In a column for the Orlando Sentinel, Shannon Owens goes over some of the available options to replace Bud Selig as commissioner of baseball. Former President George W. Bush and NBC’s Dick Ebersol are cited, but Owens cites Nationals manager Davey Johnson as another candidate who could fit the billing.
Johnson is 70 years old and will retire at the end of the season, but will continue to serve the Nationals as a consultant. Owens suggests Johnson loves baseball too much to walk away so soon.
Johnson is a proven leader, and I’m not referring to his career wins and losses or three World Series championships.
I’m talking about a man who was savvy enough to create a computer program that allowed him to generate more successful lineup options based on percentage baseball theories as a player for the Baltimore Orioles almost 30 years before Orlando-born Billy Beane and the movie, Moneyball, became Hollywood hits.
I’m talking about a man willing to fight with and for players like he did in shutting down National pitcher Stephen Strasburg early to preserve his and the team’s long-term success.
I believe Johnson can do that. Sports commissioners don’t have to rule for 20-plus years. If eight years is enough time for person to run a country, perhaps that term limit is more than enough to run the MLB.
It is certainly interesting to think about, and we’ll hear more names brought up as the time draws closer, but you can certainly do worse than Davey Johnson.