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Now what?

Jun 24, 2011, 1:00 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
John McLaren will manage tonight in Chicago, but probably not much longer.

The "shock and awe" — as Drew Storen put it — of yesterday's events gives way to a new emotion this morning as the Nationals wake up in Chicago: Uncertainty.

What happens now?

This much we know for sure: John McLaren will serve as manager for tonight's game against the White Sox, a game that previously would have been most notable for featuring Adam Dunn against his former club but now stands out for far bigger reasons.

McLaren seemed the obvious choice to take over in the short-term. He served as Jim Riggleman's right-hand man the last 1 1/2 seasons as bench coach. He managed a game in San Francisco earlier this month while Riggleman was serving a suspension. And he has 156 games ofRead more »

130 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Unkyd - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    Ready to move on, here…..Is there much gorse, in Chi?

  2. ACE PERSONNEL CONSULTANTS - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    Psssssst….Mr. Rizzo….don't offer the next full-time manager three 1 year interim contracts at minimum wage salary…Bobby Valentine is still laughing about that…so's the rest of the baseball world. A manager is a real person, not just dirt under your shoes.

  3. Richard Moore - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    I am so ready to turn the page and get back to winning baseball and cheering the team.

  4. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    ACE PERSONNEL CONSULTANTS said… "Psssssst….Mr. Rizzo….don't offer the next full-time manager three 1 year interim contracts at minimum wage salaryA manager is a real person, not just dirt under your shoes."Psssssst….Clown….who was going to offer Riggleman more?A brain is a working organ, not just stuffing for your head.

  5. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    I'm already done with it and ready for some baseball. J Zimm on the bump and a chance to go 2 games over .500.

  6. Harper is Awesome - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    Hey guys lets forget about that manager Riggs more than half of yall wanted him gone before we went on this hot streak. Hopefully, the team will rally and from some of the comments of the players they don't seem to affected. And there is one guy(i think everybody knows who that is)who is happy as hell. So maybe he'll get hot and hell maybe Teddy might even win on the first game back from the roadtrip. Lets play baseball and GYFNG!!!

  7. MGG - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    Can someone please explain GYFNG to me?

  8. Harper is Awesome - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    Go you freaking nats go!

  9. MGG - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    @HarperThank you

  10. natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    Yep, Riggs chose to move on, and I'm ready, too.Unk, I hear the gorse-hacking in Chi-town is excellent this time of year. Funny thing, I'd told my husband the hacking story (and follow-ups), and at yesterday's game when Morse comes up in a key, late situation, he pipes up with "Michael Morse, hacking the gorse." Me: You've learned well, grasshopper." Now to get him on board with GYFNG. :-)Speaking of the Chicago stretch, I heard that when someone expressed concern about the teams below the Nats in the standings gaining ground, an anonymous vet (I think his name may have been Elwood?) stated "They're not gonna catch us. We're on a mission from G*d." Go NATS!!

  11. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    I'm never using 'G""""' again. Used it for the first time yesterday at the end of the game and immediately recieved the "Riggleman Resigns" text. Don't like surprises like that!

  12. still waiting....... - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    I agree, the story is on the field, i think we may have turned a corner. lets hope the team keeps their concentration where it belongs….

  13. Will - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    Harper, who? Werth or Marquis?

  14. DCJohn - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    We'll soon find out about this club's chemistry. The Whte Sox have taken 17 straight series wins in inter-league play. The Nats have done almost the impossible on the last home stand: the come-back against the Cards and of course the ninth against the Mariners. We'll soon find out the character of this team, whether it's for real. Fun stuff.

  15. natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    NatsJack, on the other hand, I wrote it on my scorecard in the top of the 9th inning, and the Nats proceeded to (a) keep the M's down and (b) win it.

  16. natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    Exactly, DCJohn. We'll have a good feel for their resilience/cohesiveness after this road trip.And NatsJack, also, he'd evidently already decided before the game, but the outcome of the game wasn't decided until the 9th (when I marked up my scorecard). All I am saying, is give GYFNG a chance. :-) (Not that such things really affect the outcome either way.)

  17. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    I want to know why Jonanthan Winters is wearing a Nats road uniform?

  18. Will - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    Hahaha, I just read Tim Kurkjian's article on the Nats' future. It's a nice feel-good article, worth a read: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=kurkjian_tim&id=6696152&campaign=rss&source=MLBHeadlinesBut I laughed out loud when I got to this sentence, "The team believes in Riggleman." Ironically, the article was published mere hours before Riggleman resigned.WOOOPS!

  19. Another_Sam - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    Natsjack — again wise counsel from you, regarding let's get on with it. I say it too. Play ball.

  20. ACE PERSONNEL CONSULTANTS - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    @ Anonymous 9:15I see the need for a reading test in your personnel file. The post wasn't about Riggleman. Try reading it again…slowly. Difficult to do, of course, with all the stuffing interfering with the worn out neurons.

  21. Joe L - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    I had a nightmare that McLaren put Matt Stairs was in our starting lineup last night…..I woke up screaming!!!!!

