Who can forget 1986 and the amazing Mets team that dominated baseball that year en route to a World Series Championship? At the helm of that great team was none other than the best manager the Mets have ever had: Davey Johnson. We love Davey Johnson for all those great memories – but seriously, someone has to say it: has the game passed him by?
Last year, Nationals management and Davey Johnson made the ridiculous decision to shut down possibly the best pitcher in baseball at the time in Stephan Strasburg, arguably costing Washington a World Series appearance and maybe more. This year, he’s managing a stacked team that currently is playing .500 ball at 40 wins, 40 losses with a team that can’t even beat the Mets after the Mets 5-1 victory at Citi Field – a game where the Nationals looked completely lost in the field and at the plate.
When a team plays this poorly, generally fans and media alike all jump on the manager (a la Terry Collins) and relentlessly call for his firing. But for whatever reason, Johnson seems to be immune from any criticism.
Granted the Nats have Bryce Harper and Dan Haren on the disabled list, but come on – this is a team many predicted for 100 wins and easily winning the NL East, yet they are playing lifeless baseball and needed an amazing comeback against the Mets bullpen just to beat the Mets the other night.
Today’s game featured 3 official Nat errors (and 3 more that I can think of which can be classified as “mental mistakes”), poor hitting fundamentals (please, Dillon Gee is no Matt Harvey), and worst of all, an obvious lack of hustle. Do they think they’re going to magically “turn it on” and dominate the division whenever they want? It just seems to me that when other good teams play this way, the manager always takes the heat – just ask Mike Scioscia of the Angels about that!
What happens when the Mets bullpen fails? Terry Collins is an idiot and the bullpen coach is senile. What happens when the Mets can’t hit? Terry Collins doesn’t use the proper batting order and the hitting coach is incompetent. What happens when the Mets make mental errors resulting in humiliating losses? Terry Collins doesn’t know how to manage and should be fired immediately. And this is all with low expectations because people know the Mets are a bad team!
What happens when the Nationals fail to perform as expected? Oh, they’re just going through a rough stretch. That would never have happened in 1986. I’ve watched a number of Nationals games this year and have noticed Davey Johnson making extremely questionable strategic moves, mismanaging his entire team, and generally looking as clueless as Ike Davis at the plate. Despite injuries, someone has to answer for the Nationals .500 record. They should be playing so much better.
Thanks for the memories Davey – you were once great! Now, I’m not too sure. Let’s hope he and the Nationals proves me wrong, because I really don’t want to see Atlanta win this division.