Johnson to return as Nationals manager next season

Maryland forms Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism

November 01, 2011|Sports Digest

Nationals

Johnson to return as manager next season

The Nationals formally announced Davey Johnson as their manager for the 2012 season Monday, exercising an option in his contract and continuing a tenure that began last season amid upheaval and concluded with one of the most promising stretches since baseball returned to Washington. "It's such a great organization, such a great bunch of kids," said Johnson, who played for the Orioles and managed them to their most recent playoff appearances in 1996 and 1997. "We didn't come close to the ceiling this year." Johnson moved from a front office role to the dugout June 27, days after Jim Riggleman's unexpected resignation. He went 40-43, which included a 14-4 finish.He gained the trust and support of players, most of whom had met Johnson while he worked in his front office position. Johnson reworked the pitching staff to include more long relievers and added offensive pop to the bench. As the Nationals took shape in his image over the final two or three weeks of the season, Johnson decided he wanted to remain in the dugout. "Seeing when I had more of the mixture of talent that I wanted on the ball club, seeing how they all worked together, that was when I really thought, 'There's so much we could do here, and I need to be here to help see it along,' " Johnson said. General manager Mike Rizzo interviewed multiple candidates to become the Nationals' manager in 2012, including Nationals third base coach Bo Porter. But bringing Johnson back, he said, was "an easy decision." Rizzo feels a distinct comfort with Johnson. When Rizzo became the Nationals' interim general manager in 2009, he immediately added Johnson as a special assistant. Johnson, who turns 69 in January, will be the oldest manager in the major leagues next season. The Nationals have an option for the 2013 season of Johnson's contract. They can either make him the manager for next season, too, or they can make him an influential front office consultant.

Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

Et cetera

UM forms Povich Center for Sports Journalism

The Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland announced the creation of the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism to expand its sports news program into a national leader in sports journalism education. Named for the late Washington Post sports writer and columnist Shirley Povich, the center will be a primary resource for research and debate in the public discussion of sports and society. "Most important, the center will serve as a launching pad for students to learn, actively participate in and develop the journalistic skills they need to meet the challenges facing them as the next generation of sports journalists," said George Solomon, the former Washington Post assistant managing editor for sports who will become the center's director. The center was funded by a $1 million gift from Povich's children, Maury, Lynn and David.

Blast: The team announced the signing of veteran midfielder Ptah Myers, a former member of the Chicago Riot and Philadelphia KiXX, pending Major Indoor Soccer League approval. Myers, a 2005 Massachusetts grad, spent last season with the Riot after seven seasons with the now-defunct KiXX. "We are excited to announce the addition of Ptah Meyers to the Baltimore Blast," Blast coach Danny Kelly said. "He brings invaluable experience, versatility and pace as well as an MISL title while playing for the Philadelphia KiXX in 2007. "Ptah will primarily be used as a defender but could see time in multiple spots." The Blast will open its 2011-12 MISL season Nov. 12 against the Syracuse Silver Knights at 1st Mariner Arena.

Glenn Graham

College football: Towson (6-2) dropped one spot to No. 14 in The Sports Network/Fathead.com NCAA FCS College Football Weekly Poll. … Navy's game on Nov. 12 at SMU will kick off at 3:30 p.m. Fox Sports Net will televise the game nationally. … Tracy Martin of Morgan State was selected as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Co-Rookie of the Week, and teammate Lawrence Brewer was selected as the Offensive Lineman of the Week. … Johns Hopkins senior safety Michael Milano was named Centennial Conference Defensive Player of the Week. … Salisbury senior linebacker Alex Akinseye was named Empire 8 Co-Defensive Player of the Week.

Women's college basketball: Maryland will host Messiah tonight at 7 for the Terps' first of two exhibition matches this year.

Women's college soccer: No. 16 Maryland (10-5-4) lost, 2-0, to host No. 5 Virginia (14-3-2) on Sunday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament. The Terrapins will now have to wait until the NCAA tournament selection show Monday to learn whether they will earn an at-large bid to the tournament. … Navy sophomore midfielder Ashlynn Soellner was chosen as the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week.

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