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Hamilton at Nats Presser (Formerly Live)

Columnist live-Tweeted the Nats' news conference "to discuss the team's managerial situation" at Nats Park. Her posts are on the jump.

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    By Jon DeNunzio  |  July 13, 2009; 11:22 AM ET
    Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Reacting to Acta: An Opinion Roundup
    Next: Nats' Letter to Fans


    Three paragraphs from the AP story summed up this issue for me:

    "The Nationals started 0-7 and never came close to approaching .500. When the team was hitting well, the pitching was a mess, and the team kept shuffling its bullpen with little change. Once the pitching became serviceable, the hitters suddenly became less productive.

    Acta's firing is only the latest example of the constant upheaval and instability surrounding the Nationals since Kasten and local developer Ted Lerner took over the club -- a sale that was supposed to finally bring a semblance of normalcy to the franchise.

    Instead, there is now uncertainty on the bench to go along with an acting general manager, Mike Rizzo, who took over day-to-day GM duties shortly after Bowden resigned during spring training. Rizzo still does not have the full title."

    Yep, that's about where we stand.

    Posted by: BobLHead | July 13, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

    even though I know they probably needed to do this, it still leaves me with an uneasy knot in my stomach.

    Posted by: NatsNut | July 13, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

    Stan: season is a great disappointment but we're optimistic about our future.


    ohfercryingoutloud Stan! What the eff are you talking about? Seriously? You seriously think this was the best thing for you to say? You can be such a blow hard sometimes, I swear.

    Posted by: NatsNut | July 13, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

    Why are there so many press conferences where you can't hear the questions??? Is it intentional?

    Posted by: NatsMan21 | July 13, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

    Well, I'm glad someones optimistic. Because frankly I'm a little unsure as to what he sees that the rest of baseball is missing concerning our future.

    Posted by: soundbloke | July 13, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

    I've tried to post the text of the letter a few times but it's not working, perhaps it's too long.

    Here's the first part:

    To Fans of the Washington Nationals,

    No one is more dissatisfied in the first half of the 2009 Washington Nationals season than we are. Like you, we had hoped that some of our younger players would have matured faster and that the addition of some of our new veterans would have significantly improved our record from a season ago. Our hope was that solid club leadership would emerge on and off the field and that some intangible combinations would begin to click resulting in many winning streaks.

    We definitely do see significant pieces materializing for the future, and there have been many close, exciting games and optimistic bright spots: Strong outings by John Lannan, the home run and RBI production of Adam Dunn, the All-Star selection and 30-game hitting streak of Ryan Zimmerman and the recent addition of speedster Nyjer Morgan. Much of the season, however, has been defined by weak relief pitching, poor defense, and youthful inconsistency. We have tried to work through this period with patience and focus but now we are faced with mounting losses which are beginning to take a toll on our entire roster. Clearly, some changes are required as we prepare for the second half of the 2009 season and, more importantly, build for a competitive future.

    Today, we announced that manager Manny Acta is being replaced on an interim basis by Jim Riggleman, veteran manager, and currently the Nats bench coach. Both the Ownership and the entire Washington Nationals organization have the highest respect for Manny Acta and the role he has played in the short history of the Nationals. However, it is our belief that a fresh attitude and approach is necessary as we set out to improve our performance for the remainder of the year. We want to send a strong message to our clubhouse and our fans that the status quo is unacceptable. We believe that more is expected of everyone in the organization.

    Posted by: BobLHead | July 13, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

    Wait... we fired Pat Corrales last year so we could hire Jim Riggelman and now we've fired Manny, promoted Jim and replaced him with Pat Corrales?

    Posted by: Section506 | July 13, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

    Success! And here is the rest:

    Posted by: BobLHead | July 13, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

    did they hire Randy St. Clair to take Steve McCatty's place at AAA?

    Posted by: Section506 | July 13, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

    One more time:

    Baseball operations will be reevaluating all our players and our options for improvement over the next several months. We hope to sign our 2009 draft choices by the August deadline. We hope these new additions will join an already exciting Nationals youth movement headed by the likes of Lannan, Jesus Flores, Alberto Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Craig Stammen on our current roster, and the likes of promising Minor League stars like Chris Marrero, Michael Burgess, Danny Espinosa, Derek Norris and Drew Storen, among many others. But, we also will be determining the viability of trades or roster upgrades that can be made without doing damage to the farm system or the developing talent we expect to blossom within the next two years.

    When we bought the Washington Nationals in the middle of the 2006 season - just under three years ago - we committed to a patient, long term approach, building a strong farm system and core foundation that would deliver a perennial and consistent contender; to provide a second-to-none family entertainment value at Nationals Park; and to investment and involvement in the metropolitan Washington, DC community. Today we remain steadfastly committed to each component of that mission. We are proud to represent the National Pastime in the Nation's Capital, and we are proud to call the Capital area home.

