Friday, June 24, 2011

More Bad Karma For The Nationals!

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The word in D.C. is that the Washington Nationals have named bench coach John McLaren interim-manager to fill the void left after manager Jim Riggleman abruptly resigned yesterday.

Here's the Riggleman saga in a nutshell:

Riggleman, who is working on a one-year contract, informed the Nationals that he wants the club to pick up his option for next year because he wants more job security. General manager Mike Rizzo told him no because this wasn't the right time to make such a big decision. So a disgruntled Riggleman told Rizzo and the Nationals something to the effect, "If you are not going to give me a commitment then take this job and shove it!"

Said Riggleman, "I just felt if there’s not going to be some type of commitment, then there obviously never will be. I’m just not the guy that they thought they could move forward with."

He went on to say, "I tell ya, I’ve been in this 10 years. Maybe I’ll never get another opportunity, but I promise you I’ll never do it on a one-year deal again. You don’t bring people in on a one-year deal. I’m sure they will never do it here. When they get the guy they want, it won’t be on a one-year deal.”

Said Rizzo, “Jim told me pregame today that if we wouldn’t pick up his option, then he wouldn’t get on the team bus today. I felt that the time wasn’t right for me to pick up the option, and certainly today’s conversation put to me in the way it was put to me, you certainly can’t make that decision in a knee-jerk reaction. It’s too big of a decision.”

Riggleman continued, “It’s about me! It’s about looking in the mirror and feeling like I’ve got to answer to myself. In today’s world in major sports, it’s not a good environment to work when the manager or head coach in football or whatever is on a short leash. Too many negatives can come out of it. You’re walking on egg shells too often. You can’t think out of the box as much. I thought after 10 years I’d earned the right to have a little bit longer leash.”

So as you can see it's a "he said, he said" type of beef.

Personally, I think Riggleman took advantage of the Nationals' hot streak to make his demands. The Nationals have won 9 of their last 10 games and are 38-37 this late in the season, which for them is a huge accomplishment. I guess Riggleman felt that, for having the team playing decent baseball, he should get what he deserves. But apparently the Nationals had other ideas. In any case, I'm sure the distraction is not a good thing.

Now to my beef--

Over the years, my biggest problem with the Washington Nationals was their TASTELESS decision to un-retire the numbers retired by their ancestor, the Montreal Expos. As we all know, the Expos abandoned the city of Montreal in 2004, entered the witness protection program to change their name, and reemerged as the Washington Nationals in 2005. The new ownership in Washington, for some STRANGE reason, made the moronic decision that all numbers retired by the Expos can be put back into circulation. In other words, they were distancing themselves from their past in every which way, shape or form.

Personally, I have no problems with teams moving and changing their names BUT completely forgetting who you once were is UNACCEPTABLE. One of the great beauties of the game of baseball is the connection it has with it's past and those morons in Washington had no right to do what they did.
AP Photo

The Montreal Expos retired the following numbers: No. 8 (Gary Carter), No. 10 (Andre Dawson and Rusty Staub); No. 30 (Tim Raines).

My understanding is that, as of 2011, the Nationals have begun to honor the Expos retired numbers once again. I'm sure the public backlash had something to do with their change of mind. I've check the current roster and no player is wearing No. 10 or No. 30 but new manager McLaren has worn No. 8 since joining the Nationals in 2009.

So my question is: WHY IS McLAREN STILL WEARING NO. 8?

Someone should tell McLaren the following:

1. The Nationals were once the Montreal Expos.
2. A Hall of Fame player named Gary Carter played for the Expos from 1974-1984.
3. The Expos retired Carter's No. 8 in 2003.
4. And just because his moronic bosses in Washington made the absurd decision to put those numbers back in circulation doesn't mean that he has to wear one.

Sometimes in life, just because we can do something, doesn't necessarily mean we should, Mr. McLaren.

Until McLaren doesn't take off the No. 8, "The Curse of the Retired, Un-Retired Numbers" lives on and BAD KARMA will continue to plague the Nationals! Word up!

Numbers retired by the Montreal Expos
To read prior postings on my displeasure with the Nationals decision, click here and click here.

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