The Los Angeles Dodgers delivered on their promise of landing a high profile manager when they named Davey Johnson as their new skipper Friday.
Johnson was officially named at a 4:30 p.m. ET news conference.
Johnson arrived in Los Angeles on Thursday to meet with Dodgers general manager Kevin Malone, who previously worked as an assistant GM with Baltimore when Johnson managed the Orioles.
Johnson won a World Series with the New York Mets in 1986 and also led the Cincinnati Reds and the Orioles to division titles. He has a career record of 985-727 over 12 years and should provide steady leadership for a team which has played for three different managers in the past three seasons.
The Dodgers aggressively courted Montreal Expos manager Felipe Alou, who decided to stay in Montreal. Malone served as general manager of the Expos before moving on to the Orioles in 1995. Los Angeles also made inquiries to Jim Leyland, who left the Florida Marlins to become the new manager of the Colorado Rockies.
Los Angeles made numerous changes in its first season under Fox Group ownership. All-Star catcher Mike Piazza was traded in May in a blockbuster deal, manager Bill Russell and general manager Fred Claire were fired in June and Glenn Hoffman was named interim manager with Tom Lasorda taking over as interim GM.
Malone was named as the full-time GM in September and he elected not to retain Hoffman, who went 47-41 after replacing Russell. The Dodgers finished a disappointing third in the National League West with an 83-79 mark.
While Johnson has enjoyed success with all three teams he managed, he also did not leave on the best of terms with ownershp.
On the day Johnson won the 1997 American League Manager of the Year award, he resigned as manager of the Orioles following a power struggle with owner Peter Angelos. Johnson also had problems with Reds owner Marge Schott and was criticized by Mets management for not instilling enough discipline in the players.
The 55-year-old Johnson managed the Mets from 1984-90, winning no less than 87 games in any full season. He guided the club to a World Series title in 1986 and the National League East Division crown in 1988. In three seasons with the Reds, he piloted the club to the 1995 Central Division title.
Johnson guided the Orioles to playoff showings in 1996 and 1997, reaching the American League Championship Series both years. They won the AL East the second year, but Johnson feuded with Angelos over his treatment of players, most notably All-Stars Cal Ripken and Roberto Alomar.
Johnson becomes just the fifth Dodgers manager since the club moved from Brooklyn in 1958. But since the start of the 1997 season, Los Angeles has gone through longtime skipper Tommy Lasorda, Russell and Hoffman.
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