Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson was in a jovial mood during his Wednesday morning appearance with the Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan. The skipper isn’t nearly as concerned about his team’s recent losing skid as everyone else appears to be.
He began in his patented Davey fashion — with a joke. Johnson asked Cakes to verify that he did at one point actually sleep in a coffin? Of course the story of him sleeping in a coffin for 48 hours as a publicity stunt is a legendary piece of Junkies lore so Cakes confirmed its truth.
“Was it alright? I’m probably getting close to that time,” Johnson quipped.
As talk turned to baseball, Johnson confirmed Danny Espinosa has a minor shoulder problem, but is “chomping at the bit” to get back on the field after receiving an injection recently.
Johnson says he and the team are just focused on finishing up the season and preparing for the playoffs. The Nationals aren’t concerned with the Atlanta Braves trailing them in the standings. The Braves trail the NL East leaders by 5.5 games.
“I want to clinch our division,” Johnson said. “That’s the only thing that’s important to me.”
The team has been criticized as of late for relying on the long ball to score, instead of manufacturing longer innings by putting the ball in play. The Nats lead the league with 32 home runs in September.
“We’re a well-rounded ball club,” Johnson bucked. “We’re not trying to hit homeruns, we’re trying to hit doubles.”
Davey is a high-intensity guy on and off the field, but the Junkies did ask him seriously if he was concerned about any particular teams coming down the stretch in the wild card race.
“I thought St. Louis had a really good offense,” he said. “They really scare me. Milwaukee has been impressive. All the guys can smoke the ball!”
If the season ended today St. Louis would finish with the second Wild Card spot. Milwaukee still trails the Cardinals by 2.5 games.
Of course Washington is looking for the ideal candidate for potential spot starts to finish out the season. The guys recommended Strasburg.
“That ain’t happening boys,” Johnson replied. “Don’t even start it!”