The Washington Nationals were the surprise team of the year. Not surprising as to not having an enormous amount of talent and to not expecting to go far because they do have an enormous talent pool and are expected to go far it was just that people did not expect them to do what they did so soon. The Nationals won 98 games, the National League East division and home field advantage in the playoffs and because of that, manager Davey Johnson was named the 2012 National League Manager of the Year Tuesday.
Johnson has been managing the Nationals since the middle of the 2011 season. He helped the Nationals get to the playoffs for the first time since the team moved to the D.C. area. This is his first team managing since 2000 when he managed the Los Angeles Dodgers. Johnson holds a career record 2283-1286.
Johnson did not have such an easy going season. The biggest turmoil he ran into was the decision to continue starting Stephen Strasburg. Ultimately, Strasburg was benched after winning 15 games for the team before September even began. Strasburg was not used for the playoffs either, a move widely criticized around baseball. The Nationals lost in the first round of the playoffs to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Saturday, Johnson and the Nationals agreed to a new contract. Johnson, 70, will enter his final year as a field manager in 2013 before becoming a consultant in 2014. The team still has a lot of talent returning to the field in 2013 and there should not be a reason why the Nationals couldn’t win the East for a second straight year.
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