and one World Championship (‘86 Mets) during his stellar managerial career.

Also in 2012, Johnson registered his seventh 90-win campaign and joined Billy Martin (Twins, Tigers, Yankees, Athletics) as the game’s lone skippers to take four different teams to the postseason.

Among those to manage 1000 or more games, Johnson’s career winning percentage (1286-995, .564) ranks second among all living managers behind his former skipper, Earl Weaver (.583).