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Lerner Bunny Ears, and Dibble on Riggleman

(Weirdly warped photo via here.)

So Mark Lerner did an interview with MASN's Debbi Taylor from Wrigley Tuesday night, and some fine resident of the Friendly Confines saw fit to decorate his head with bunny ears. Try that to Daniel Snyder, and he'd buy WGN immediately.

As for what Lerner said, when asked about the message of the Strasburg signing, he pretty directly addressed the folks who have accused ownership of being parsimonious.

"Well, we're gonna build a winner, there's no doubt about it," Lerner said. "And we've always said, when we need to spend the money, we'll do it for the right reasons. Stephen is an incredible athlete, we only hope he lives up to everything everybody says about him, and we think he will, but we're doing it the right way. I know people sometimes get tired of hearing that, but we are doing it the right way and building it from the farm system up, and we're a lot better than what people think right now. It was a tough first half and it really put us behind the eight ball, but I think the second half we've shown what we're made of."

(And apologies for the warping effect on this TV photo, but that's the best I had.)

In other MASN news, a questioner on my weekly Tuesday chat asked why I hadn't posted any lengthy Rob Dibble rantscripts lately. Suitably inspired, I began typing away as Dibble addressed the fact that some Nats players said they were soaking in the Wrigley atmosphere, gazing at the ivy, etc.

"You're not a tourist; you're getting paid to win some ballgames," he said.

"I knew coming in here as a younger player, listen, Ty Cobb played here, Babe Ruth played here, Gale Sayers and a lot of different football players played here, there's a lot of different events that were on Wrigley. But you know what, it didn't feel any different than any other stadium, and it was great to beat the heck out of the Cubs. That was what our job was.

"And it wasn't easy, trust me, they had some really good teams in the late '80s, early '90s. And yes, you've got to respect this, this is a hallowed ground as far as baseball goes. But some of our players, some of the things that come out of their mouths are shocking to me. You're not on vacation here. This is a privilege to be in a situation at the major league level where you can further your professional career, and I think that's just falling on deaf ears with some of the pitching staff."

So let that be a lesson to you, young players. Don't ever get a kick out of playing in a historic venue for the first time. Chumps. Dibble also addressed Jim Riggleman vs. Manny Acta, spurred on by a hit-and-run situation in the second inning.

Riggleman "gets a lot of people in motion; it keeps you out of the double play, he does suicide squeeze, he sends guys that have no business stealing bases, and he sends 'em," Dibble raved. "And I like what Jim Riggleman has done since he's taken over this club. I've heard some say that there's no difference between Jim Riggleman and Manny Acta. I would beg to differ 100 percent with that statement. Jim Riggleman is a great communicator, he has meetings after almost every game, going over positive and negative things, getting feedback from the players, putting a lot of emphasis on the players to try to better themselves and have some accountability. So for someone to make that statement, they must not watch a lot of these games."

"Well, he's already been thrown out twice," Bob Carpenter said, while presumably gazing at the tire tracks running over Manny Acta's abdomen.

"Well, he's very active, and he's gonna support the players as much as possible," Dibble continued. "When he thinks the call went against the club, he goes out there and he has the players' backs, and they know that. And what was some of the things that the players had said to me, while Manny Acta was still here. Now you and I both know different, Manny was a great guy, very nice man, and hated to lose as much as anybody, but sometimes you have to be proactive. Because the players need to see a little more proactivity when you go out there, not just sitting there. Jim Riggleman's different. He's got a different approach, and it's nowhere near the same as Manny Acta's."

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 26, 2009; 10:57 AM ET
Categories:  Media , Nats  
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If ivy-gazing had anything to do with their performance last night, I have no problem with the tourism.

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 26, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

This is the second time in a week you've compared Mark Lerner to Dan Snyder, a more accurate comparison would be Mark Lerner to Gerald Snyder. Ted Lerner controls every aspect of the team, Mark is just along for the ride as long as the old man is around.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | August 26, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

what a great photo...Mark looks like Sloth from the Goonies in that one. If only Debbi Taylor could have gotten him to say 'Ba-by Ruth?'

Posted by: natsfan76 | August 26, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

These same guys took 2 out of 3 in the new Yankees Stadium and seem to like hallowed ground or stadiums that sit on former parking lots of hallowed ground so enjoy the ivy so long as you give "W's"!

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 26, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

To get ejected proactively, wouldn't you have to be ejected before the call was made?

Posted by: markfromark | August 26, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Agreed with Dibble about Riggleman's communication style. That's something we didn't get to see behind closed doors between Manny and the players.

But I do get tired of the commentators continued rants about our young pitchers' pitch selection. Every night! Well, are they calling their own pitchers or is it the catchers calling pitches? And if neither is doing it right, isn't it the job of the manager/pitching coach to call pitches? I don't see any difference there between Manny and Jim R. It seems like the inexperienced pitchers are running the show, and that doesn't seem right.

Posted by: P522 | August 26, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Is Mark Lerner beginning to take on the physical characteristics of the Great Gazoo?

Posted by: ViennaVA2 | August 26, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

""Well, he's already been thrown out twice," Bob Carpenter said, while presumably gazing at the tire tracks running over Manny Acta's abdomen."

That was funny.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | August 27, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

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