Five straight losses. Four games under .500. 8.0 games back in the NL East. 8.5 back in the Wild Card. It hasn't been easy for the Washington Nationals. Did the 2012 campaign raise expectations unreasonably? Did the changes they made this offseason affect clubhouse chemistry? Mike Rizzo was asked about the Nats' clubhouse this morning on 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s The Mike Rizzo Show with Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier.
"I love the chemistry on this team," the Nats' GM said. "It's never as freewheeling and loose when you're four games under .500. Last year at this time I think we were 20 games over .500. It's the chicken and the egg. Does good chemistry bring the wins or do the wins bring the good chemistry? We've got a great bunch of guys who really like being around each other. They mesh extremely well. Like I said, it's a talented bunch. But it's a great bunch of guys. [Jayson Werth] and Adam LaRoche and [Ryan Zimmerman] and then [Ian Desmond] and those young guys, they've got a good thing going. The starting pitchers are always together and they feel good about themselves and the rotation too.
"It's a good clubhouse. The guys are great. They like being around each other and they like this team. And I think that the chemistry is extremely good and when you start putting this together and getting on a little roll and winning some games, people are going to feel good about themselves."
With the trade deadline approaching, the Nationals' general manager was asked if there was any position the team could upgrade to really shake things up and turn it around with just 62 games remaining on the schedule?
"I don't think so," Rizzo said. "I don't think there's a player out there that is available that is better than what we have if our players are playing up to their potential. This is the team we have. I mean, these guys are all good, young, controllable players. Remember, we're still one of the youngest teams in Major League Baseball. And it's hard to believe that, but it's true. I think we're the third youngest team in Major League Baseball. And we're going through some growing pains."
"Our younger players are learning on the job at times. Anthony Rendon is learning to play second base at the major league level. So, we're set at our positions. And that's a good thing, because we're set for the long haul, '13 and beyond and that's always been our credo over here and we continue to press upon that. We're proud that we have this good young core or players that are under control, are going to be around for a while, because it's a great group of guys with a great talent base, and we think it's going to win a lot of baseball games."
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