Davey Johnson is a proven manager but he has been away from the game for a long time. There doesn't seem to be any negative effects of a long layoff on managing ability (of course assuming you think much of managing ability being impactful at all) but still it's good to kick the tires on the ol' jalopy here and there to make sure he's still running well.
This weeks minor check - Davey went out and noted that he wants Werth to be aggressive. Kilgore had a very nice blog entry noting how this could be problematic since a lot of Werth's value is being selective at the plate. But the comment got me thinking - is Davey himself too aggressive? It has been a decade since he last managed and that decade has dramatically shifted the ideas on patience, right?
Well sort of. The real peak of walking came during the height of what most people would call the steroid era; 1998, 1999, 2000. In other words right when Davey last managed. Then there was another peak at the end of the 2000s (Moneyball reaction?) but last year's NL walk total was the lowest since 1997. No "strange new landscape" here.
Also Davey's teams never seemed to suffer from over-aggressiveness. Here's the team's rank in walks for his tenures and two years before/after.
Mets : 9, 12 | 7, 5, 1, 3, 3, 9 | 6, 3
Reds : 9, 3 | 10, 4, 3 | 2, 10
Orioles : 4, 3 | 5, 6 | 5, 4
Dodgers : 11, 14 | 9, 5 | 9, 16
There's ALOT of noise here. For starters I should be looking at walk-rate (Good teams score more runs, get more plate appearances, get more opportunities for walks) and doing it by player not whole team (you could bring in a great walking player and have him walk less but still make the team walk more. That'd be a GM improvement not a Davey one), but I don't see any reason to spend time doing that. The league is not real different from the times when Davey last coached, and there's no cursory evidence he makes his players too aggressive. Nothing to see here, move along.