Both executives lauded the strong young pitching staff as an area to build upon, but that the fundamentals need "a lot of work", and though they are satisfied with the level of effort, they were not happy with the execution and consistency.
So at the 2009 all-star break, the Washington Nationals have an "acting" general manager and an "interim" field manager. They fired their manager in the middle of the night before the all-star break and scheduled the press conference at a time they knew the regular print media would be unavailable due to travel constrictions.
Yet, they announce their disappointment with the instability within the organization. From a press release, to the fans of the Washington Nationals:
No one is more dissatisfied in the first half of the 2009 Washington Nationals season than we are. Like you, we had hoped that some of our younger players would have matured faster and that the addition of some of our new veterans would have significantly improved our record from a season ago. Our hope was that a solid club leadership would emerge on and off the field and that some intangible combinations would begin to click resulting in many winning streaks.
Where to go now? There are two scenarios:
When we bought the Washington Nationals in the middle of the 2006 season – just under three years ago – we committed to a patient, long term approach, building a strong farm system and core foundation that would deliver a perennial and consistent contender; to provide a second-to-none family entertainment value at Nationals Park; and to investment and involvement in the metropolitan Washington DC community. Today we remain steadfastly committed to each component of that mission. We are proud to represent the National Pastime in the Nation’s Capital, and we are proud to call the Capital area home.
We know we have a way to go, but the end result will be all the richer for the early days we’ve spent together at Nationals Park. We are getting better. We want you to be with us as the pieces of the puzzle come together. Your support is powerful to the Nationals and baseball in Washington. Thank you for your continuing patience and your commitment to a shared dream.