  22. masnstinks - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    Joe L — that nightmare will probably come true as we will be playing in an AL park with a DH – pretty sure that Stairs will DH in at least one of those games – so, in reality, nothing has really changed. I, for one, will be glad to see the team on the field tonight and they might find it a welcome relief to get back to baseball and out of reality tv.

  23. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    Hey Another_Sam! Good to hear from you.I'm concerned that we haven't heard from Knoxville Nat… This has to have floored him.

  24. Wally - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    Did anyone see Steinberg's piece this morning on Riggs? I assume that this is a joke, although the tweets seem real.http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/post/jim-riggleman-marks-resignation-with-a-drink/2011/06/24/AGxYiriH_blog.html?wprss=dc-sports-bog

  25. Harper is Awesome - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    @Will, I believe Werth wanted to Riggleman gone and he finally got his wish.

  26. natscan reduxit - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    … Adam Kilgore nailed it this a.m. when he wrote, "It seems to me like he got tired of no one else believing."… exactly. There are reasons why he shouldn't have done it – lots of them. But those of us who live each day, each moment of each day, with that kind of Sword of Damocles over our heads know what Jim felt; know how any other consideration which might have been presented was ultimately and finally on the periphery. … I will still sign off with Go Nats! but I'll also add, Right On, Jimmy Riggs!

  27. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    What next?Easy answer, The mission has not changed. Win every series. So that is what is next. GYFNG.

  28. Will - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    My only hope is Riggleman thought this decision out long and hard, and that he won't live to regret this. He was a decent manager, and largely didn't deserve a new contract, except for a torrid 2 weeks of baseball. Now, he has nothing to fall back on, and that picture from Caddie's looks terribly depressing.He was a good guy, but really overplayed his hand in this whole thing, which is oddly appropriate and his ultimate flaw, given his propensity for over-managing.

  29. baseballswami - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    I know absolutely nothing about McClaren, other than what has been written here. I am so used to hearing Riggleman's voice,seeing him on tv – I almost knew what he would say to the reporters, could foresee what buttons he would push in the game. I don't even think I would recognize McClaren on the street. I hope the guys feel comfortable with him and just go out and play baseball.GYFNG!!

  30. Bowdenball - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    natscan reduxit said… … exactly. There are reasons why he shouldn't have done it – lots of them. But those of us who live each day, each moment of each day, with that kind of Sword of Damocles over our heads know what Jim felt; know how any other consideration which might have been presented was ultimately and finally on the periphery.… I will still sign off with Go Nats! but I'll also add, Right On, Jimmy Riggs! I couldn't possible disagree more. Those of us that do this every day … i.e. the 99.9% of us in this country who work at will and not under multi-year agreements, including many baseball players … should have ZERO sympathy for Riggleman.You want job security? Then don't accept a job that clearly offers none. But if you accept that job, you better damn well do it. He knew the terms of this deal going in to spring training. If he was unhappy with it, that was the time to demand change. Not in the middle of a win streak when the players you're supposed to manage are riding high and the fans who ultimately pay your salary are happy and excited about the team.At the moment Jason Marquis wants a deal from the Nats for next season, and they're not giving him one, because they're not yet sure if it's in the club's best interest to do so. If Marquis up and quit on the team on three hours' notice like Riggs did, would you be giving him an attaboy like you did for Riggs?

  31. SCNatsFan - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    I feel for Riggs, I do, but he signed the contract and knew what it said. 11 out of 12 doesn't make you manager of the year.All I know is this; if Marquis went to Rizzo and said he wanted to stay here but his contract is up at the end of the year and said if we don't talk about an extension I'm quitting no one would stand up for him. Riggs had a contract and if he was a stand up guy like he is said to be then he should have honored his contract. Career suicide.

  32. SCNatsFan - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    Bowdenball, you beat me about Marquis by about 10 seconds you dog

  33. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    I dunno. It can't have been a smart move (the man does seem to have friends in baseball, so he may yet come out ok), but I think it must have been like being married to your childhood sweetheart, the love of your life, and spending the past two years finding other guys' numbers on her cell phone bill. She *says* she's not bored with you, but you know you're both settling. Time to go.

  34. N. Cognito - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… "I want to know why Jonanthan Winters is wearing a Nats road uniform?"Not a good pic. I've heard he's a pretty good guy, but in this pic he looks like your uncle or grandfather, you know, the one who drools. We can all be "caught" in moments like that.

  35. ahoya - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Mark: Is there any talk of bringing in Ryne Sandberg? His no nonsense approach might be good for a young team.

  36. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    They are killing Riggleman on the MLB radio show with Kevin Kennedy and Dan Duquette.Knowlegeable baseball people know how dumb his move was.

  37. still waiting...... - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    he quit on his team, i think the comparison of Marquis going in an demanding an extension is very appropriate. not excusing Rizzo's lack of communication, but his refusal to even discuss it pretty much tells you how he fit in the teams future plans, he didnt

  38. SCNatsFan - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    http://blog.letteddywin.com/Watch the Hitler scene. Hilarious. Some NSFW language but made me laugh. Got it from Mark's links on the left of the page.

