A National Disgrace

I know we talk an awful lot about the Washington Nationals around here, but when life gives you lemons…

This amazing story by Barry Svrluga in the Washington Post appeared last night. Unnamed Nationals players, young and old, have all voiced their dismay at the leadership shown by Matt Williams. This quote about managerial leadership, from another unnamed Washington player, shows the level of despair that the team is experiencing:

“A couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have thought it made any difference,” one player said this past week. “But after what we’ve been through for two years? It’s huge. Huge.”

Chemistry? Or is it merely an inexperienced manager whose poor decisions have finally come back to haunt him? The only thing that we truly know is that Matt Williams has completely lost control of his clubhouse, and today’s altercation between our site mascot and Bryce Harper is only the latest insane happening in a season full of weirdness.

As DelPhan previously posted, Harper and Paps had a brawl in the dugout. Should Harper have ran it out? Yes. Is it Papelbon’s place to jump up Harper’s butt and yell at him during the game? No.

The best part is Mr. Choke a Teammate promptly gave us another Papelblown save.

As usual, I like to take the pulse of random people and writers on Twitter when something big like this goes down, and they did not disappoint me:

I honestly don’t understand how Williams keeps his job next year, but I also can’t see how Papelbon can keep his, either.

41 thoughts on “A National Disgrace

  1. When I first saw the post, I thought maybe you pulled a Craig and posted a story someone already did. And, I was excited that I could say “Don’t you read your own site?” Sigh. Disappointed. Back to waiting for our first epic blogger typo…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You know, if someone like Ian Desmond had told Harper that he needed to get his ass in gear, that might have been different. But it should’ve happened in the locker room, and it shouldn’t have been from a dude who has barely been there, causes nothing but problems, and is a closer who rarely bats, if ever.

      God I hope that fool gets suspended. Again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This was the point Mendoza (?) and Kruk were making on ESPN tonight during the game. They both essentially said it’s one thing if Werth or Zimmerman say something, but that also it should be said behind closed doors (clubhouse). Neither one mentioned how absurd it was that Papelbon put his hands on Harper’s throat.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I missed part of the game because the clouds cleared out and we were able to see the lunar eclipse perfectly, so I went out and watched that for a while.

        I can’t believe they didn’t discuss that Paps actually physically assaulted his teammate… Yikes.


    2. Man, Papelbum is really oblivious. “Our relationship will be better for this.” Uh, no. Harper thinks you’re an ahole (which, you are) and so do the other players most likely. Get a clue.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That video that DelPhan posted on his entry from the Phillies was hilarious. Talk about throwing Paps under the bus! LOLLLLLL


    1. Seriously! The dugout isn’t several miles long; Matt Williams didn’t need binoculars to see what went down between Harper and Paps. He was pretty much right there! He’s either a) blind, b) incompetent, c) stupid, or d) honest to goodness has given his last fuck to give and wants to be fired at this point.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Exactly.

        If you are any kind of leader, you see that something happened, you go find out what it was from those involved or those nearby, and then you act…..what you don’t do is stand 60′ away and attempt to remain as unaware as humanly possible of what happened between players on a team


      2. dang it….somehow the site decided to post that mid-post

        should have ended “on a team you are freaking IN CHARGE OF! This is the difference between people that understand leadership and people that do not. Williams really has no business being in charge of anything.”

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I was dumbfounded when I heard that quote. Where the hell was he, taking a dump? Nobody relayed to him, “Um, our closer just tried to choke our MVP. It’s pretty bad. Might wanna check things out.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember when Longo called out BJ for lack of hustle. The difference is A) Longo was the team leader. B) He had been there for more than 2 weeks. C) He did it in the dugout, as opposed to the top step while Harper was still returning to the dugout. And finally, the most important point: D) Longo said something, and walked away..twice. When you question someone’s work ethic, or their effort, the person being questioned will likely be angry. It wasn’t Papelbon’s place to question the effort, he just wasn’t the right person, but the real killer for him is attacking Harper. Papelbon did everything wrong.

    Here’s the vid of Longo and B—-er—-Melvin.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. When McCann and Iglesias got into it, I thought it was wrong of McCann. But, I will say that they stuck to a little shoving and yelling (like here). No one was trying to choke anyone. My God.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. What McCann/Iglesias and Longo/Upton have in common, and that Pap/Harper don’t, is that they freaking know each other well enough to say something. They take BP together, go to the same meetings, sit on the same bench etc… Papelbon doesn’t go to meetings with Harper, do drills with Harper, take BP together. Harper isn’t sitting in the bullpen bullshitting with Papelbon 3 hours a game. Harper and Papelbon likely know each other as little as is possible for team mates to know each other over these 2 months. I think Longo and McCann did the right thing. They were the people to say something, if something needed said.

