Fresh off his new one-year deal and retirement announcement, the Nationals’ Davey Johnson claimed 23 of the 32 first-place votes to win his first National League Manager of the Year award on Tuesday.
Johnson also won the American League award with the Orioles in 1997. He’s the first Expos/Nationals manager to win the award since Felipe Alou in the strike-shortened 1994 season.
Johnson’s Nationals won 98 games in his first year of the helm, 18 more than in 2011. The team lost the NLDS in five games to the Cardinals.
The Reds’ Dusty Baker finished second to Johnson, claiming five first-place votes. The Giants’ Bruce Bochy got four first-place votes and finished in third place.
According to the BBWAA, Johnson joins Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, Jim Leyland and Lou Piniella as the only managers to win the award in both leagues.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.