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John McLaren, manager for a moment

On Friday night, John McLaren managed his first game since June 18, 2008, the day before the Seattle Mariners fired him midseason. Upon McLaren's dismissal, the Mariners filled their vacancy with McLaren's bench coach, a former big league manager named Jim Riggleman.

For one night, McLaren was the one replacing Riggleman. The Nationals' manager watched the game from a suite high above the field at PNC Park, disallowed from any communication with his team. McLaren could do what he wanted, but would he stick to Riggleman's methods or use his own ideas?

"That's a good question," McLaren said, laughing.

The truth is, McLaren and Riggleman think alike. They both love dissecting games and talking baseball from all angles, but they usually end up at about the same spot on decisions. That's why McLaren hired Riggleman as his bench coach in 2008, and it's why Riggleman hired McLaren this year.

"I manage every night with Jim," McLaren said. "I think along with him every single night. I try to stay basically with what he would do. Jim is a very sound baseball man. I'm not going to try to reinvent the wheel by any chance. I just try to stick to our basics, do what we usually do. Guys that run, run. And so forth."

A baseball manager can't make too large of an imprint in one game, and you really didn't notice anything different. When McLaren put Sean Burnett in for Tyler Clippard, he made sure to double-switch -- Nyjer Morgan came out of the game in favor of Roger Bernadina.

"John McLaren and the other coaches, they all know my feelings on how the game is run and how our team operates," Riggleman said before the game. "I think we'll do it the same way."

By Adam Kilgore  |  September 4, 2010; 1:05 AM ET
 | Tags: Jim Riggleman, John McLaren  
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Next: Today's lineups



Posted by: BinM | September 4, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

C'mon Adam; At least you deviated from the Espinosa back-slapping, but try to stay creative, and pro-active - Give us something with some meat on the bone, Please?

What are the Nats really doing with Adam Dunn, who's on your 'bubble' for the projected 40-man going into the off-season, who else gets added to the roster?

I understand you're a reporter first, but a number of your ledes still contain either hype or the easy story line, imo; Giving the NJ faithful something either substantial or with an inside slant from time to time is greatly appreciated, if the editor(s) allow it.

Posted by: BinM | September 4, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

OK, another lefty tonight.
Maholm's splits this year are .240 BAA for lefties and .316 BAA for right handed hitters.

What are the odds Espinosa starts again and Kennedy watches again? Will Kennedy sit because he's left-handed?
I'm guessing Kennedy gets to play tonight.

And who roams the outfield.
Does Bernadina sit again against a lefty?
Does Maxwell get another start?
I'm betting we see Maxwell, Nyjer and Morse again.

Hope I didn't wake anybody up.

Posted by: Sunderland | September 4, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I desperately hope someone in the freaking organization has the brains to bench the 30 year old nothing (T-Flush) and the guy who helped Noah build the ark (Sludge). Play the young guys now. The lineup should be:

1 - Bernadina CF
2 - Desmond SS
3 - Zimmerman 3B
4 - Dunn 1B
5 - Morse RF
6 - Espinosa 2B
7 - Ramos C
8 - Maxwell LF
9 - Lannan P

A chronically dimwitted hermaphroditic midget should be able to see that.

Posted by: TheJoeGreene | September 4, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

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