  39. Will - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    Sec3. Your analogy isn't appropriate, because there doesn't seem to be another guy in the picture. There are no indications that Rizzo was scheming behind Riggleman's back, just that he didn't think Riggleman was the long-term answer. A more apt comparison would be day-by-day watching your childhood sweetheart becoming more and more distant. However, I think most guys wouldn't simply give up and walk away from the love of their life. They'd stay and work at the relationship until she called it quits. Riggleman wasn't like that. He didn't want to fight for one of the best jobs in the world. He made his bed, now he can sleep in it.

  40. N. Cognito - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    "He made his bed, now he can sleep in it."Without his childhood sweetheart.

  41. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    After Zimmerman throws a shut out tonight, which he will, this is all going to be moot, and Riggs is going to look like the jacka** that he is. Go Nats!

  42. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    SCNatsFan… Thanks… that was a friggin' riot!

  43. JD - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    I think it's interesting that McLaren is only an interim interim and won't even get the team until the end of the year. This implies to me that Riggs caught the team off guard. I also believe that if the team had continued to perform as it has lately Rizzo would have been hard pressed to sign off on the extension. I don't really have a feel for Jewett or Knorr but I am not sure I like the idea of Davie Johnson unless his heart is completely in it.They may also be entertaining the idea of giving Porter this year plus next; I like this concept. Finally to all those complaining about disrespect to Riggleman based on 1 year deals; Walter Alston and Tommy LaSorda never had anything but a 1 year deal and Riggleman is not half the manager as either of these guys.

  44. Tom - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    I think there is a vast difference between a player in the last year of his contract and a manager. Some players want the security of future years, but others want the chance to become free agents and test the market. Managers on the other hand, are considered lame ducks and their authority is undermined. How are you supposed to lead when the higher ups are basically communicating that you will be gone next year? The team has a pay-roll of nearly 58 million dollars, you can't pony up 600k (3% of Werth's yearly average salary, or less than half of 1 percent of the total contract) to give a vote of confidence to your manager, even if you eat it in the offseason? I think this was poorly handled by the front office. This was not the time to be lowballing and disrespecting people.

  45. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    When anyone leaves the Nats organization, they are always replaced by someone within the organization who then starts wearing two hats. That saves money. When Kasten bolted, did they bring someone in from outside to replace him? Of course not. So predicting a new manager will come from inside the organization is a no brainer.

  46. natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    If memory serves, the Boz piece mentioned a number of current managers who are on one-year contracts.On another note, we tried a couple of the new concessions on this homestand. The first time, we tried the taco combo at the taqueria. I thought the tortillas could have been fresher, but overall I gave it a thumbs up, and as a one-time California gal I'm picky about Mexican food. My fave was the steak. Yesterday, we tried and liked the Shake Shack (single burger and fries). By far the best burger I've had at the park (which isn't saying a lot, I realize). Your mileage may vary but offered for what it's worth.

  47. Tom - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    JD – Alston managed the Dodgers from 1954-1976. Do you really think he is the most relevant comparison to the current situation? How about naming a manager from our current millennium who has been working on one year contracts?

  48. The Dude Abides - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    Anon 11:31…. So the Nats are taking the same tact as the Minnesota Twins. Not too shabby a model. Promote from with in. And Kasten could be replaced by any two bit used car salesman.

  49. letsplayball - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    Been listening to the Riggs crucifixion and then heard Rizzo on the radio. Yesterday I was kind of ticked that he was "spinning" the situation ( not actually lying or misrepresenting)his way. By now – yes, Riggs was probably too caught up with his line in the sand,and being disrespected, but Rizzo's Dirty Harry routine is getting really old now. Talk about egos! He is taking full responsibility for the team's success like Riggs had absolutely nothing to do with it. This routine might work well on agents, but on actual humans he might want to try a little different form of communication. I have always liked Rizzo, but now am seeing a different side of him. Seems like winning is the only thing that's important to him on and off the field. The scouting, drafting and signing part he might be ok at, but he is still a pretty new gm and might want to work on some of his other management skills. I still think this did not need to go down the way it did. Now – can we please go back to "play ball" – and send Dirty Harry Rizzo out to deal with Boras before the stroke of the signing deadline in August?

  50. natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    Wait, it wasn't Boz. There's been so much ink spilled and so many pixels burned up over this that I can't recall where it was. Never mind. Moving right along.Now it's a whole new ballgame, as they say. Can't wait to see what tonight's game holds in store for our boys. Wish it was on sooner, as I'll probably fall asleep before it's over. But that's what DVRs are for, I realize. :-)

  51. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    Will, a fair point, tho I was going more for emotional content than the actual circumstances. Still, not a good move.

  52. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    Riggleman was barking up the wrong tree. Rizzo doesn't have the authortiy to send a fax without clearing it with Mark Lerner. Talking to him about a $600,000 extension would have been a total waste of time.

