"It's probably the most difficult job to manage," Showalter said. "At that level, when you get the right guy, it's like gold. Ronny's been that way for us. He's a great evaluator. I spent a lot of time on the phone with him. He's a real sincere grinder. We're lucky to have him."
Tillman remembers the time before Johnson when the Tides -- and Orioles -- didn't enjoy as much success.
"Our clubhouse has changed dramatically in the last couple years," Tillman said. "I was here in 2009 when things weren't going so well. It's been a big change, but we're having a lot of fun doing it."