Nationals manager Davey Johnson has been named the National League manager of the year by Sporting News magazine. The 69-year-old skipper led Washington to the best record in the majors at 98-64, an improvement of 18 wins from the season before.
Johnson was a heavy favorite for the honor and is likely to receive the official award from the Baseball Writers Association of America. BBWAA announces their manager of the year winners on November 13.
The Nationals are the fifth team Johnson has coached in his 16-year managerial career. He took over in the middle of the 2011 season and led the Nats to a record of 40-43 over the final 83 games. 2012 was his first full season with the team.
Johnson and the Nats won the National League East for the first time since the franchise moved to Washington, D.C. The Nats began the season hot with a 14-4 record in their first 18 games and were in first place from May 22 through the end of the season on October 3. They won the division with a four-game lead over the Atlanta Braves.
The Nationals reached the playoffs and became the first D.C. postseason baseball team since 1933. They faced the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Division Series and lost in five games.
“To be recognized by my fellow comrades, a particularly accomplished bunch, makes this award especially meaningful. To put on the uniform every day and compete is an honor I never take for granted,” Johnson said in a press release.
Buck Showalter of the Baltimore Orioles won the award for the American League.