  53. FS - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    I agree with what Tom has said. FO should have handled it better. 600K in this business is a nothing loss. DBacks lost millions when they cut Russ Ortiz I believe. Also Riggleman did let his displeasure about one-year deals know to them when he got on board. And how many of us have really felt the heat like Riggs did after spending ten years in the industry. It is very easy to sit behind our desks, on comfy chairs and pass judgments on other people, it is another to actually go through it. Also do not compare Riggs' situation to Rizzo's. This is Rizzo's first job as GM while Riggs has managed before. Like he said, he is no Casey Stangel, but he is known to be a good baseball man. I think in the long run, Riggs did right by the team. It would have affected his managing when he is bothered so much by contract issues.I wanted to show support to Riggs after seeing so many posters making negative remarks against him.Now I am wholeheartedly ready to win some ballgames. If I remember correctly, White Sox swept us last year. About time, we return the favor.

  54. natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    fwiw, I also felt that Riggs' decision seemed to be emotion- and or ego-driven. Will be glad when the action starts again and there's something else to focus on. At least it's not an off day.Speaking of which, wonder whether Mark will be able to go on this road trip? Would be particularly valuable to have the benefit of his perspective and long-term experience with the team in this instance, imo.

  55. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    I don't understand why people keep saying that without a contract next year Riggs couldn't manage effectively … last I checked its not next year .. its TODAY and he's in charge (well, was in charge).

  56. JaneB - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    I propose we go on a "who was the bigger jerk here?" fast, and start seeing major gorse hacking in our immediate future. It happened, it's over and we are all okay anyway. All…from the team to us to the principals involved in the blow up. Best thing we can do is put it behind us, and clear the ether so we can trounce the Sox. Even if we trounce them by just one run.GYFNG!

  57. Bowdenball - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    To the people who think the FO handled this poorly and should have just ponied up the $600K … I don't even know what to say. I mean, other than to thank God you don't work for the Washington Nationals.A front office that folds under pressure to a selfish request from mediocre talent simply in order to save face? Sure, sign me up. I can't see how a front office strategy like that could possibly backfire!Seriously, please tell me that you're kidding. If the front office deserved any blame, it would be for misleading Riggleman. But my understanding is that the front office made the terms of the job perfectly clear last winter. And Riggleman agreed to them. The ONLY reason he had a change of heart is that the team got hot and he wanted to take advantage of it. It was a selfish move by a replaceable guy, and I'm glad he's not with the team any more.

  58. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    I think Riggleman knew that this "is as good as it gets" for the Nats this season. They have played funky ball all season until the last ten days. He didn't want to wait around for the funk to return so he probably felt this streak presented the best and only chance of getting the option exercised. He will catch on with another team as a bench coach and probably make as much as he was making with the Nationals as manager.

  59. natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    In other news in re. an eclipsed post from yesterday afternoon, congrats to Harper and Peacock on their selection for the upcoming Futures Game (July 10 on ESPN). Will look forward to watching them that evening!

  60. Adam - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    Watch for some blasts this weekend.

  61. FS - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    Bowdenball, I was one of those willing to sacrifice 600K. One thing I want to make clear is that I did not want Rizzo to exercise his option in mid-season when Riggs asked for it. I meant to say that when the guy told you about his displeasure in the very beginning (I am getting this from Riggs' interview), you should have signed him for couple of years back then. Riggleman's main argument was that he has been in the industry for ten years and he thinks he has earned the right for a longer leash. Yes, he agreed to that one year contract at the beginning of season but also told them about his displeasure. Rizzo or whoever should have acted then and extended him for 600K or whatever amount. It was not going to be a great loss.Also in his defense, this is not the first time Riggs asked for "discussion" during the season. So your implication that he wanted to take advantage of the winning streak is wrong.

  62. Tom - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    Bowdenball – my point was not to do it in order to "save face." My point was to do it in order to stregthen the position of the manager for this year and to provide stability to the team. I think that the bigger picture benefit was greater than the relatively small cost of picking up the option (in my world 600k is a lot of money, but in MLB it is nothing). That doesn't preclude you replacing him next year (see McNabb, Donovan for a recent example).

  63. NeutralAnon - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    taking the same TACKhttp://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?date=20000505

  64. erocks33 - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    OK, I've had enough of the Riggs vs Rizzo crud. Let's play some baseball!This weekend, we've got some favorable matchups, so I'm hoping for at least 2 wins:Fri. — Zimmermann vs JacksonSat. — GORSE-lanny vs DanksSun. — Livo vs HumberLet's kick some White Sox butt and who knows, if the Nats take 2 or dare I say (dare! dare!) even sweep this weekend, the Sox just might be looking for a new manager as well!

  65. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    I dunno. It can't have been a smart move (the man does seem to have friends in baseball, so he may yet come out ok), but I think it must have been like being married to your childhood sweetheart, the love of your life, and spending the past two years finding other guys' numbers on her cell phone bill. She *says* she's not bored with you, but you know you're both settling. Time to go.Best ever explanation for what seems on the surface to be the biggest boneheaded Giggleman move yet. We don't know all the facts but on the face of it embarrassing not just Rizzo (he was stumbling over words in the announcement) but the Lerner family? Does not seem like the "right way" to work in or play baseball? Is Riggleman any different from Elijah Dukes in this respect?

