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Johnson near deal to return as Nats manager

Johnson near deal to return as Nats manager

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Johnson near deal to return as Nats manager
WASHINGTON -- Davey Johnson said he hopes to have a deal in place sometime this week to continue to manage the Nationals in 2013. Johnson went so far as to say that a deal could be in place as early as Thursday. He currently has a consulting contract with the team for the 2013 season.

While Johnson is not at the General Managers Meetings, his representative is in Indian Wells, Calif., trying to finalize a deal with Nationals GM Mike Rizzo. Johnson declined to give details on what he is looking for in his new deal.

"There isn't really any rush for me," Johnson said in a phone interview. "I'm not worried about it. I assume everything is going to worked out. I don't feel like it's an emergency. I feel like I'm still the manager."

Johnson is the No. 1 reason the Nationals won their first National League East title in 2012. He instilled confidence in his players, and it affected their attitudes. Ian Desmond, for example, had the best year of his career. It was Johnson who put in a new hitting philosophy: Stop going to the opposite field all the time and hit the ball where it is pitched.

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