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Game 75: Mariners at Nats

Jun 23, 2011, 2:55 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats have a chance this afternoon to finish their homestand 8-1.

They've won 10 of 11. They've already swept one series on this homestand, with a chance to sweep another. They've reached the elusive .500 mark, with a chance to surpass it this afternoon. This is indeed a good time to be a National, or a baseball fan in Washington, enjoying the best run this team has gone on in six years.

For it to continue today, though, the Nats will need to cobble together some offense against a really tough rookie in Seattle's Michael Pineda. For the first time in two weeks, Jayson Werth won't be hitting leadoff; he's been bumped down to the 2-hole, with Roger Bernadina at the top of Jim Riggleman's lineup. Jason Marquis remains the No. 8 hitter, however, and will be in search today of his team-leading eighth victory.

It's a hot, muggy day in the District, with a chance of afternoon thunderstorms. If you're heading out to the ballpark, be sure to drink plenty of water. If you're stuck in the office, keep yourself tuned right here for updates throughout the game…

MARINERS at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
TV: MASN, MLB Network (outside D.C.)
Radio: WFED (1500 AM), WHFS (1580 AM), XM 186
Weather: Chance of storms, 91 degrees, Wind 7 mph out to CF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (37-37)
CF Roger Bernadina
RF Jayson Werth
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse

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186 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. UNTERP.NAT - Jun 23, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    .506 anyone?

  2. K.D. - Jun 23, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    They will need to keep their energy up and focus today. This guy is tough to hit against.

  3. Unkyd - Jun 23, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    Unterp…. Mind if I join you? :)

  4. SCNatsFan - Jun 23, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    I'm still not sold on the pitcher hitting 8 but not like I can gripe about the results.Go Nats! Go Marquis! Continue to add to the fun of the start of summer by racking up curly W's.

  5. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 23, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    Go for the sweep and head to Chicago on a 3 game streak.GYFNG

  6. David - Jun 23, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    yes! it can happen.

  7. JaneB - Jun 23, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    Why, yes please. .506 would be lovely. GYFNG!

  8. SCNatsFan - Jun 23, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    Also see Batista was released by the Cards. He's free to date Ms. Iowa now, a great consolation prize.

  9. Oldguy - Jun 23, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    Did anyone hear the interview with Zim on 106.7 this morning? Sweet mother of Jesus, I wish these radio talk guys would learn something about baseball. (Zim was great–I would have walked out.) The opening day pre-game talk was insulting to any real baseball fan. And all these yahoos who are beginning to get on board now that the Nats are at .500 will drop away like dead flies when we have another losing streak–which we will. (All BB teams do, even the good ones!) I grew up in New York and Boston and heard a lot of baseball talk and saw and read a lot of great players and great games. Willie Mays at the Polo Grounds, for example, and Warren Spahn at Braves Field in Boston. But I have never heard as much ignorance about baseball as I have heard on DC radio. It's a shame, because instead of educating our young fans about the real game, we get this drivel. Sad.There are dozens of great books about baseball–George Will's for example, or Roger Angell's. They ought to send these guys to school to learn about the game. It's a beautiful game, and they treat it like rollerball.

  10. FS - Jun 23, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    Oldguy, can you please tell us what was said? I am on their site, but can't seem to find it.

  11. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    RE OLDGUYCould not agree with you more. Those donks don't know anything about baseball. Maybe Charlie and Dave can get a 1 hour morning show on weekday mornings to spell the junkies, and talk nothing but Nats :) One can wish rightNATSFAN10

  12. sjm308 - Jun 23, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    JaneB – from an older post – Bless You!! – the wave is never acceptable at a baseball game, there is always going to be something going on that could change the game. People need to understand that baseball is different and thanks for stopping that foolishness. My group up and around 308 seems to be pretty focused on enjoying the game.Oldguy – agree with you about our sports radio, its awful – unless it involves the Redskins (or Capitals as long as they are winning) thats all they care about. I think Lovero knows the game but he is a bitter old guy. Its a shame but I heard Kevin Sheahan say he has not played catch with his two boys and they are 10 and 12. What a wasted opportunity just to enjoy your kids. Missed Zimm but I am sure he was classy as they asked their stupid questions.Off to the stadium!!Go Nats

  13. Doc - Jun 23, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    @ Oldguy, 11:19Sad but true. Almost anything of discussive value become bastardized by the popular media–witness political rants. Lack of training and/or lack of preparation, who knows??And don't get me started on how they handle religious and spiritual matters.Almost anyone of genuine understanding in their own area of professional endeavor will resent the ignorance of the so-called popular media—including ballplayers. No wonder players are reluctant to talk to the media unless they are professional sportswriters. Zim, obviously showed great discretion in the face of willful ignorance.Anyway, Gooooooooo Nats! They'll have their work cut out for them today against Pineda–a younger Roy Halladay.

  14. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 23, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    A: Google? Yahoo?? Facebook?!? Nationals Game!Q: Where can I find the old folks this afternoon?

  15. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 23, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    JaneB… add me to the "BAN THE WAVE" crowd. No one who attends professional sporting events to watch the game wants to be anywhere near a "wave" (unless, of course it's a professional surfing event which requires the real thing).Belongs in the same category as "bang sticks" and "vuvuzelas" or whatever they're called.