  66. Dave - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    @erocks33: "OK, I've had enough of the Riggs vs Rizzo crud. Let's play some baseball!"Right on. I'm about ready for a preview post for game 76.GYFNG

  67. FS - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    I think only the first matchup is favorable. But Jackson is like a righty Sanchez, lots of walks but can strike you out. So yeah, we better watch it tonight. Humber has been as hot as they come. Let us hope Danks still feeling the effects of that linedrive and balks the whole game. jkTalking about Ozzie, would love to have him manage. I mean I just love hearing that guy on MLB. I remember the Joe West saga, he was pretty awesome back then.

  68. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Also in his defense, this is not the first time Riggs asked for "discussion" during the season. So your implication that he wanted to take advantage of the winning streak is wrong. Let's see why is this so very wrong? Let me count the ways as to why it would have been better to wait for the All Star break when everyone could take a little breather. (But, then of course Riggs was supposed to be a coach there? Its all about me right Rig?)Riggleman your boss is busy don't bother him right now.1. Rizzo is working on signing that wonderful cache of draft picks to again beat the deadline.2. International free agent signing deadline is coming up.3. Getting ready for the MLB Trade deadline also coming up rapidly.4. Mid season evaluation of prospects in the minors happening right now.

  69. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    He will catch on with another team as a bench coach and probably make as much as he was making with the Nationals as manager. He will be very lucky to find any sort of job in major league baseball ever again. All he needed to do was to look at his predecessor in Seattle Mike Hargrove. How's the employment outlook for Mike right now Rig? And you think you can do better? Right …

  70. natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    Ozzie? No thanks.I'm also ready for a series preview post. In the Leftovers Again Department, being at the game yesterday and having only a "not terribly stupid" as opposed to a "smart phone," I didn't get to post during the game and share my joy at the win. I must confess that I was a little verklempt immediately after the win, because of what it represented for the team. Then didn't post to the game thread because of, um, other events, but I would like to share the following, which I believe sums up my immediate postgame mood rather nicely: aoooga! aooga!

  71. Bowdenball - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    FS and Tom-If I'm understanding you now, you think we should have handed him $700K (the actual cost of the option) simply because he asked for it and because he claimed it would negatively affect his performance? And that they should have done this because $700K a year is "nothing" in MLB terms?I disagree. That's 1% of our player payroll, and every single person on that payroll is about a hundred times more important to the Nats' on-field performance than Riggleman. More importantly, just handing people $700K any time they ask for it as long as they couch it as a vague threat to stability is a horrible precedent to set.

  72. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    taking the same TACKhttp://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?date=20000505@NeutralAnon, sigh … as a minor in philology I can tell you that languages are living things (yes, even Latin is continuously updated starting with the Catholic Church). They grown and change like children. That is there nature and their beauty.What happens to a child when a very rigid approach is taken to his education? When he is stifled from learning and trying new things?The exact same thing will happen to a language.Languages are meant to be tasted and savored not meted out like pudding at an 18th century English orphanage. Stop.

  73. TimDz - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    Anyone have thoughts on how Dunn will fare this series?I'll set the over/under at five strikeouts and take the over…

  74. MM - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    I think the 'let's have a conversation about it' would've been Rigg's 'two-week notice' to quit at the ASG break (as the conversation would not have changed anything). Too bad Rizzo essentially saw no point for that.

  75. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    Did anyone see Steinberg's piece this morning on Riggs? I assume that this is a joke, although the tweets seem real.@Wally, looks real. Riggleman says "Nats not good yet"? Is that why he needed a raise? ~smiles~ Keep it up Rig you won't even get a job in a country club sweeping floors.Its too bad Riggleman isn't keeping up on the tweets about him. He is now the big joke of baseball.

  76. Sec 204 Row H Seat 7 - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    @natsfan1ADid you try the Shake Shack ice cream? If so, how was it?

  77. Dave - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    I don't usually respond to Anons, but to Anon 12:33:Yeah, yeah. I'm a language guy by profession, too. You're right about living language and the shifts in the linguistic sands and all that.But "tact" and "tack" are two unrelated things. Sometimes people just use the wrong word. "Tact" was the wrong word to use in that sentence.

  78. Harper_ROY_2012 - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    If Trader Jack can make a combeack at 80, Davey can do it at 68, he would be a good interim managr for the rest of 2011. I would love to see Randy Knorr get the full-time job in 2012, he is a class act.

  79. Mark Zuckerman - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    natsfan1a said…Speaking of which, wonder whether Mark will be able to go on this road trip? Would be particularly valuable to have the benefit of his perspective and long-term experience with the team in this instance, imo.You're in luck. I'm in Chicago right now, getting settled in and working on the traditional series preview as we speak.And for those of you who just can't get enough Zuckerman, some upcoming multimedia appearances to set your alarm clocks to:3:10 p.m. — ESPN SportsCenter5:00 p.m. — ESPN-980 AM6:00 p.m. — CSN SportsNet Central live from US Cellular Field(All times Eastern)

  80. natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    sec204, no, was thinking of going back for a shake but the line was too long, it was almost game time, and our seats were on the other side of the field. We'll get 'em next time, as they say.

  81. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    Hey Mark … your good with stats … can you calculate a VORM (value over replacement manager)? I'm thinking something along the lines of riggs' career win-loss compared to the win-loss of interim managers who take over mid-season.

