June 23, 2011: Attended the last game of the Mariners vs. Nationals series, a game that the Nats came into with a cool .500 record. Here was their chance to break into a winning record, something they have not done since 2005.
The game went into the 9th tied at 0. Laynce Nix pinched hit for Pitcher Tyler Clippard and hit a sacrifice fly to left field scoring Jerry Hairston, Jr. The Nats won 1-0, swept the Mariners, won their 11th game out of their last 12, and moved into 1 game above .500.
But today's celebration was cut extremely short when Nationals’ Manager, Jim Riggleman, announced he was resigning immediately. It is always sad to see a successful manager resign, especially after a big win, but this may be a blessing in disguise.
The Nationals have regained their ability to play hard for an entire game and this fighting spirit will continue to serve them well. And with Riggleman's poisonous displeasure with his contract situation removed from the clubhouse, I predict they will make it into the 2011 playoffs. The Nationals have solid coaching and although bench coach John McLaren has been named the interim manager, a solid leader like their 3rd Base Coach, Bo Porter, who has been recently mentioned as a skipper for the Marlins, would clearly be a top choice to step into the Nationals’ Manager position.
At the end, hopefully neither Porter nor Riggleman end up with the Marlins at the start of the 2012 season when they debut their new ballpark.
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