  16. Bowdenball - Jun 23, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    Oldguy-I feel your pain, but I don't think that what you heard was a reflection of the media in DC or DC's attitudes towards baseball in general. I think what you heard was a refection of morning talk radio in general, and the sports junkies in particular. They don't do real, serious sports talk, they do lowest common denominator sports talk entertainment.I recall them doing a mildly amusing interview with Clippard a while back when they asked him if he wears his specs out to bars to pick up women.

  17. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 23, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    Re: Pineda… "a younger, BIGGER, Haliday".

  18. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 23, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    Halladay (had to fix my auto-correct..previous spelling is a co-worker)

  19. Oldguy - Jun 23, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    FS–a lot of it was about Zim's charity event, and about Werth's $$ vs. his, and "Is it too early to talk playoffs?" Zim handled it all well. The same guys are still on and at the park right now.I agree that there are knowledgeable people about BB in DC. There are maybe 10-15K hard-core fans who really understand the game–the ones who are there every game or at least once in every series.One of the best games I attended was a Houston game about two years ago. Monday night. Drizzling rain, wasn't even sure the game would go on. Park had less than 10K fans, but they were all there for the team. Cheers louder than usual (we won) and you knew these were the real fans, not the fair-weather friends.We have a better record than CWS or LAA–let's hope the road trip is successful.

  20. HHover - Jun 23, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    SC – Hadn't heard about Batista. Thanks.In other news of former Nats–the As have placed Josh Willingham on the DL. I'm sorry for him that it happened, but I'm not sorry it happened while he was wearing someone else's uniform.

  21. Binx Bolling - Jun 23, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    For those who didn't notice, Steve Lombardozzi has jumped up to AAA Syracuse and is hitting .300 after three games. Will the Nats fill the two inside diamond positions with three men, is Desmond or Lombardozzi destined for a trade, or might Desmond be sent to centerfield?

  22. Big Oil - Jun 23, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    Good day, YFNC(commentors).For some pre-game reading, I've attempted to link to the comments section of a popular M's blog – it's been great to read through. Sort of like looking in the mirror sometimes over the past few years.Sorry if I can't get the html right, but both game threads are just agony.http://www.ussmariner.com/2011/06/22/game-74-mariners-at-nationals/#commentshttp://www.ussmariner.com/2011/06/21/game-73-mariners-at-nationals/Edit: looks like the comments section wont take links. If copy and pasting isnt your thing, just google USS Mariner and check out the game threads.

  23. K.D. - Jun 23, 2011 at 4:15 PM

    I can't stand the generic sports talk radio that just wants to start a controversy for the sake of, well controversy. I will however stomach some of it if they have guests on who actually know what they are talking about, like Zim. It takes all kinds in the media world but would sure appreciate it if people would do their basic homework.

  24. Nats Outsider - Jun 23, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    Yesterday, I commented that the game was more important than usual. The fact that the Nats won makes this game extra important as well, now. Not only would it be nice to go over .500, but it has to be a psychological boost to end a home stand with a sweep. The White Sox and the Angels are not patsies, so it is unrealistic to expect sweeps in either of the next two series. (But don't let that stop you from trying, guys!!) And if the interim target is .500+ at the All Star break, we need to make use of the Nats home field advantage while we can. Get those bats limbered up, Nats!!

  25. Steve M. - Jun 23, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    12:17 p.m. — Meanwhile, the Oakland A's this morning placed Josh Willingham on the DL with an Achilles' tendon injury. Hate to say it, but that's right about on schedule, huh?Yep, Mark, those are true words and a shame though this year he didn't look like an April/May All Star. His defense isn't great also so the American League is perfect for him.With that said, I still thought the trade was light and the A's got the better deal. Expect Willingham to be traded on July 31st for prospects to a contender (maybe back to the Nats).

  26. FS - Jun 23, 2011 at 4:59 PM

    That is so not happening. Willingham is a starter and I do not see any room for him right now on our roster, unless we decide to platoon with him Nix for LF job which is kinda insulting to his talent. But if A's willing, they can have Brown back for Hammer. I liked the guy and wish him success. I think those catching duties with Marlins probably ruined his career.

  27. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 23, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    Big Oil…. thanks for those links. I just read through last nites posts and man(!), I think they don't like Chone Figgins.And Eric Wedge isn't too far behind.I hope we don't become that cynical when we get 2 games back of the division lead.

  28. SCNatsFan - Jun 23, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    We thought we got a bad deal when we signed Werth but Figgins makes him look like a bargain.Interesting comment above about us having a glut of middle infielders, and with Rendon on the way we may have more infielders then positions. Wouldn't that be a wonderful problem to have??? Hammer, well, he always seems like an injury waiting to happen. He can be a bat for a contender this year but it won't be us and I wish him well wherever he and his creaky back lands.

  29. Big Oil - Jun 23, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    @NatsJack -No problem. I enjoy following other teams' blogs when we are playing them to get a sense of their strengths and weaknesses (when you can cut through the hyperbole). If nothing else it offers perspective.And yea, Figgins is a persona non grata there.

