Mike Rizzo

USA Today

Absolutely Nat-tastic

You can't call these guys a bunch of procrastinators.

August 21, 2018 - 10:50 am

Say what you want about the Washington Nationals. Believe me, I have. But one thing you can't call these guys is a bunch of procrastinators. 

Because instead of waiting until October to rig their roster with dynamite and light the fuse, these dudes are imploding right before our very eyes. And it's mid-August. Why put off til tomorrow what can be done today, eh guys? 

If you're looking for the Nats, they've burrowed themselves beneath rock bottom. They're in third place of the worst division in baseball. And they just wore a 12-to-1 thumping at the hands of the freaking Marlins. 

THE MARLINS. Jose Ureña -- the dude who lasted ONE PITCH against the Braves after dotting Ronald Acuna -- just went Walter Johnson on the Nats, throwing a complete game two hitter, the first time he's ever collected 27 outs. 

Things are so bad that even yesterday's off-day was painful for the Nats. That's because the Washington Post dropped a piece detailing the dysfunction in the district. And damn, it's a doozy. 

On July 31st, the Nationals beat the Mets 25-4, but late in the game, reliever Shawn Kelley became frustrated with the umpires. He gave up a three run homer to the Mets, slammed his glove to the ground, and looked at the dugout. The belief was that he was doing that to complain to the dugout that they didn’t have his back with the umpires. He claims that’s not what it was about. I don’t care. What I do care about is the fact that only the Nationals could have chemistry so terrible that they’d manage to find a way to bleep up a 21-run win.

And it was about to get worse. Because Nationals GM Mike Rizzo went to the clubhouse after the game and that’s when a very Nationals situation became the most Nationals situation ever.

I will now read directly from the Post: Rizzo headed down to the clubhouse and confronted Kelley, according to people familiar with the situation. The argument became heated, including raised voices, and eventually it almost became physical, according to people familiar with the exchange. Adam Eaton got between the pair and separated them before things could advance further, but Rizzo’s frustration was not isolated. 

Yes, you heard that right. The Nationals GM nearly gave the hands to a Nationals player…AFTER THEY WON A GAME BY 21 RUNS. 


And that is officially the second greatest moment in Nationals history. The greatest, of course, Jonathan Papelbon strangling Bryce Harper. Roll it!


I’ll be honest, there isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t think about that moment. Truly incredible. I mean, that’s so amazing. And I never thought something would ever come close, but a GM wanting to fight his on player comes really, really close. Because it’s an older guy wanting to rumble with an athlete in his prime. Some old dude who’s pissed about a glove slam in a 21-run win and decides he’s going to fight one his own players. 

I just wish there was audio or video of Rizzo wanting to physically fight one of his own players. That’s amazing. I need that audio or video in the worst way possible. In fact, if there was audio or video, it might very well run down the Papelbon choking as the greatest moment in baseball history. 

Not only does a GM nearly fighting a player come close really close to Papelbon v. Harper, but what makes it even better is that it’s in the same organization. The two greatest moments in Nationals team history are guys either fighting with each other or wanting to fight each other. 

That is absolutely Nat-tastic. 

Nothing this season has gone right for Washington. Player’s only meetings after losing streaks. Bleach after a norovirus outbreak had the entire team puking their guts out and taking on the GREAT EQUALIZER. Even Bryce going on a hot streak after his old man got his bat going at Home Run Derby hasn't been enough to get this team out of a funk. 

The Nats fired Dusty Baker after he won 95 and 97 games, but couldn't win a series in the postseason. They had World Series aspirations. Now they're sitting below .500 with just 37 games to go and their dirty laundry is getting exposed in the District's paper of record.  

But hey -- you can't get your heart ripped out in October if you're team doesn't make it there. And right now, the Nats are doing everything in their power to make sure they're free this autumn. 

Good job, good effort. And so, so Nats.