CHICAGO B — CHICAGO -- Davey Johnson, the former manager of the New York Mets, said yesterday that he felt sympathy for Bud Harrelson, the team's current and beleaguered manager.
Informed of management's recent comments regarding Harrelson, Johnson said it also might be reasonable to feel fear for Harrelson's future.
"It's impossible to manage once the front office casts any doubts as to the way they feel about you," said Johnson, who was replaced by Harrelson in May of 1990. "You lose credibility with your players. You lose credibility with the fans. It's the worst thing that can happen."
Speaking by telephone from his home in Florida, Johnson said: "When I was fired, I didn't believe it was healthy to change the continuity of the club, and I don't think it would be healthy for them to do it now. They got rid of me because I wasn't doing the things they wanted. I always thought Buddy was Frank Cashen's guy. But when they decide Buddy is not doing the things they want, they'll fire him. If you stay close to the guy that hired you, you can withstand anything. If the closeness goes, it's a matter of time."