  30. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    That's a pity about Josh. He was always a good player and was very nice to talk to after the game. But that's why we couldn't keep him, he just can't stay healthy. And ironically, Laynce Nix, his replacement, is also hurt with a Achilles tendon strain.

  31. JaneB - Jun 23, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    Bad umpire. Bad.

  32. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 23, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    BigO, I've long thought there was a niche here for a blog that covers the opposition's fan blogs.

  33. SCNatsFan - Jun 23, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    I was unhappy to see Hanrahan was kicking butt and sorry he wasn't here until I read this. Sorry to post so close to lunch!http://bustedcoverage.com/2011/06/23/pirates-closer-joel-hanrahan-gets-pedicure-toenails-painted-photos/

  34. JD - Jun 23, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    JaneB, Why is the umpire bad?

  35. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 23, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    JD, see Mark 1:18The update, not the scripture.

  36. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 23, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    JD… I think it's because he missed the call at the plate.And listening to Johnny Holliday makes me want to stick pencils in my eye balls!

  37. JD - Jun 23, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    I don't have access to video but Mark seems to indicate that Olivo grazed Werth's Jersey.

  38. Big Oil - Jun 23, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    @sec 3 – agreed

  39. Sam - Jun 23, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    I challenge Mark's notion that no one is surprised that today's game is a pitching duel. Pineda is obviously very good. Marquis is not. Quite probably, the only reason Marquis has a good ERA this year is because his walks are down. Unless at age 32 Marquis learned some new skills, I doubt he will be able to keep this up the entire year. His walk rates have been climbing every month this year. He's going to blow up soon. Expect it.

  40. Mark Zuckerman - Jun 23, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    Sam: I said it's not a surprise because 1) Pineda is good, 2) Marquis has pitched well this season and 3) Both teams have weak lineups. So far, this one has pretty much gone exactly as I expected.

  41. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 23, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    A Johnny Holliday qoute from the Nats last at bat…"Pudge has 6 Grand Slams in his career, with the bases loaded".

  42. Tcostant - Jun 23, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    Can you say no-hitter?

  43. Sam - Jun 23, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    Mark: I guess we all have our own expectations. And if any of us was constantly right, we would be rich.I expected the Nationals to get killed today. Sweeps are so improbable. Plus, I would expect the Mariners to be highly motivated to get a monkey of their backs considering the ways they have lost the last two games.

  44. NatHat - Jun 23, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    Pudge had a great at bat, especially since he is usually riding the pine.

  45. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 23, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    So much for the superstitious… MASN just texted that Marquis has a no-no going.

  46. d'OH - Jun 23, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    If any of us WERE constantly right.

  47. FS - Jun 23, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    WOW we should have scored at least one run back then. Come on Danny boy, don't let a rookie beat you. :P

  48. K.D. - Jun 23, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    Yikes, do I dare leave the office?

  49. baseballswami - Jun 23, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    The Washington Nationals = Nothing is ever easy. Ever, Ever, Ever.

  50. Wally - Jun 23, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    Sam – not sure why you say that about Marquis.k/9= career average (5.21 v 5.23)BB/9 > CA (2.4 v 3.45)HR/9 > CA (.63 v 1.09)GB% > CA (52.3% v 50.1%)BABIP well worse than his CA (.316 v. .286)So walks are down v career, and HRs also down, suggesting some regression. But BaBIP means he he has been unlucky on batted balls, which should regress the other way. There is nothing here that shouts out huge fall off in performance to follow.

  51. SCNatsFan - Jun 23, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    I still get the uneasy feeling watching this team that if the other team scores first, on any given night, we might be toast. And boy do we strike out alot.C'mon boys, give Jason something to work with.

  52. I'm just sayin - Jun 23, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said…So much for the superstitious… MASN just texted that Marquis has a no-no going.June 23, 2011 2:22 PM —————2:28 p.m. [Mark Z.]– Oh, well. So much for that. Marquis' no-hit bid comes to an end with one out in the sixth inning when Pineda bloops a single to center field. Yes, that's his first big-league hit

  53. Exposremains - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    no, no you have to pinch hit for marquis

  54. Wally - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    Seems like Nix or even Stairs should be pinchhitting here

  55. Debbie Taylor - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    Matt Stares could have done that!

  56. dd011980-9dcb-11e0-932b-000bcdcb8a73 - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    I would love to punch Jim Riggleman in the face right now.

  57. Harper is Awesome - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:07 PM

    This is bullshit. Makes no sense whatsoever! Marquis does not make it through this inning without givign up a run. You heard it hear first folks.

  58. FS - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:09 PM

    Come on man, are you serious? Couple of coaching decisions I did not like. You do not run on a Gold Glove arm, Franklin is known to have. Bases loaded with one out, maybe we should have tried squeeze bunt. And now Marquis hitting with two on and two out, bottom of the seventh. I mean come on, at best you will get one inning out of him.

  59. Tcostant - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:09 PM

    I agree Exposremains, you need to pinch hit there, he already gave you 7 solid innings and 94 pitches. Just stupid! Only way a pitcher should stay to hit in that situation is if he can bunt a guy over a base. Just plain stupid!!!

