May 19, 2011, 10:44 PM EDT
Associated Press photo
Jim Riggleman argues with umpire Phil Cuzzi after a crucial missed call.
NEW YORK — Inside an otherwise silent clubhouse a few minutes after Thursday’s 1-0 loss to the Mets — as agonizing a loss as the Nationals have suffered this season — one veteran player yelled out what plenty of his teammates surely were also thinking.
“I want to be an umpire when I grow up,” the player said, with plenty of indignation. “No responsibility. No accountability.”
The reference was to Phil Cuzzi, whose blown call at first base in the top of the ninth made the challenge facing the Nationals needlessly tougher than it already was. Jayson Werth had appeared to beat out a grounder to third. And even if the throw was in time, first baseman Daniel Murphy’s foot clearly came off the bag as he stretched.
“He was safe when the guy got off the bag, and he was safe because he beat the throw,” starter Livan Hernandez said. “I think he made a big mistake, the umpire there, because it’s not about his foot is off the bag. It’s safe because he beat the throw. He was safe two times.”
Werth argued with Cuzzi. So did first base coach Dan Radison. So did Jim Riggleman, who also had words with plate umpire Manny Gonzalez
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