Nationals manager, GM shrug off recent spat

Manager Davey Johnson and general manager Mike Rizzo sat side by

side on the bench in chummy fashion before the Washington

Nationals’ game Tuesday and said their recent argument was merely

”business as usual.”

Johnson was heard shouting at Rizzo in the clubhouse following

the first-place Nationals’ most recent game Sunday at Philadelphia,

a sloppy loss that extended their losing streak to four games.

Johnson sarcastically suggested that Rizzo should manage the team

himself.

”Davey and I talk after every game,” Rizzo said. ”We talk

about the goods and the bads of each and every game, and this was

just probably I was a little too emotional. We’re both pretty

passionate, and I was a little frustrated. I probably could have

tabled it until the next morning, but I didn’t.”

Rizzo said the argument lasted a couple of minutes, followed by

a calmer conversation of 15 minutes. Reporters waited nearly 25

minutes before they were allowed into Johnson’s office after the

game.

”It’s normal business as usual,” Johnson said. ”I admire Mike

because he can get it right out. I kind of keep it in. He gets it

out and it’s over with. I wish I could do that. The points are well

taken.”

Johnson and Rizzo didn’t disclose the nature of the

disagreement. Rizzo has been widely criticized recently because of

the Nationals’ plans to shut down ace Stephen Strasburg next

month.

Rizzo hired Johnson as a consultant in 2009, then last year gave

Johnson his first managerial job since 2000. Things have gone well

for the franchise since, and the Nationals began a series at Miami

on Tuesday night with the best record in the majors.

Rizzo said their recent argument involved ”two compassionate

baseball guys that give a darn. That’s how we do things. We get

things in the open. There’s great communication between the two of

us, and a high level of respect.”