Jim Riggleman holds team meeting [UPDATED]
Update from Dave Sheinin [5:50 p.m.]:
Manager Jim Riggleman said he called the team meeting in order to underscore comments made by General Manager Mike Rizzo in a Thomas Boswell column published this morning, in which Rizzo said, among other things, "We're underachieving. We're playing bad baseball."
"I just wanted to get them together and keep trying to stay positive, but at the same time -- like Mike Rizzo said in Boswell's article, the level of play has got to come up," Riggleman said during batting practice after the meeting. "I think Mike saying it is really big because it's kind of like, 'Alright, it's not just Jim saying it.' Because I've said it before. It's being noticed by other people."
Riggleman said another theme of his meeting was accountability. "We're all accountable," he said. "I didn't want them to think Mike made those comments and we weren't all on board. We're on the same page, and the players are on the same page. But if I manage bad, I've got to be accountable. If we play bad, we're accountable... I wanted them to know that we are watching."
Riggleman said he was the only one who spoke during the meeting.
The Nationals had a standard, scheduled meeting today with a representative from the Major League Baseball Player Association. Before the doors closed, Manager Jim Riggleman circled the room and told his players to remain at their lockers for a different kind of meeting.
Following their ugliest stretch this season during a disastrous three-game sweep against the worst-in-the-majors Orioles, Riggleman addressed the Nationals today before they headed out to the field to stretch and prepare for batting practice.
Riggleman remains in regular communication with the players before and after games, but today marked the first time he called them together for this kind of meeting. Currently on a four-game losing streak and a season-high 10 games under .500, the Nationals are embarking on a stretch of 10 games against the best three teams in the National League.
The good news: Stephen Strasburg starts tonight.
June 28, 2010; 5:30 PM ET
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