  82. Alan_A - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    @Anon at 12:33 p.m.No, not quite."Tack" is a sailing term. It means to change direction by turning across the wind. It's how a boat sails against the wind. To take another tack is to go in another direction."Tact" means verbal discretion. You exercise tact by not saying everything you could possibly say. To take another tact is meaningless. It's gibberish. It's word salad.The "living language" defense doesn't work here. Yes, language is a living thing (see, for example, GYFNG – a totally new coinage). But mistakes are still mistakes.Put down the "everybody's a winner" self-esteem trophy and back away.

  83. Unkyd - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    My last thought re: Riggs:I don't think he harbored any illusion that Rizzo would cave. Whether you condone his decision or not, he didn't "overplay his hand"… For whatever reasons, he couldn't reconcile completing the season as he had agreed to. Fulfilling contractual obligations is a natter of principle, yes. But if he felt ill-used, and disrespected, standing up for himself was a matter of principle, as well. He obviously felt that leaving was more respectful… to himself… Than playing out the string. I'm just saying that it's awfully damn easy to make another man's life decisions, while sitting in the cheap seats…GYFNG!!!!!'

  84. natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    Yay – doing a happy dance right now. :-)Mark Zuckerman said… natsfan1a said… Speaking of which, wonder whether Mark will be able to go on this road trip? Would be particularly valuable to have the benefit of his perspective and long-term experience with the team in this instance, imo. You're in luck. I'm in Chicago right now, getting settled in and working on the traditional series preview as we speak.

  85. Tom - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    Bowdenball – The thing is, I think they should have re-upped him earlier in the season so the issue did not come this far. It is not about caving to threats, it is about creating an environment of stability and class on the team. Why do all the pundits say that we had to overpay for Werth? Because we are perceived as a cheap basement dweller. Stringing a manager along on a low-ball contract does not make our organization look good. Just read a column from Kurkjian and he seems to agree. (And I don't know if it was 700K or 600K, I have seen both numbers.)

  86. SonnyG10 - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    Tom Boswell's column this morning really cleared up things for me…there was more to the story than I was aware. I was a Riggleman supporter and really liked the man and I thought he did a reasonable job with the talent he had. I don't want to bash him now, but I strongly disagree with what he did. If he had stuck it out and the team finished really strong, then he might have gotten the deal he wanted. He certainly wasn't going to get it by his actions. This is probably best for the Nats anyway.

  87. Grandstander - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    Riggs has been letting some juicy stuff go. Apparently Marquis was so infuriated at being given the early hook in that O's game that he called his agent to complain to Rizzo. Riggs didn't appreciate that one bit it seems and said his one-year deal meant he had to take a lot of crap from the players because he couldn't really control them.OTOH, Marquis is in a contract year too and despite it being probably the worst stat in all of baseball, Rizzo has repeatedly said he values W-L record more than anything else and so do a lot of GMs I bet.

  88. Feel Wood - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    "But "tact" and "tack" are two unrelated things. Sometimes people just use the wrong word. "Tact" was the wrong word to use in that sentence."Your a real idiot. Its obvious this guy knows more than you.

  89. Wally - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    Anon @ 12:40 – it is out there enough now that I think it is real. And I can't say that I think the same of him after this. I mean, it isn't tabloid stuff necessarily, but it doesn't seem like the image of Riggleman that I had from his tenure here to be doing that. I have been trying to find the radio interview with the Junkies where he supposedly says something about the 'beautiful ladies' at that bar, so if someone knows the link, please post it. Does anyone else think that the whole 'Caddies' thing was kind of bizarre? Ok, I am moving on to the humor part of all this now. This from Joe Posnanski:'Riggleman threatening to quit if he didn't get a contract extension is so bizarre that it kind of reminds me of Kramer getting fired on Seinfeld.'Kramer: "But I don't even work here."Boss: "That's what makes this so difficult."

  90. natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    GS, are you going on the Sports Bog piece or is that right from the horse's, um, mouth as it were? Because, if you're going from the Bog piece, it was Steinberg who mentioned the name of Marquis, not Riggleman, which seems more like a presumption than a fact to me.

  91. Dave - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    @Feel Wood: "Your a real idiot. Its obvious this guy knows more than you."WTF?!? FW, is that you?(Don't know about anybody else, but I clearly have too much time on my hands today. First full day free from the school-teaching gig.)

  92. natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    Wally, don't have a link but I listened to the interview and heard him say it.

  93. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    I'm still trying to figure out what a minor in stamp collecting has to do with it…

  94. Grandstander - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    It seemed rather obvious from Riggleman's own words. I didn't need Steinberg to insinuate it for me. They had a rather public blow up about that game.

  95. Dave - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    You're not calling him a philatelist, are you?Isn't that a dirty word?(PS: CAPTCHA string was "lingsh." It's like the server is reading our minds.)

  96. Sunderland - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    Can't wait to name the real interim and change topics. Dunn over under, 5 K's, I'll take the under on the notion that he sits one of the games.

