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.''