The Washington Times - August 4, 2011, 08:18PM

Matt Stairs’ time in a Nationals uniform was short and relatively uneventful for the 43-year-old. It was, however, his major league-record 13th organization and when the newly-retired all-time pinch-hit home run leader was interviewed on MLB Network Thursday afternoon, there was more than one captivated viewer in the Nationals clubhouse.

Several players gathered around the televisions in the Nationals clubhouse this afternoon to watch Stairs’ interview with Kevin Millar and Chris Rose, listening intently to their former teammate. Stairs, who helps coach hockey for Bangor High School in Maine, said that he had a few things going on — including an “Old Timers” hockey game Thursday night, a revelation that drew a loud chuckle from his now-former teammates.


Stairs has made no secret of his desire to potentially go into coaching in baseball, admitting in the interview that all he wants to do for the rest of his life now is learn how to hit fungoes. 

As for his final major league manager?

“You hate to see when anybody retires but he had a good career,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Thursday. “He was well-liked and respected around here by not only players but the coaching staff. I wish him well. I hear he’s coaching a hockey team. I’m sure he’ll be good at that. I just wish him luck.”

– Speaking of Davey Johnson, the Nationals skipper was under the weather Thursday, hit with a bug of unknown origin. The 68-year-old Johnson’s voice seemed to be the most affected, and he mentioned that it might be a bit of an issue once the game begins and the umpires blow a call.

“I might have to get a designated yeller to yell at the umpires,” Johnson joked.

– Coors Field isn’t exactly known as a pitchers park with the thin air Denver is known for, but there is one Nationals pitcher who is extremely excited to get on the mound: reliever Ryan Mattheus.

Mattheus was drafted by the Rockies in the 19th round of the 2003 draft and, until the Nationals traded for him 2009, whenever he pictured himself as a major leaguer, it was always on this mound. He has never pitched in this park but has several teammates from the minor leagues up with the big league team now — including tonight’s starter Esmil Rogers.