  60. Exposremains - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    since that incident in baltimore with marquis, it seems like riggleman is scared of pulling out his starters

  61. Sam - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    Wally, the reason why I said what I said is that everything about Marquis is similar to previous years except that his walk rate is lower (and his HR rate). And I don't think he became a new pitcher all of the sudden. I think his walks will revert back, and he will be the same mediocre pitcher he has always been.

  62. The Dude Abides - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    The neg anons have arrived.

  63. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    Maybe, maybe not, Sam, but you have no idea when that will happen.So far, so good.

  64. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    I'm not negative! Marquis is a better hitter than Stairs this year!!! This Anon agrees with Riggs!

  65. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    I'll take 8 solid shut out innings any day. And he isn't the only Nats hitter to look overmatched by Pineda. today.

  66. FS - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    Sam, why would you expect his walk rate to revert back to his career average? Does it usually happen to pitchers?

  67. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    …and that is why internet posters do not have managerial jobs in MLB. Just shut up with the drama and hysterics already.

  68. Goant - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    Sam said… I challenge Mark's notion that no one is surprised that today's game is a pitching duel. Pineda is obviously very good. Marquis is not. Quite probably, the only reason Marquis has a good ERA this year is because his walks are down. Unless at age 32 Marquis learned some new skills, I doubt he will be able to keep this up the entire year. His walk rates have been climbing every month this year. He's going to blow up soon. Expect it. June 23, 2011 2:00 PM _______________________________Pineda is a young stud, no doubt about it but to diss Marquis and what he has accomplished this year becomes a head scratcher. This guy has put up Halladay numbers for his team in which his team before today is 11-3 in Marquis starts. He may not look like an ace but I saw him outduel Cliff Lee on May 31st.

  69. Gonat - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:37 PM

    Morse, Espinosa, and Pudge, who is going to step up as today's Hero?

  70. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:37 PM

    Clip is still the MAN!

  71. Wally - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    Sam – here is maybe where we disagree. I think that you are understating what Marquis has done in his career, and overstating how good he is doing this year. He is a career 4.5 ERA guy, which in today's post-PED world where scoring is down ~ 10%, translates to about 4.00. (If you take out his absolutely abysmal 2006, you can probably knock those numbers down by .25). Is he performing better than mediocre this year? yes, but not enormously so (35th in NL ERA), explained almost exactly by his walk, GB% and HR% improvements. Is there value to a mediocre (ie average) SP? Absolutely yes. Would you expect an average SP to perform well against a bad offense? Of course yes. 8 shutout innings may be more than I expected too, but I certainly expected him to do well.

  72. SCNatsFan - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    Some Nat fans won't appreciate Marquis because of the putrid numbers he put up last year but he's been as solid as it gets. I'm happy he's here and if he signed for 2 more years I wouldn't object.

  73. Sam - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    FS, walks are a skill that pitchers control (for the most part), unlike, for example, where batted balls go. So, at age 32, I would expect that he wouldn't all of the sudden become a control ace. It's possible, sure, but I think the odds are against him.To whoever corrected me with my verb use with the word "any," you are incorrect. Sorry. "Any" refers to a singular entity, and, therefore, requires a singular verb.

  74. FS - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:42 PM

    A bunt would be sane about now or no?

  75. Pos D'Oh - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    Sam, it wasn't the number, it was the verb mood. That's a subjunctive.

  76. Gonat - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    Love putting Bixler in but very surprised that Jordan Zimmermann wasn't the bunter but Riggleman had faith in Pudge and he got it done.

  77. Tcostant - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    Bases loaded – no outs. How can we loss now?

  78. Andrew - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    YES!!!!!!! Laynce Nix is the hero!!!!!!!

  79. PosAnons Win! - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    Great Year For Nix, Gang!

  80. Andrew - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    with an assist to Danny Espinosa!

  81. Big Oil - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    HEY-OH!

  82. Unkyd - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    Boy!! I sure love that Klaxon, on the radio!!!

  83. Tcostant - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    Nats Win!!!Nix hit sacrifice fly to shallow left, for the win.I'm glad we're now over .500

  84. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    And I'm not sure Olivo ever touched home plate on the great play by Wilson. But WHO CARES NOW!GYFNG!!!!

  85. FS - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:50 PM

    WOW we almost did not have that one. LOL, thank you Carp for your crappy throw. Good thing we won.I thought Nix was not available. Anyways, glad he could pick us up.I remember Ray as O's closer. Poor guy used to be very good with them.

  86. Andrew - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:50 PM

    Nats are now 12-3 in games Marquis starts. What an incredible stat when you think of what that means in context.

  87. Sam - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:50 PM

    @Pos D'Oh: Okay, I'll eat my words. I was wrong.Anyway, I'm in a good mood. Bang zoom!

  88. RickH - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    Mark … It was Espinosa who scored the winning run.

  89. Gonat - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    First win for Tyler Clippard this year. Wasn't Clip like 8 wins at this point last season?Also for stats, Espinosa deserves a hit on that 1st bunt that he got on! Should have been 2-4 and hope the official scorer changes it back to a hit.

