Nationals manager Johnson vows to go out a winner

| Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 7:03 p.m.

Davey Johnson never plans too far ahead. Even now, when he's getting ready for his final season as manager of the Washington Nationals, he can't get his mind around something that's at least seven months away.

Besides, baseball's oldest manager has no plans to go quietly into retirement. He'll be at a ballpark somewhere. As he says, “I'll be involved in baseball until they put me underground.”

Last season, the 70-year-old Johnson guided a team that had never had a winning season in Washington to a major league-leading 98 victories.

Show me less money

Count Michael Weiner among those skeptical of the Yankees' stated plan to reduce payroll next year.

Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said the team wants to get under the $189 million luxury tax threshold in 2014.

That means the player payroll would have to be about $178 million at most, using average annual values of contracts, since the total for the tax will include at least $11 million in benefits such as the pension plan.

“I imagine that Mr. Steinbrenner is sincere when he says that, but like a lot of things, I'll believe it when I see it,” said Weiner, the players' association head, Wednesday.

Mets prospect injured

Top Mets pitching prospect Zack Wheeler was scratched from his start against the Cardinals because of a mild oblique strain.

BoSox's Ortiz takes leave

Red Sox slugger David Ortiz left the team for a few days to return to the Dominican Republic for a personal matter. Before Wednesday night's game against the Baltimore Orioles, Boston manager John Farrell said that Ortiz, who has yet to play this spring training, should be back by Friday.

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