I have been, in my own small way, banging the drum for Davey Johnson to manage the Cubs since April of 2002
. For the last few years, I've used all of my less-than-considerable resources to try to track Johnson down and figure out what he was doing, and why whatever he was doing was more important than becoming the Cubs' manager. Thwarted, I briefly turned my attention
to Buck Showalter, but in my heart of hearts I always knew
that Johnson was the right guy for the job.
He finally surfaced in 2003 as the coach of the Dutch national basebal team
. OK, I figured, he'll spend a year there, get fully re-infected by the managing bug, and be back in the majors in 2005. That didn't happen, though, and again I put his name out of my mind.
Until now, when the manager-replacement talk is heating up on TCR again. When I asked Will Carroll about Davey the other day, he mentioned that Ray Knight told him on Baseball Prospectus radio that Johnson had heart problems. As this article
points out, he did have health problems, but they weren't heart-related and they've been taken care of.
Thom Loverro leaves all of us Davey-lovers with a tantalizing close to his article:
I asked Johnson if he would consider managing again, without referring to any job in particular.
"I wouldn't rule it out," he said. "I really have enjoyed my time off. There are other things in life."
"I am getting a little bored," he said. "It would have to be someone I know and respect."
I don't know if Johnson knows Andy MacPhail and Jim Hendry, but I have to imagine he at least knows who they are. Does he respect them? I have no idea, but surely a few meetings with them would give him the oppotunity to get to know them a little better. I can't imagine that his work with Vantage Sports Management is really as challenging and rewarding a position as a guy like Johnson wants.