Swinging away at Riggleman…as if he were still an annoying Nat.
In the previous two-plus seasons, Washington was ranked in the bottom 10 in offense. So what is different this year? The team has a new philosophy about hitting when compared to Jim Riggleman’s managerial tenure.
According to Johnson, the Nats had too many hitters trying to hit the ball to the opposite field, and it made the players vulnerable on inside pitches. Johnson made it clear that Eckstein did not have this philosophy, having often been overruled by the previous regime.
“To a man, we got a little too much concerned about hitting the ball the other way,” Johnson said recently. “I think the regime before liked everybody to go the other way. We really couldn’t handle fastballs [inside]. We didn’t hit the ball where it was pitched. We have the talent to hit the ball where it was pitched, but we were a little defensive. ... We had the book on us—‘Pound them in with hard stuff’—and we weren’t able to do much.”
... “Between last year and this year, it’s night and day,” Jayson Werth said. “Just the whole atmosphere in the clubhouse. You have an iconic manager that really knows how to handle this team. If we still had a guy like Riggleman as the manager, I don’t think the team is where it’s at.”
Asked why he felt that way, Werth said, “You have a guy [in Johnson] that is confident in himself and in his players. That alone can go a long way. ... Being a big league player for so long, being a big league manager for so long, Davey has a real good feel [for the game].”
Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:23 PM | 35 comment(s)
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