  97. Bowdenball - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    Tom-Why would you extend him before the season? He didn't have a track record to suggest he would be a long term answer at manager. He should have to prove himself just like everyone else does. Rizzo did it at GM, and he was rewarded with a five-year deal.Plenty of managers work on concurrent one year deals. Riggleman is suckering you with his garbage about stability. If you need a multiyear deal to control your players, and you'll lose the clubhouse without one, then I don't want you managing my team in the first place. As I've said before- explain to me the difference between this and Marquis demanding a free agent deal and threatening to walk away from the team mid-season without one. I don't see it. It would obviously be unforgivable if a player pulled a stunt like that, and nobody would blame the front office unless they wanted to blame them for signing such a selfish idiot in the first place. Same thing applies here. The only mistake the Nats front office made was giving Riggleman a job to begin with.

  98. natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    sec3, I do not think that word means what you think it does:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pva35TFiBfIWhat you'll want to check out is around the 1:58 mark.GS, oops. I assumed that's where you got it even though I know what they say about assuming (at least, as applies to me). :-)Dave, yeah, too much time here, too.

  99. Not_My_Usual_Handle - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    Here's an aside: I'm glad to see that the URL is now just natsinsider.com [sans blogspot] because now i can get to it from work. LOL.I'll not use my real handle here, but I'm a regular.

  100. Bowdenball - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    My post should have said "consecutive" one year deals, not concurrent.

  101. A DC Wonk - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Can someone with some insight fill me in on Davey Johnson? I used to be a Mets fan and didn't understand why he got fired then (I thought he was great). All Davey does is have his teams finish first and second every year, and then he gets fired. If he wears out his welcome then: how? and: why would the Nats want him?Is there a manager with a better record around that keeps getting fired?I'm mystified. Somebody fill me in?

  102. Feel Wood - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    "@Feel Wood: "Your a real idiot. Its obvious this guy knows more than you."WTF?!? FW, is that you?"Guess you also don't get jokes.

  103. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    I think going to a bar is the most sensible thing he did in this.

  104. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    "Is there a manager with a better record around that keeps getting fired?"Buck Showalter. Bobby Valentine. And in his day, Billy Martin.

  105. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    He's not the only one, FW. *whoosh*

  106. Unkyd - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    "Tact"-"Tack"……sigh….. I think philology has been brought mighty low, when a "philologist" seems to imply that casually misusing, or misspelling a word warrants an update, in the next concise Oxford….

  107. Dave - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    Yes, I AM a real idiot. I've got a certificate here somewhere to show it.

  108. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    Grandstander – hadn't heard what what Riggs said today about Marquis, thanks for that. Kind of puts in context what he said a few days ago about leaving Gorzelanny in for so long (if you take pitchers out before 5 innings, there are often repercussions).

  109. Wally - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    @natsfan1a – thx. Sec 3 – by himself, hitting on the 'beautiful young ladies'? Doesn't this seem odd, like a different guy than the manager the last two years? It just looks like he was under a huge amount of self induced stress, like his manhood was being questioned. Stress makes people act irrationally, which describes everything over the last day or so. That is why I think the stress was getting to him.OK, funny part II (to me): during Rizzo's first press conference, he (mistakenly) says that he'll have a manager by Monday. The press is silent for a bit (immediately realizing there is a game the next day, on FRIDAY), and then someone asks 'who will be making the decisions tomorrow?' Rizzo, firmly and projecting confidence and authority: 'I will'. A longer pause, and then someone asks 'So, you will be managing the game in Chicago?' Rizzo's eyes bulge wide when he realizes what he said and mumbles something like 'No, I'll make the decisions … we'll have someone managing the game tomorrow … we have strong leadership'. He went from channeling Alexander Haig to Don Knotts in about 3 seconds.I doubt Mark would comment on that, but I would guess there was a chuckle or two afterwards among the reporters.

  110. Exposremains - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    I guess I wasn't too far enough when I felt that since that Marquis thing in BAL Riggleman was doing things different. I wonder if yesterday he left Marquis on purpose intsead of pinch-hitting for him, so maybe Marquis would fail and Jim would be vindicated.

  111. Dave - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    Incidentally, I am delighted to note that our ridiculous back-and-forth sniping about philology (wait–that word has "Phil" in it) has gotten so out of control that we are no longer yapping about Rizzo and Riggs.Well done, my brother and sister idiots! ;-)

  112. Drew8 - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    Disclaimer: The following is about perspective — NOT politics.When President Clinton was impeached, Senator Moynihan said: "It's not a constitutional crisis. It's a crisis for the regime."In other words: The fundamentals are fine. Let's play two! GYFNG!!!!!!!!!

  113. natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    See, now I *did* get that one (unlike many others that have swished right over my coconut – and, btw, I like that FP used that term the other day).Sec 3, My Sofa said… He's not the only one, FW. *whoosh* June 24, 2011 1:27 PM

  114. Sunderland - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    Wally – really good"He went from channeling Alexander Haig to Don Knotts in about 3 seconds."