  90. JD - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    Wally; I think the point with Marquis is this. When a player is putting up numbers which are better than what should be anticipated (and Marquis superficial numbers such as wins and ERA are better than we had a right to expect) you can do one of 2 things: 1) The Jim Bowden way which has been advocated by several posters which is to give him an extension therefore buying high. 2) Maximize his value by trading him to a team in a playoff race which needs a fair pitcher for it's 4th or 5th spot. This way you are selling high. I understand that most GM's aren't idiots and they also know that Marquis isn't Lincecum but don't under estimate the pressure to make a move at the deadline when you are right there in the hunt.

  91. Charlie Slowes - Jun 23, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    Unbelievable!!

  92. Water23 - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    Just awesome!

  93. Wally - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    Holy hell! Riggs resigned

  94. Grandstander - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    WOWRiggs resigned.Holy cow!

  95. Cwj - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    I'm stunned!!!Man oh man!

  96. Tcostant - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    I just heard the same thing om ESPN 980am; you think he asked for an extention and when he didn't get he quite.

  97. masnstinks - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    Did anybody see this coming/

  98. NG - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    Riggleman — WTF????

  99. FS - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    What? This is very shocking, given that we are doing so well and might have a shot at contention this season. Riggs, why?

  100. Cwj - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    But why would he quit??? He was in no danger of being fired any time soon…I'm shocked by this

  101. baseballswami - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    I guess all the riggs haters are happy now…

  102. FS - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    This is like a bad movie script. The coach resigns, right when the team is doing great. What now? the players will ask for Jim to be brought back? or is he preparing himself for Florida job. I seriously hope not.

  103. Cwj - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    Mark Z- Looking forward to an article about Riggs. Am very curious for your take on this.

  104. Tcostant - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    Wow – I guess he didn't have as much leverage as he thought.Nationals manager Jim Riggleman has resigned.The Nationals jumped over .500 with a victory over the Mariners on Thursday afternoon and have won 11 of their last 12 games in an incredible and promising stretch of quality baseball. But Riggleman has decided to call it quits due to a rift with management over his unexercised option for 2012. It's a shocking turn of events. http://www.rotoworld.com/headlines/mlb/329857/jim-riggleman-resigns-from-winning-natsRizzo confirms it! Live on 980am

  105. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    Something tells me it's health related. He's an honorable guy and wouldn't resign over contract issues at this stage of the season.

  106. SCNatsFan - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    Unless it is health related then its a crappy move by Riggs. Finally get on a roll and this happens if what the posters are saying is true.

  107. Grandstander - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    He gave an ultimatum to Rizzo to pick up his option by the end of the game and Rizzo told him what he could do with that ultimatum.

  108. TheRube - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:15 PM

    Hard to believe it's health related. Rizzo just threw Riggs under the bus saying it was a selfish move by putting himself before the team.Totally blown away…

  109. Tcostant - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    Rizzo said Riggs talk him yesterday and said if his option wasn't picking up by today he would not be going on the road trip. Amazing.Hello Is Bobby Valentine there?

  110. FS - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    I mean just straight up resigned. Ask for an extension first dude. Come on, this is unbelievable. This is more gruesome than the movie I am watching right now, Alien.

  111. A DC Wonk - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    He gave an ultimatum to Rizzo to pick up his option by the end of the gameWhen did he give that ultimatum? Surely he gave Rizzo more than 9 hours notice. Didn't he?

  112. Wally - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    My guess is that Riggs has been embarrassed all along that he entered this year without a contract, and played a heavy hand. It is pretty unusual, especially with such a low $ amount. Rizzo basically said that Riggs demanded it be picked up, and he refused. Rizzo also seemed very uncomfortable the whole press conference.Should be some happy posters here. I am not one of them, though. I am mixed on Riggs, but this is embarrassing for the team, regardless how it is spun.

  113. Grandstander - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    Bobby V would be an awesome choice, but I have to wonder if they might not slide Bo Porter in there and keep McLaren on the bench. I have a huge man crush on Bo Porter.

  114. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    This isn't just a today thing – this has been hanging on embarassingly long. what else did the guy need to do? Kind of don't blame him.

  115. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    Uh Oh, what is MASN going to do with all those commercials?

  116. Grandstander - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    Rizzo said he told him before the game.

  117. A DC Wonk - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    So, he gave him _one day_ notice?!?Isn't it usual that there's not progress on contracts until after the season? (Not that it's unusual, it's just that there is a significant number of folks who don't like to do contact stuff during a season).

  118. Coach from Rockville - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    To Do List:1. Get Nats above .5002. Burn bridge3. Subscribe to MLB.TV

  119. masnstinks - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    commentators are starting to recover now -Phil Wood seems to be in support of riggs, saying this should have happened already. I feel sorry for the team – they have been playing their butts off – I really hope they can hang together. Now we will see if they are really a tight unit.

  120. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    I stand corrected. Apparently, he's not as honorable as I thought. A contract is a contract. I can understand the organization has a priority to sign their draftees right now so, obviously, someone under contract right now, with 3 or 4 more months to go can wait till the end of the draft signing period to get something done.I've lost alot of respect for Riggs. And I sure don't want McClarren as an interim.

