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More on Riggleman's ejection

Washington Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman came out once to discuss a close play at first base involving Nyjer Morgan in the third inning. The next time he stepped onto the field, in the eighth to voice his displeasure about the strike zone, Riggleman was tossed in a 1-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox at Nationals Park.

Home plate umpire Sam Holbrook did the honors, ejecting Riggleman as reliever Miguel Batista was warming up on the mound for the Nationals. Batista had come in for Sean Burnett, who replaced starter J.D. Martin to start the seventh inning.

"You know, Sam does a great job. He's a great umpire," Riggleman said. "That whole crew is very good, but you know, I feel like our hitters, that's one of our strengths, is a lot of our guys really know the strike zone. When they're saying balls aren't strikes, I feel like that maybe [the umpires] were getting a little generous on some of those pitches, but from where I'm at, the angle I have sitting in the dugout, I just have to listen to the players. I can't see in and and out. I can see up and down, but I can't see in and out."

Earlier, Riggleman had a dialogue with first base umpire Greg Gibson when he called Morgan out on a bunt attempt. Replays seemed to show Morgan may have beaten the throw to first from White Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy to first baseman Mark Kotsay.

Much of the Nationals' frustration can be directly attributed to Peavy, who tossed a three-hitter for the fourth shutout of his career and eighth complete game. Peavy had plenty of movement on his pitches and confounded hitters all afternoon, most notably the heart of the order that went 0 for 11 against the 2007 NL Cy Young winner with San Diego.

Ryan Zimmerman had a particularly futile performance on an afternoon when the fan giveaway was a bobblehead of the all-star third baseman. Zimmerman struck out four times in four plate appearances.

"We just didn't square up that many balls against him," Riggleman said of Peavy. "He was using the edges of the plate. I feel like our hitters know the strike zone very well and just felt like some of those ball were not on the plate. It's a great ability to pitch when you can throw the ball off the plate and make it come back on the plate. Our guys didn't feel like those balls were on the plate, and it's tough to hit those pitches. You're not really going to anything with them, and we ended up taking a lot of strikes."

By Gene Wang  |  June 19, 2010; 9:10 PM ET
Categories:  Jim Riggleman , Nyjer Morgan  
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Great on Riggs for standing up for his guys. The anti-Manny. He's always got this team's back.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | June 19, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

I suspect you'll find that the umps had a 8:15 reservation at one of our better establishments and couldn't afford to call 'em as they were. We were there and Morgan had stopped and pulled up his socks before the ball arrived. 1B ump was way out of position and called it deaf and blind. Frank R will see that tape.

Posted by: grclarkdc1 | June 19, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

The outside strike was being called all game.After a while you have to adjust.The pattern had been established,so it became time to start swinging at that pitch.

Posted by: seanmg | June 19, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

@seanmg -- totally agree, and often find myself nodding along with Dibble as he makes this point often. All you can ask for is consistency from an umpire (unless it is truly outrageous). Once pitchers see he's giving outside/inside/high/low they need to start hammering that spot, and hitters need to loosen their zone to include that area. Another rough one -- all those one run wins from early on are starting to even out to the pythagorean mean.

And yet all the same...go Nats!!!

Posted by: HenryStin | June 20, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Nats season is starting to slip away...we aren't hitting or running and haven't had a pitcher, outside of SS, go and win a game in a long time.

We were supposed to make up some ground with this stretch of interleague play...1-2 in Cleveland, 0-3 in Detroit...0-2 with the W Sox...we got KC and Baltimore best we can break end with this swing and then have to start dealing with the NL East again.

Posted by: outrbnksm | June 20, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

I love Riggleman, and I particularly like his views on check swings, but the idea that getting three-hitted by Peavy can be blamed on the umpire is absurd. Peavy said in a post game interview that he really didn't feel that good and didn't have his best stuff. The Nats hitters better pick up their game soon or this season is going to get way from us real fast.

Posted by: Section222 | June 20, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

I doubt we're going to see .500 again.

Posted by: nats24 | June 20, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

I think any controversial calls by umpires' should be reviewed or evaluated by their SUPERVISOR or even Major League Baseball in general. Get copies of the bad calls date them and who was making the calls.

Heck, my supervisor has to review my work, why shouldn't umpires be held accountable for their decisions. Yes, the ratio of good calls to bad (we only notice the bad ones) may be low, but it can be put in the umpire's file if a pattern is developing.

If umpires knew that they would be held accountable for their actions, maybe they would try to improve their performance (watch tapes) etc.

Posted by: CALSGR8 | June 20, 2010 3:50 AM | Report abuse

Hey CALSGR8, then when Riggleman comes out of the dugout, instead of arguing he can wag his finger and say "Tsk, tsk. This is going on your permanent record".

Posted by: Sunderland | June 20, 2010 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Riggleman wasn't arguing balls & strikes.
And he wasn't arguing for his ball players.
He was arguing for his job!
Because he's been here many times before: coaching a team to sub 500.
He know's the front office is starting to clearly think: "OK. He (Riggs) got us out of the ditch. Now it's time for the upgrade."

It ain't just the starting nine and bench that's on Rizzo's horizon line thinking.

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | June 20, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't Bobby Valentine one of the Managers that Rizzo was thinking about hiring?

Posted by: M20832 | June 20, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

1. It`s baseball.

2. One meets with an umpire to argue - no discussion. Discussion is for a classroom.

Posted by: nanonano1 | June 20, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I was at the game and wasn't sure what the precipitating event was at the time of the ejection, so thanks for this.

Heading out there again today. Wish us luck. Once more unto the breach, dear Nats friends...

Oh, and if you're also heading out, don't forget the tie drive (we culled a number of gently used candidates from my husband's closet this a.m.).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 20, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Riggleman did not cause Zimm to have 4K's. The players are on the hook for this one.

Posted by: Tom8 | June 20, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

No doubt Morgan was safe, way safe. Not sure what the ump was looking at there. But to be fair, he was properly positioned. He just flat out missed the call.

Maybe it was too hot for them out there in that heat wearing black from head to toe. Maybe they should get alternate unis for these brutally hot summer afternoon games. A nice seersucker would be cool and stylish.

I suspect you'll find that the umps had a 8:15 reservation at one of our better establishments and couldn't afford to call 'em as they were. We were there and Morgan had stopped and pulled up his socks before the ball arrived. 1B ump was way out of position and called it deaf and blind. Frank R will see that tape.

Posted by: grclarkdc1 | June 19, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: comish4lif | June 20, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Here's the video:

Posted by: comish4lif | June 20, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

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