Nationals reflect on their time with Davey

By Tom Schad | Associate Reporter

Davey Johnson managed his last game for the Nationals on Sunday, ending (for now, anyways) a storied baseball career in which he played and managed more than 3,800 games. Here’s what some of his players had to say about their departing skipper:

Ian Desmond
“Davey obviously means a lot to all of us in here. He’s done a great job. He’s really brought out the best in us. Hopefully if one day I get the opportunity to manage, I can do it just like he does.”

Dan Haren
“He has so many accomplishments. I didn’t even think of the stuff that he had done and how long he’s been in the game. … I think I read an article a couple days ago and I think Werth said he’s the ultimate players manager. I think I played for six or seven managers and I would agree. The guy’s a class act. Very stand-up. Very honest with players, honest with the media, and it’ll be sad to see him move on to the next stage of his life but he definitely left a legacy that won’t be forgotten.”

“You really won’t hear anyone say anything bad about him. The guy, he’s so easy to talk to. I know his door’s always open but I just appreciate the fact that you can have a real man-to-man conversation with him and things don’t have to be about baseball. I think other organizations I’ve been with that hasn’t been the case. It’s been a real pleasure.”

Ian Krol
“He’s had a lot of confidence in me, which helps from my point of view when pitching. Also the way he’s handled the bullpen has been spectacular with guys on short rest, guys pitching every other day. He’s done a lot. Obviously it’s sad to see him go, and I haven’t been around long enough to know him as a person, but he’s just helped me learn so much in my career. This is my first year out of the bullpen, so being up here it definitely helps having someone who’s been around the game for God knows how long. It just helps having a veteran like that ease my way into the bullpen. I couldn’t say one bad thing about him. Just an awesome guy, great manager. I love playing behind him.”

“He just always comes around the clubhouse joking with guys, laughing, always talks about his golf game and how his back’s been hurting him. Other than that, he’s just an awesome person to be around. Always smiling, never really having anything bad to say, just a great person.”

Tyler Moore
“Davey’s been great. He’s a legendary manager and he gave me my first opportunity in the big leagues. He’s been my first manager, and I’ll always remember him for that. He’s just, I don’t know, he’s just got a way about him. He cares about the guys, you can tell. He’s pretty calm, he knows the game pretty well and it’s just a privilege for me to be in the same locker room as him.”

“He walks around, talks to all the guys, just makes a point to do that. I know a lot of managers don’t do that. Just his knowledge of winning and his knowledge of this game is pretty cool.”

Anthony Rendon
“We’d always joke about how he’s from San Antonio, he grew up over there, we always have little jabs at each other because I’m not too fond of San Antonio. I can’t say on record or whatever what it’s about, but we always just take little jabs at each other. Just a little inside joke, basically.”

“He was always out there being hands-on, showing me positioning [at second base] and what to expect, what to anticipate, just little things out there to help me get by. It’s worked a lot. Holding the runners on, that was a big thing.”

Denard Span
“For the short time that I’ve been here and been around him, just an unbelievable and great baseball mind. He’s seen it all and even this year, I would love to ask him questions about some of my favorite players growing up, just to hear some of the stories he would tell. It’s priceless.”

Drew Storen
“I think that’s really awesome that he can just come up and cut it up with you, just like any other player can. That’s one of those things where he’ll tell you like it is. And he’s pretty entertaining. That’s how he is. He keeps it loose, keeps it light, and I think that’s nice because he doesn’t really panic.”

“I would say the biggest thing I learned from him is just seeing how he acts, how he doesn’t panic. He just kind of goes with the flow and doesn’t get too caught up in stuff. That’s kind of his thing. And he trusts us as players. I think that’s something that’s really important and I really appreciated from him, putting trust in us. He’ll put us in a big spot and he’s not going to short hook somebody. The ability to go talk to him about anything is great, and you’re able to talk baseball with him and whatever — and also kind of hear some old stories every once in a while.”

Stephen Strasburg
“I think I’ve known Davey a little bit longer, especially going back to [the 2008 U.S. Olympic baseball team in] Beijing. The one thing about him is there’s no doubt that he’s going to fight for you and he’s going to be in your corner, no matter how bad it gets. I think he’s always positive and it really rubs off on a lot of guys, and I think that’s really helped us, even with all the struggles early on in the year, keep playing hard and start playing good baseball in September.”

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