    We know we have a way to go, but the end result will be all the richer for the early days we've spent together at Nationals Park. We are getting better. We want you to be with us as the pieces of the puzzle come together. Your support is powerful to the Nationals and baseball in Washington. Thank you for your continuing patience and your commitment to a shared dream.

    Washington Nationals Baseball Club

    Posted by: BobLHead | July 13, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

    506: Ha ha. What I said: change for change sake.

    Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 13, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse


    I love it, get riled up. Stan is a used car salesman and we are stuck with him.

    It's gotten to the point that the sight of him makes me want to fight.

    He is the worst.

    Posted by: Section505203 | July 13, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

    So they want "hard-edged". But not F. Robinson--no, not THAT hard-edged.

    Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 13, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

    NNut: Yes, I can't hear the questions, either. Too bad I can hear the answers.

    Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 13, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

    Riggleman is basically an interim. He has to be. So now what. We have owners who are not invested, Stan K, and two guys who know they are treading water until the lifeboat arrives to take them out of their interim hell. Awesome.

    So we continue to play musical chairs, fire people without a plan to replace them, and keep the club in flux. That should REALLY motivate the players.

    And before I get roasted over the coals, I'm not saying don't fire people if they are doing a terrible job but, if you have to fire people have a plan. Please please please had a damn plan. And if this is your plan then, be better at plans! Because this is basically more of the same.

    Posted by: soundbloke | July 13, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

    @NN: "uneasy knot" like when they fired The Cheif over the radio, or like when they traded Tex and Bill Bray for Lopez and Kearns?

    Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 13, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

    sofa. um, yep. precisely.

    Posted by: NatsNut | July 13, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse


    Must be too much caffeine.

    Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 13, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

    Nobody should be surprised today. This was coming. Mannys been on death row for sometime now. I like him, but lets face it, it had to be done. He will probably do well with a well balanced club, but thats not what we have here in DC. Lets just hope that unlike a lot of moves this organization has made, this is a step in the right direction. Afterall, we root for the uniform and whomever is wearing it at the time. Good luck J.R.

    Posted by: cokedispatch | July 13, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

    Interesting list of core players in that fan letter, no?

    Among the vets, Dunn, Zimmerman and Morgan are in, Nick and Guz are out.

    Among the younger set, Lannan, Zimmermann, Stammen, Storen, Flores, Gonzalez, Marrero, Burgess, Espinosa and Norris are in, while Martis, Balester, Mock, and Detwiler are out (or at least, not listed for the moment).

    But the biggest omissions, it seems to me, are Dukes and Strasburg. I suppose you can argue that Strasburg isn't signed, but then they could have included him with that caveat. Dukes, on the other hand, has seemingly been deleted. I bet he's not here on August 1.

    Posted by: BobLHead | July 13, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

    On further review, they did say "We hope to sign our 2009 draft choices by the August deadline," so I guess that's an indirect reference to Strasburg. They could have made a stronger statement though.

    Posted by: BobLHead | July 13, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

    bobble, agreed on the telling names. but wrt Strasburg, i think the less they say his name in the media, the better.

    Posted by: NatsNut | July 13, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

    Further, read Phil Woods blog on the MASN sight. He makes as much sense as I've heard and is someones opinion I have respected for years.

    Posted by: cokedispatch | July 13, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse


    I think that being demoted signaled that Rizzo no longer has any interest in Dukes. He's going to be hard to move because of his past, and comments made about his attitude by other players, and he was not coming around to point where his performance made him a worth while risk.

    I see a trade with brings a Morgan like addition in his future. Good riddance. I could fall for this accountability thing.

    Posted by: soundbloke | July 13, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

    I hear you, soundbloke. I never found myself able to fully board the Milledge/Dukes bandwagon and I am hoping for replacements that are easier to get behind, even if they have less raw talent.

    Posted by: BobLHead | July 13, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

    I think Dukes just wasn't getting enough playing time. They have to play Willingham/Dunn in LF, Morgan in CF (to see if he is the long term solution), and Kearns/Willingham in RF (to TRY to showcase for trades).

    Soon enough, Kearns will be DFA and Dukes will assume that position.

    Posted by: goexpos2 | July 13, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

    Dukes clearly needed more playing time, so I'm glad he's down there. Rizzo may not like him or his attitude, but he knows talent when he sees it, I'm sure.

    The question isn't whether Rizzo is done with Dukes, it's whether he sees him as a talented player for Washington or a talented player for one of the other clubs that brings someone to Washington.

    Posted by: Section506 | July 13, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

    As depressing as the day has been, this tweet is hilarious:

    "They've handed out a letter to fans. More than 140 characters but we'll get that posted as soon as possible"

    Posted by: JohninMpls | July 13, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

    I came across an online community for individual seeking interracial love. It is --Mixedmingle dot com--- All singles there are seeking interracial relationships and sports friends. Interracial is not a problem here, but a great merit to cherish!

    Posted by: sallyworking2006 | July 13, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

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