The firing of Dan Radison on Friday afternoon will be the final coaching shakeup for the Nationals from the fallout of Jim Riggleman’s resignation, GM Mike Rizzo said Saturday.
Radison was relieved of his duties as the Nationals first base coach on Friday, replaced with Trent Jewett at first base as new Nationals manager Davey Johnson welcomed bench coach Pat Corrales to the staff.
That decision, Rizzo said, was a mutual one between he and Johnson with clubhouse chemistry and comfortability in mind. Radison and Riggleman were very close. Radison even called Riggleman “my best friend in the whole world,” the day after Riggleman’s resignation, ultimately it was that closeness that made the Nationals feel they needed to make a move.
“I think (the decision) was mostly for clubhouse chemistry and comfort level in the clubhosue,” Rizzo said. “Personalities come into play here so often. I have great respect for Rad. He’s been in the game a long time and he’s going to be in the game for a long time, it’s just that he’s probably a little too close to Jim. We felt for the comfort of the clubhouse and the staff and the coaches, we’ll make a change and bring in a guy like Jewett who’s here anyways and knows the team to fill that position.”
Jewett had been serving the team as an extra coach who would work with players and be in uniform during pregame but was not in uniform or present in the dugout during games. When Riggleman resigned, Jewett became interim manager John McLaren’s bench coach and, subsequently, Johnson’s bench coach during the first three games before Corrales arrived.
In an email to the Washington Post on Friday, Radison said “I will miss the players and I love Davey so I wish them well. That’s it.”
Jewett’s previous role will not be filled.
“We’re just going to absorb that auxiliary coach,” Rizzo said. “We’ve got plenty of guys to absorb that.”