LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) – Davey Johnson made his Sports Junkies debut Wednesday to explain how the Nationals are already seven wins better than their best record in team history, with 20 games still to play.
Although it’s no surprise, Johnson loves his young center fielder Bryce Harper. Touting the kid’s unbelievable high motor, “He’s a Pete Rose guy,” Davey said proudly. “There is no let up. ”
The Nationals at 88-54, boast a 7.5 game lead over the Atlanta Braves and are making a hard campaign for Johnson to win his first National League Manager of the Year award. But they did struggle at times in the month of August, losing five games in a row at one point.
During the low point of that losing streak — being swept in three games by Philadelphia — Johnson held a closed door team meeting in the clubhouse, leaving members of the media to speculate on what was said.
“I’m a pretty good manager, and I know that. I had that meeting so you guys thought I was doing something!”
It’s been quite a rebound for the Nationals this season, already improving eight wins over last season and a whopping 19 victories better than in 2010.
“I don’t try to coach them too much,” Johnson said. “I just let them be themselves.”
Johnson also told the Junkies he believes Adam LaRoche is a certified MVP candidate, comparing him defensively to Keith Hernandez of his ’86 Mets.
While on the discussion of infielders, he added, “I feel like I got four Gold Glovers in the infield.