He seems to have lost most of the fanbase already, judging by the tone of the commentary I read from the online communities which still take the time to discuss the Washington Nationals, (what with football, professional and college, the start of the NHL preseason, the latest viral video of Kanye West interrupting someone, whatever it is people are doing instead of watching the end of the Nationals' second-straight 100-loss season) but I was surprised, when reading Washington Post writer Chico Harlan's post game report on the Nationals Journal Sunday entitled, "Riggleman Says Nats Were Flat In 6-2 Loss", not by the Nationals' Manager Jim Riggleman's comments about the team's "lackluster" performance, as he labeled it, or by the way in which he challenged his players over what Mr. Riggleman described as an "overall lack of energy in the dugout" during the painful 6-2 loss to the lowly New York Mets, (and their Triple-A+ lineup) on Sunday afternoon...I was surprised...by Nationals' first baseman Adam Dunn's reaction to Mr. Riggleman's assessment of the team's effort, which was included in three articles printed about the game yesterday, by Mr. Harlan, MLB.com's Bill Ladson and Washington Times' writer Ben Goessling...
In The Washington Post's Mr. Harlan's article he writes that, "A few of Washington's veterans weren't quite as harsh in appraising the energy level," but the only veteran quoted in the post is Mr. Dunn, who, Mr. Harlan writes, "...vehemently disagreed with the assessment that the Nats were flat", as Mr. Riggleman had seen it. In fact, again, according to Mr. Harlan, when, "...asked if he thought Washington's energy level was lacking," the Nationals' left-handed hitting 37/101 first baseman responded:
"'That's tough. I was in the game; I'm not going to sit here and say I was flat because I don't think I was and I can only speak for myself. As far as the team -- I don't think we came out...I'm gonna say no, I don't think we were flat. I don't. I just think that we ran into some guys that pitched pretty good, we weren't swinging the bats really well, and I think that's the problem.
"'It's easy, man, [to keep your energy level up]. Good weather. What else are you going to do? Energy -- that has nothing to do with it. We've playing one-hundred-and-X amount of games. Why would we decide on Sunday whatever-the-day-is to not play hard? That's bulls---. That's one thing we do. Winning or losing, we do play hard.'"
To be fair, Mr. Riggleman did acknowledge as Dunn suggested, that the way John Maine was throwing had a lot to do with the way the Nationals played, and they did rally for two late runs off Mets' reliever Brian Stokes, showing a degree of fortitude in attempting to mount some sort of comeback down 6-0 in the ninth, but as Mr. Riggleman sees it, and as he explains to the Post's Mr. Harlan, "...good pitching can make you look flat. But we can't allow that to happen."
According to the Washington Times' Ben Goessling's article on the loss entitled, "Riggleman says Nats 'flat' in 6-2 loss", "...Ryan Zimmerman "downplayed" the idea that the Nationals were "flat" as Mr. Riggleman stated, and Mr. Goessling too writes that, "The notion of the Nationals being flat...(was)...completely rejected by Adam Dunn", while MLB.com's Bill Ladson quotes Dunn further, writing that:
"Dunn disagreed with Riggleman's assessment about Sunday's game, saying there was energy on the field. Dunn also believes that it's tough to generate enthusiasm if a team is losing almost every single day.
All of which leads me to ask...Were these three writers, the main MSM writers who provide coverage of the Nationals, simply happy to have two equally blunt reactions to play off one another for a good read at a tough time for the team, its management, the writers who follow them and the Nationals fans, or did they all include and feature Adam Dunn's reponses to Mr. Riggleman's commentary as a sign of the first rifts developing between the "Interim" Manager and the team many believe will have a new skipper next season?
• Did you hear the latest 4th-Skipper-Rumors? Buck Showalter? Don Mattingly? I thought Bobby V. had it lined up...and what about Kirk Gibson?