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Jim Riggleman clears the air with Jayson Werth

May 27, 2011, 8:41 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v  Washington Nationals Getty Images

The last-place Nationals dropped their fifth consecutive game on Wednesday against the Brewers, which caused Jayson Werth to proclaim that “things need to change.”

His quotes didn’t sound all that out of the ordinary for a team that’s regularly losing baseball games, but many speculated that Werth was directing his frustration towards Nationals manager Jim Riggleman.

Well, Riggleman had a chance to clear the air with the high-priced outfielder earlier this morning. According to Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington, Werth assured him that the comments weren’t directed towards him specifically.

“I guess the short answer is no.”

“The long answer is, you know … ‘changes.’ We’ve got to start winning ballgames,” Riggleman continued. “The losing that has taken place here for a couple years, that’s got to change. We’ve got to change some things with how we play.”

It’s difficult to change things when the Nationals just don’t have the personnel to make it happen. Ryan Zimmerman has only played eight games this season and Adam LaRoche has basically been a shell of himself because of tears in his labrum and rotator cuff, so Werth hasn’t had any real proven protection around him. The Nationals entered play tonight with a .229 team batting average, second-worst in the majors behind the Padres.

  1. bleedgreen - May 27, 2011 at 8:47 PM

    Well, Jayson, you chose to go to a team you knew was not a great team simply for the money. Maybe you should either do something about it, or shut your mouth and cash your check. Complaining to the media just makes you look like a sore loser.

    • aceshigh11 - May 27, 2011 at 8:54 PM

      Gotta agree with your assessment. I don’t know what he was expecting to walk into when he signed with the Nationals.

      They may be a halfway-decent team in a few years, but it’s going to take time to cultivate minor-league talent.

      Werth should just enjoy his money and play hard.

      • baseballisboring - May 27, 2011 at 9:43 PM

        Exactly. There’s no way he was *really* expecting to win ballgames in 2011. I mean, I really don’t blame him for taking the money either. But he’d be better served to just throw out some bland “Well we’re a lot better than we’ve played…” cliches.

    • royalsfaninfargo - May 27, 2011 at 8:55 PM

      amen!

    • nixonotis - May 27, 2011 at 9:17 PM

      Yeah, this is one of those cases where there’s not much else to say. He knew what he was getting into. I do like Riggleman, though, so I hope Werth wasn’t referring to him.

    • baseballisboring - May 27, 2011 at 9:41 PM

      Uh, know what needs to change? The front office giving $126 million dollar contracts to corner outfielders on the wrong side of 30. Just a thought…

  2. deathmonkey41 - May 27, 2011 at 10:58 PM

    I was kind of hoping that in protest to their losing, he would just sign his gamechecks over to me. Still keeping my fingers crossed.

  3. xmatt0926x - May 28, 2011 at 1:55 AM

    Jason really needs to shut up. Even he has to know his contract was rediculous and in his best seasons with the Phillies he was never worth that kind of money. Then you confirm everyones shock at the contract by hitting poorly and your talking about the team needing changes? Look in the mirror my man. I miss you somewhat on the Phillies but your a nice complimentary player at best. You are not an elite talent with the juice to indict teammates or the manager. Teammates follow guys who perform on the field, not those who cash the biggest check. Ryan Zimmerman must be beside himself knowing you are getting paid what you are while he’s head and shoulders better than you.

  4. hank10 - May 28, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    Poor, poor Jayson. I’m so torn up I can barely type from the tears in my eyes. FROM LAUGHING!

  5. fatass5 - May 28, 2011 at 9:50 PM

    that is what a leader does, he has to change the way they do things down in washington. im a phillies fan and i love J_Dub

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