  115. natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    Just refreshed and there's a game preview post up. Yeah, baby…

  116. Tcostant - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    I'm sad all this happen, while we're playing so well. We'll never know how this movie would have ended.I wasn't so sold on Riggs, so I shocked not sad.But, if we end up with Davey Johnson heading this team, even if it's just 'til the end of the year – then it's worth it. What I don't want to happen, is they bring some unknown in (the two guys Mark mentioned) and then we end up making him the manager. I want a real guy next year, if that is Davey Johnson con't or someone like Bobby Valetine; then yesterday will seem like a net gain anyway.I see Riggs point, he thought (correctly) that he was just a cheap caretaker until they got good and wanted no longer wanted to be with a contract for next year. He is correct, that if the option was just picked up in October he would have been in the same situation next year, withever loss a possible thought of his firing. Rizzo didn't want to commit yet, and that was his right based on the contract.Bottom line – give me Davey Johnson in the dugout and all is well.

  117. Dave - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    @Drew8: "In other words: The fundamentals are fine. Let's play two!"I already have my tickets for July 2. I haven't been to a single-ticket doubleheader since about 1980, in Shea Stadium. I'm looking forward to watching the Nats play two.

  118. Alan_A - Jun 24, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    Re: Davey Johnson in NY – I was there for the whole run. He had a great track record throughout – world championship in '86 and eastern division in '88. At the time he was a rough charachter in a clubhouse full of rough characters, and his way of managing them was basically to let them loose and do their thing, both on and off the field. Management didn't qutie appreciate this and as the club's performance fell off in '89 and into '90, he was fired. There was some suggestion that he had a drinking problem around that time, and that that may have contributed. I don't want to swear to that since I'm writing this mainly from memory, and I'm not sure how solid a factual basis there is for that. The team's performance fell off as a result of some bad personnel moves (Kevin McReynolds), aging talent (Gary Carter) and off-field problems ramifying on the field (Doc Gooden, Daryl Strawberry). But there was never a question about his baseball smarts. He seems to have mellowed a lot since those days. I suppose age and experience will do that. No telling what a dugout stint will do to him now, if he takes the job. But I for one would be glad to see him back in the dugout.

  119. Feel Wood - Jun 24, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    I had bought a $2 ticket for that game that got rained out when it didn't rain (sounds like something Yogi would say) so now for two bucks I get to see two games on the second – in a seat that normally goes for $30. Sweet!

  120. Dave - Jun 24, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    Excellent! Double baseball for almost free!I hope the house is rocking that day. Nats vs. Pirates ought to be a pretty good series.

  121. Alan_A - Jun 24, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    Dang! I had a ticket for tne non-rainout rainout, but I'm booked on the 2nd, so will have to pass. But I did get to see the twofer against the Brewers in April, and I'll use the ticket down the line. Plus I'm there on Friday and Monday. So that's something…

  122. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 7:02 PM

    The Nats what a group of spoiled brats! To hear that mere rookie, Espinosa, in this exchange with CSN reporter: " So, I bet you're disappointed that Riggleman won't finish out the year with you all. A: I would rather not answer that question." And R. Zimmerman sounding like a slick talking company man, and Werthless who thinks and talks like he's very much glad to Riggs go — Who are these spoiled brats? They need a tough ass manager who will get in their lazy ass faces and make them play –You watch: the Sox are going to literally destroy this over-achieving last place team.LyfnL (Lose, you freaking Nats, Lose)

  123. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    I concur – fellow Anon.What'smore, I'm putting the voofoo wammy on these lowlife creeps of wannabee baseball players.Here goes: Muja Gaana – Muja Gaana — Mijerber orata!!Done curse has been placed.

  124. rmoore446 - Jun 24, 2011 at 7:11 PM

    Alan_A I agree with you about Davey Johnson. It would be great to see him in the Nats dugout running the show.

  125. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 24, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    PosAnon uses Philal-O.G. — curse is misfired!

  126. trOlls - Jun 24, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    I'm rubber, and you're glue. Whatever you say bounces off me, and sticks on you.

  127. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 24, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    By the power of the hoary hosts of Hoggoth! In the name of the deathless Vishanti! By the twelve moons of Munnopor, the fury of the dread Dormammu,and the roving rings of Raggador! Expelliarmus!

  128. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    Its a shame. Part of me wants them to keep winning the other part wants them to lose 12-0. Oh wait, Gorzellany Saturday? That might happen. Hey, this Rizzo guy reminds me of somebody. I think his name starts with a D. Oh yeah DAN SNYDER.

  129. SilverSpring8 - Jun 24, 2011 at 9:46 PM

    Trent Jewett or Randy Knorr? Be still, my beating heart!Nats management will look like even bigger idiots if they don't either a) make a 'name' hire or b) promote Bo Porter.

  130. John Davis - Jul 14, 2011 at 6:41 AM

    Excellent post Admin. Now I have to really think about what I say here ;)I think it's important for people to also think about how powerful an effect comments can have, especially for new bloggers. A comment is both a validation that someone has read the content and connected with it – that can inspire someone to continue on interimmanager, or if too negative, make others consider shutting down.At any rate, I'll give this more thought but I'm bookmarking this post to share with Friends. Thanks again.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
ATLANTA 76 77 13.0
MIAMI 74 79 15.0
NEW YORK 74 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 84 19.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Friday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 88 66 1.5
ST. LOUIS 86 68 3.5
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 69 5.0 +1.0
PITTSBURGH 83 70 6.0 --
MILWAUKEE 79 75 10.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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