On Thursday morning a report emerged from USA Today by Bob Nightengale quoting anonymous MLB general managers saying they were now rooting against the Nationals. The resentment revolves specifically around Mike Rizzo's decision to shut down Stephen Strasburg right before the postseason. Rival MLB executives apparently don't like the move and think Rizzo is presumptuous to believe the Nationals will be in the playoffs for years to come.
Rizzo has now decided to respond and in firing back used a phrase he made famous back in May.
Speaking to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Rizzo called the comments "chicken (bleep).'' Rizzo, from Chicago, then said, "that's not how we do things in my neighborhood.''
Rizzo also implied the statements came from jealousy, saying they could have come from a general manager whose team lost 120 games this season. The closest team to lose that many was the Astros who won 107. Their GM, Jeff Luhnow, praised Rizzo just recently for allowing him to speak with third base coach Bo Porter who will be Houston's manager next season.
Rizzo was exaggerating with the number and he may actually be wrong about it coming completely from envy. The first GM's quote suggests his team may still be in the playoffs.
"If we don't win the World Series, I don't care who does," one general manager told USA TODAY Sports, "as long as it's not those guys.
The second executive could be from a team already eliminated, but not enough information is given to conclude either way.
The Washington Nationals announced Friday Dusty Baker will not return as manager of the club in 2018.
Baker led the team to the first back-to-back division titles in franchise history, and the Nationals were 192-132 under Baker, but they failed to make it to an NLCS.
Baker is 14th in MLB history with 1,863 career wins.
The next Nationals' manager will be their seventh since they arrived in DC.
Only the Marlins have had as many.
"I'm surprised and disappointed," Baker told USA TODAY Sports. "They told me they would get back to me and I told them I was leaving town yesterday and they waited 10 days to tell me."
"I really thought this was my best year. We won at least 95 games each year and won the division back to back years but they said they wanted to go a different direction. It's hard to understand."
The team also announced the contracts for the Major League coaching staff have also expired, and the search for a new manager will begin immediately.
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While Nats fans were still digesting the news that Dusty Baker will not return as manager next year, the team released some more surprising news.
Second baseman Daniel Murphy underwent knee surgery today, per an official team report.
Washington Post reporter Chelsea Janes reported that the surgery is considered significant and the team won't put a timeline on the recovery process:
"The procedure, according to the statement released by the team, repaired articular cartilage in Murphy’s right knee. For those interested in the details, it was a debridement and microfracture surgery, and orthopedic surgeon Timothy Kremchek performed it."
"For those concerned with the implications of the procedure, those are still unclear. The statement clarified that Murphy’s rehab “will progress throughout the offseason,” as one would hope, and did not include a timetable.
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