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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.

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 28, 2010; 5:30 PM ET
 
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Next: Bobby Cox: Stephen Strasburg 'a Hall of Famer in the making'

Comments

am sure that they were listening to a guy that has been fired four times. Bet they were asking why is he here.

Posted by: navboss | June 28, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Jim Riggleman has lost the team. It's time to install Davy Johnson as the Nats' Manager.

Posted by: 4U2Know | June 28, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

The Nats are playing uninspired, double-A baseball again. Why won't anyone call it like it is: the players are poorly coached or do not respond to playing the fundamentals of baseball. How many times do we need to see a player picked off base? Strike out 'swinging for the fences' when a defensive, contact swing is required? How many blown routine ground outs or routine throws to first must we continue to watch? Or poorly executed bunts and bone-headed base running?

I'm tired of hearing the Nationals players say, "we're playing so hard!" Fans who follow the Nats regularly aren't buying it.
Real baseball fans can handle the occasional physical miscues. But it is the Little League errors that continue to reveal themselves over and over the past 3 seasons. I was beginning to think that the Nats had turned the corner. But the last month has shown it is the 'same 'ole Nats'. It really makes you wonder how these guys can call themselves professionals (at any level) with the absolutely elementary mistakes they make game after game. At what point is the ownership going to properly price their product considering the below major league level team they field? And how long will it take for the GM to realize he just doesn't have many 'smart' baseball players in his line-up?

One place to start:
Let's face it -- we have no defense up the middle to include N. Morgan in CF. Pssst: I think they teach hitting the cut off man in high school.



Posted by: jungersd | June 29, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

"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."

Really? How can Rizzo sit at these games (and you can see him usually in back of home plate seating) and not notice how crappy his "experiment" is?
Is Riggleman really this blind? UFB.

Posted by: M20832 | June 29, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

I was at the stadium, 5 rows behind Rizzo and Kasten. The Nats did not look or play like they'd had a team meeting. Does Zimmerman always move around kind of lackadasically, if so, not to worry. Roger hit and Willingham had a throw, but only Pudge looked like he came to play.
And with Gonzalez and Stras coming up with a man on third, a squeeze play was in order. A 1-0 lead would have been much better for Stephen to start the 7th. If you can't score at all or hit it to the outfield, you better learn to squeeze. This is the National League for goodness sake!
We felt sorry for Stephen, drove 5 hours to see him. He was very good, but they left it to his bat with 2 outs, not a very promising option.

Posted by: DonRubottom | June 29, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

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