Mike Rizzo took responsibility for the Nationals' struggles in an interview with The Sports Junkies on Wednesday morning, telling the hosts that no one was more disappointed in the team's performance than he is.
"First and foremost, there’s nobody more upset, and disappointed and frustrated with this season than I am," Rizzo said.
"Our defense has been as bad as I've seen it since I've come to Washington," he added later.
Rizzo's call dropped shortly after the start of the interview and the Junkies had a moment to discuss Rizzo's blunt honesty after his first response.
"That was pretty hard," Eric "EB" Bickel said. "He was going hard on 'em."
"I mean, he's frustrated, can you blame him?" John "Cakes" Auville said. "Of course he's frustrated."
After Rizzo got reconnected with the Junks, he harped some more on the "underperforming" defense.
"There's been a collective underperformance in a lot of different areas," Rizzo said.
He then changed his frustration into optimism, vowing that the Nationals could, and should, be able to turn it around.
"I'm not going to stop believing in this team," he said.
Rizzo said he knows a change needs to be made following Tuesday night's frustrating 6-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, which dropped the Nats seven games below .500 for the first time since 2011.
"There's blame to go around when you’re playing this poorly," he said. "There's blame on me, there's blame on the players, there's blame on the coaches, there's blame on everybody, certainly there's enough to go around."
Lurch followed up by saying a lot of callers, "80 percent" as he estimated, want to see a change at manager.
"I think Davey [Martinez] has great control of the clubhouse," Rizzo said. "I think the players play hard for him."
The frustration has been mounting with the Lerner family as well, the majority owners of the Nationals. Rizzo has had to keep the communication open and honest with them in order to keep tempers at bay.
"We're complete partners in this," Rizzo said. "They're upset just like you are and I am and everyone else is and the players are."
Going forward, Rizzo said the Nationals' front office all has the same goal: to bring a championship to D.C.
"Our goal, their goal, my goal is to win a championship for Washington D.C. area and we never waver on that mile marker, on that goal," he said.
The Nationals hope to avoid the sweep by the Brewers with a 1:10 p.m. first pitch Wednesday before heading West to Los Angeles to take on the Dodgers Thursday.
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