  121. Tcostant - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    DC Wonk the answer is 24 hours, Riggs told Rizzo to pick up the option or he wouldn't be going on the road trip.Besides Bobby V., how about Davey Johnson, he works for the team and maybe he gets inspired by what happen in Florida.

  122. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    I disagree on riggs being dishonorable – the fo has been dishonorable to him. He has done everything they have asked of him and gotten a lot out of this team – there is only so much disrespect you can take. I think you will see that they have had someone in mind all the time and they have been just letting him hang.

  123. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    Sounds like they have been blowing him off.

  124. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    Selfish. That's all I can think. Your team is doing amazing and is finally coming together, and you give them one days notice and resign because they won't give you an EXTENSION? Really? Thought you were better than that, Riggs. This is the kind of stuff that can seriously screw up a team. Thanks for that.

  125. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    Ray Knight is the answer.

  126. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    At 75, Frank Robinson wouldn't be the oldest manager in the league!

  127. Grandstander - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    In other news, Rick Ankiel and Matt Stairs have been given their unconditional release.

  128. N. Cognito - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    "the fo has been dishonorable to him"Absolute BS.He has a contract and he's leaving the team in a lurch. Not getting your contract extended this early in the season is not an unusual occurence.Riggs might possibly have ended any possibility of him getting another managerial job in MLB.

  129. Cwj - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    Riggs is absolutely trashing the Nationals in this interview.He is coming across as a little bizarre…

  130. Jim Webster - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    Congratulations all you Riggs bashers; you got your wish.

  131. Wally - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    Gotta be an interim guy from the current staff. Porter sounds like a good choice (if he'll take it: he refused it in Florida last year).Btw, if you were Rizzo and heard this before the game, (i) would you do it?, and (ii) if no, wouldn't you have figured out who was the interim guy so that you could at least avoid saying 'we'll make a decision by tomorrow's game?'My answers to my own questions – no, I wouldn't give in to the demand. I have managed a lot of people in my business career, and you can never give in to that kind of threat. Your credibility is gone. Now, I would have picked up the option a while ago to avoid this situation. Regardless of the views on Riggs, it is very unusual for a manager to be on a 1 year deal, and especially with it being such a low deal, I think that on balance they should have picked up his option at the beginning of the year. It also helps give the manager some cred with the players. Nevertheless, once there, you have to stick to your guns. And yes, I obviously would have spent the few hours that I had to come up with the interim guy. That just looks foolish.The truth is, each side looks bad here, to me.

  132. baseballswami - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:35 PM

    so he did NOT say – pick up his option or he resigns – he said he wanted a conversation about it and once again, Rizzo blew him off.

  133. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    so money is first? what about winning? the team is 38-37

  134. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    So who's stopped honoring their contract? Where I come from, people that don't honor their contract are called quitters.Maybe he can go manage Handley Ramirez. He likes to quit on stuff.

  135. Tcostant - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:37 PM

    The contract Riggs got did suck, low pay, the club had all the advantages. Maybe he should have fired his agent.

  136. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:37 PM

    Hanley

  137. N. Cognito - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    Grandstander said… "In other news, Rick Ankiel and Matt Stairs have been given their unconditional release."Are you BSing us?We've already got the good news that Lindsay Czarniak is leaving WRC and Dan Snyder's lap to go to ESPN.

  138. Cwj - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    Crazy stuff.Anyway, Go Nats! 38-37! :)

  139. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    so – Matt Stairs gets to stay and Riggs is gone? Doesn't sound like Rizzo even broke a sweat to try to keep him. I think Riggs was right – they never planned on letting him keep this team once they were good – they were using him and stringing him along.

  140. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    Anybody who tweets – any of the players commenting?

  141. Frediemac - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    The Lerners are just the worst cheapskates in all of sports. Bill Bidwell level cheap.Although Riggleman should be ashamed of quitting during the season.

  142. Constant Reader - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    Obviously Riggs couldn't have issued this ultimatum on Memorial Day. Apparently he thought he earned the right to issue an ultimatum today. How Riggs thinks he will ever get a job again is beyond me.

  143. Cwj - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    I will be very interested in hearing how the players reacted to the news.Now the fun time of looking for a new manager begins :)

  144. dj in Fl. - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    Many TV commentators have expressed shock that Riggs option had not been picked up. Rizzo's quote last week seemed to make it sound as if he could care less about getting it done any time soon. I think the FO has once again shown a lack of class by not picking it up and if Riggs had not had this conversation before toda,y then he was wrong also. But he waited till after the draft, knowing most important signings will not take place till August, and asked that it be addressed then Rizzo and the front office is very wrong. And do not think Bobby V. would manage here with all the decisions being made by the FO. We have lost a damn good manger today.

  145. N. Cognito - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    Frediemac said… "The Lerners are just the worst cheapskates in all of sports. Bill Bidwell level cheap."Take your idiotic comments back to BPG.

  146. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    I blame rizzo here. He's been skating around this for a while. The Nats season just officially ended. they will lose 5 out of the next 6. Idiots!!!!!!! This is the kind of BS the Redskins are made of.

  147. Grandstander - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    Why is Phil Wood so high on Riggleman? He's talking like the season is lost now and Rizzo was insane not to pick up his option.