        But like you said, Longo and McCann didn’t attack when the player didn’t graciously accept their criticism. I think Papelbon was looking for a fight.

        I would be absolutely shocked if Papelbon ever wears a Nationals uniform again. I think he is suspended by the team for the rest of the year, and is traded this offseason.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I would hope Papelbon gets suspended for the rest of the year and they release him from his contract, but the front office and managers have been so tone deaf about everything else in the world, why would they do the right thing here?

        They’ve effectively ruined Drew Storen for anything, unless his goal was to be so bad that he was traded to another team as to get away from this sideshow circus the team has become. But that didn’t turn out so well for him, either.

        The fact that Matt Williams either pays absolutely no attention to what’s going on in his own dugout OR that he thinks so little about the unquestionably best player on his team getting throttled by his own teammate speaks volumes to the kind of stupidity going on over there. I mean, every question about Paps gets answered the same way – “He’s our closer.” Uh huh. Like you have no other available arms in your bullpen ever? You have Stras and Max and then five robots and then Paps? I mean, seriously, this is almost a joke now, except that it’s not funny and it’s actually kinda sad.

        I saw a quip on twitter, can’t remember who it was, but they wrote “Nats appealing suspension w/ MLB, want it to be seven games instead of 3.” I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the actual mood of the clubhouse.


  3. “promptly gave us another Papelblown save”

    I hate to say anything remotely positive – but he didn’t have a blown save. it was 4-4 when he came in. He did get the loss….and ends the seasons with a 9.00 ERA against the “no will to win” Phillies


  4. From the article by Svrluga, “It’s a terrible environment,” one player said. “And the amazing part is everybody feels that way.”

    So what the player is saying is that Williams has really brought the clubhouse together.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The Cardinals actually said that they hired Matheny because of their confidence in him as a “leader of men” and they thought he was perfect to maintain a good clubhouse atmosphere.

        He’s done that. Guys love playing for him and they love playing for and with each other.

        So….his generally horrendous in-game management aside, he’s really not that bad….and this year he has improved in some areas. Baby steps.

        Brad may very well be the same type of guy. If your team can lose and keep it together and still like playing for the manager, that says something about how they view him as a leader…and the confidence that they have in him or the club in general.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. If y’all want to read one of the dumbest takes on this mess, here’s former player CJ Nitkowski for JABO:


    He “polled” a bunch of former and current players, and magically, every single one took Papelbon’s side. Of course they were all anonymous, which goes to show that the most mature player in this whole mess was the 22 year old that everyone claims needs to “grow up.”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Someone brought up on twitter how those defending Papelbon were similar in language to people who defend domestic abusers.


      2. Well, of course you wouldn’t like them. Did you like the cocky ass jocks in high school? If you did, then you might like professional athletes. If you didn’t, you probably wouldn’t. Most of these guys have never seen cause to act any differently than they did in high school.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hell, Paul LoDuca was openly praising Paps on twitter. I’m not surprised.

      I think, though, that there are just as many athletes who were disgusted by it as were OK with it. They just won’t say anything.


    2. Gee, I wonder how many of those guys are white grinder types of players….and what the hell question did he ask?

      If he asked, should someone say something to a player not hustling…you could get those answers….but obviously no one paid enough attention to realize that he would have been easily safe at first if the ball was dropped…few players would have ran hard past 1st and been able to make 2nd…..and the question didn’t include “should you assault a team mate in the dugout?”

      I love that anonymous but obviously white guy lists 2 Latin players for not hustling to 1st….very few players run hard to 1st every time and even fewer run hard or at any speed above a job when they pop the ball up.


  6. In three years, the consecutive number one picks who were supposed to deliver this franchise to glory will both be gone. Strasburg will pitching on the west coast somewhere, and Harper will be playing centerfield for the Yankees. Mike Rizzo, who confoundingly enough will probably still be there, will be looking to hire a manager to replace the manage he hired to replace Matt Williams.

    And every Nats fan will still be convinced that they are this close to going on a multi-championship run.

    Liked by 1 person

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