  148. erocks33 - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    I can almost guarantee that Riggs wanted more than just the option picked up and that he wanted an extension. If that's the case, then no manager would re-sign for just a one or two year extension. He would probably demand a 3+ year extension, and while I'm pretty "meh" with Riggs as the manager, there is no way in heck I would ever extend him for 3+ years.So, if he did give an ultimatum, then I think Rizzo did the correct thing by not extending him.

  149. Frediemac - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:47 PM

    Sorry but they are CHEAP!

  150. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:48 PM

    How long before Quade is let go? And speaking of the Cubs, Ryne Sandberg may be available for the Nats job.

  151. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:48 PM

    Rizzo is really acting in a class-less way – I have lost respect for HIM today, not Riggleman. He has showed no respect for Jim at all and basically lied in his statement – Riggs did NOT SAY pick up the option today , he said have a conversation.He is acting like Riggs had no value to this team at all and it will make no difference who the manager is. We'll see.I guess this is how you show loyalty to your people.

  152. A DC Wonk - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    The Lerners are just the worst cheapskates in all of sports. Bill Bidwell level cheap.Yep. And Werth, Strasberg, and Harper are all in agreement with you.Not.Riggs had a contract with an option year. Unless the contact said the option had to be exorcized by June 23, 2011 — he's doesn't seem to be standing on firm ground here.

  153. N. Cognito - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    Since some of you people seem to think you know what's going on in the front office, please tell us what has transpired this season in talks between Rizzo and Riggs.Haters gotta hate.

  154. A DC Wonk - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    Rizzo is really acting in a class-less way … .I guess this is how you show loyalty to your people.Oh, and Riggs showed loyalty to his players today? Quitting during the hottest streak in baseball?

  155. waddu eye no - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:51 PM

    riggs looks relieved that it's over. and i agree with him that he should get the respect that goes with a conversation about his contract. rizzo "it wasn't the time." how much time does it take? i think after getting back above 500 for the first june since 05 is a great time.

  156. TimDZ - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    I put this on Riggleman…When you have the record that he has, you are in NO position to give ultimatums. The team is 38-37 this after losing 90 plus last year. I am sorry that he resigned, but I don't see this as Armagedon.

  157. A DC Wonk - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    N. Cognito said… Since some of you people seem to think you know what's going on in the front office, please tell us what has transpired this season in talks between Rizzo and Riggs. Haters gotta hate.Good point, N.C. Something like this could be all the fault of one party, or the other, or part of both, or misplaced pride, or whatever — and unless we were flies on the wall, it's surely impossible, at least at this early time, to know.

  158. FS - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    This does not look good on the franchise. However attractive they made themselves look by making all this progress, do you think any impact free agent would be willing to overlook this sort of unstability?I want to know every detail of what happened from a credible source before I say anything. Don't want to look stupid.

  159. Constant Reader - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    Still blown away that Riggs felt strongly enough about it to make this decision. On Memorial Day, we had lost 8 of 9 and Riggs was on every media short list of managers likely to be fired. Rizzo did not fire him. We go on a wonderful hot streak and Riggs just can't go forward as manager without a decision on his future. Unbelieveable.

  160. Natman - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    I've quit a job when I was getting underpaid. "Classless" is a label that Riggleman does not deserve. Ironically, I'm not a Riggleman lover. But I do understand business. All you haters take a bath!

  161. Sunderland - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    You can not blamce Rizzo. He can't be allow himself to be pushed around. Riggs had a contract. He had to stay the season. This is pretty absurd, pretty out there.Rizzo (it seems based on what we know now) could have made this go away by picking up the 2012 extension for $600K. Then can Rizzo at season end. And you still pay him the $600K and you still paid less than market value for a manager. But Rizzo could not cave in.Wonder how RIggs agent is feeling about this?

  162. masnstinks - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    I really hope the players don't start taking sides in this the way all of us posters have. They are really going to be challenged to stick together and play ball. We've been saying that this is a high character team – I guess they will be further tested now. I really like this team and I am sure that this will be a tough road trip. I am personally going to stop taking sides and think good thoughts for the team. Let's all just get behind the guys and continue to cheer them on – let the bureaucrats figure out the rest.Go Nats – sweep the white sox! Ignore the talking heads and just play baseball!

  163. A DC Wonk - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    rizzo "it wasn't the time." how much time does it take?If Rizzo thought it more important to get the contracts done on the 2011 draft class — he made the right call.

  164. phil dunn - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    Riggs crapped in his mess kit. He had nothing to lose by staying the rest of the season. Now he is unemployed with no income. He also walks away from his buyout if they didn't pick up his option for next season.

  165. sparky - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    I think it is classless to take this winning streak and try to use it for your personal gain. Why didn't he do this 3 weeks ago? Because he'd have be laughed out of town. Yes, classless. And no, not a hater. Man I hate that term.

  166. N. Cognito - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    A DC Wonk said… "N. Cognito said…Since some of you people seem to think you know what's going on in the front office, please tell us what has transpired this season in talks between Rizzo and Riggs.Haters gotta hate.Good point, N.C. Something like this could be all the fault of one party, or the other, or part of both, or misplaced pride, or whatever — and unless we were flies on the wall, it's surely impossible, at least at this early time, to know."If someone knows of some promise Riggs isn't keeping (i.e. promised to make a decision by June 1st) I'll jump on the Riggs bashing bandwagon.

  167. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:00 PM

    masnstinks – agreed – we need to rally around the guys. I am just so sorry that they won't be at home where we can show support for THEM — fans don't wear jerseys with manager and gm's names on them!

  168. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:00 PM

    I can't believe the extension was the only issue. The guy is a baseball lifer, and from the area. You don't walk out on that over a contract alone.Well, I wouldn't.And let me be the first volunteer to fill in for the rest of the season!

  169. Ribuld - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:00 PM

    I think it's obvious Rizzo had no plans for Riggs to be anything more than a caretaker manager. If that's Rizzo's attitude he should have no problems finding another caretaker on the cheap.

  170. dj in Fl. - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:01 PM

    We have to remember that the only folks with loyalty are fans. To the players, coaches and FO this is a business first, and formost. And in sports contracts have little meaning, it is all about what you have done for me today. I do not think they wanted to have Riggs come back, but couldn't be men about it and tell him. A bad day for those that are the loyal fans.

  171. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:03 PM

    Wonder how the guys are feeling after that great win and sweep – then – wtf? This is just freaking crazy.

  172. N. Cognito - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:03 PM

    Ribuld said… "I think it's obvious Rizzo had no plans for Riggs to be anything more than a caretaker manager."Even if true, what's your point? Do you really think this doesn't happen on other teams? In other businesses?

  173. JaneB - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:03 PM

    I wish they had given the guy the respect he earned. Look what he has accomplished…without Zimm or Srrasburg! I think everyone knew he was being disrespected, and how do you manage like that? I didn't lose any respect for him. None at all. No Davey Johnson and no Bobby Valentine. I can't imagine what it's like for the players now.I wish Jim only the best, and I am grateful for what he was able to do to get these guys where they are.But Grandstand…I agree that Ankiel and Staires are history. A least I hope so.

  174. baseballswami - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:05 PM

    Ribuld – I think you are right that he was just a caretaker – and he saw the handwriting on the wall. It was pretty obvious that Rizzo thought he would be pretty easily replaced.

  175. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    Can Stairs go with him, please?

  176. JaneB - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    Man, on TV they are saying Riggleman DIDN'T want Stairs. And that he did want Bernie from the start. Hmmmmm. No more Stairs was the o e bright light I saw here.

  177. phil dunn - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    Matt Stairs next nats manager? That would explain why he is still on the rostr.

  178. Bzl. - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:10 PM

    Very bizarre. What a turn of emotions if you went to the game today. Exhilaration over the drama (again) in the 9th inning, then going to your car radio and turning on Charlie and Dave. I heard the "play of the game" then they switched very suddenly to Rizzo on the post-game conference talking about having accepted the resignation. Holy moly.PS Debbi Taylor is an abomination. Just thought I'd throw that in. She is an embarrassment to journalists everywhere. Riggleman blew off her inane question about having a 2-year contract, then Rizzo tried to be polite as she asked dopey questions. What is she doing on the air?

  179. Ribuld - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    N. Cognito said…"Even if true, what's your point? Do you really think this doesn't happen on other teams? In other businesses?"It happens everywhere especially in sports. I guess it took Riggs this long to figure out he wasn't in the Nats long term plans. He felt dissed when Rizzo wouldn't talk to him and quit.If Rizzo had no use for Riggs he should have layed it on the line to Riggs instead of stringing him along.

  180. JoeGish - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    Jackie Moon says: "ELE! Everybody love everybody!"

  181. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    The Mets must be salivating.

  182. Alan_A - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    Seems like Riggs is the kind of guy to build up a lot of anger without letting anybody see it. These guys who seem to be calm almost never are. In a different way (tension, not anger), cf. Willie Randolph.And speaking of ex-Mets managers – please, not Bobby Valentine, no, no, no, no, no. Not unless you like media grandstanding, general dishonesty and a tendency to throw his players under the bus. I lived with it in NY and I don't want to go through it again.Davey Johnson, I could deal with.Willie Randolph, I could deal with, though I have no sense he's a realistic possibility.

  183. Ribuld - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    Mr. Z coming up on 980 at 5:30.

  184. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    Just guessing, not suggesting: Bob Brenley. The A's beat Rizzo to BoMel.

  185. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    How does this affect the All Star Game deal? I am guessing there is no way he is involved now.

  186. Joe Seamhead - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:36 AM

    Jim Riggleman is a good guy that made a bad decision. He had a contract. He gave an ultimatum, or did he? It doesn't matter. He was under contract, Rizzo could not allow himself, or the team to give in to threats. Rizzo, and maybe the Lerners, didn't want to talk extension at this time. I think Jim is a great guy, but he does seem to take losing too graciously, not unlike a certain first basemen that Rizzo let walk. Personally, I never thought that Jim was the long term answer for the Nationals to win with.He made what seems to be a very terminal move for his future in baseball. I wish him luck. Who's next? The king is dead, long live the king! Whoever it is going to be!

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