Since finishing last in the major leagues last season with a 59-102 mark, people have been dismissed at all levels of the Nationals’ organization:
Dmitri Young, an All-Star in 2007, has spent the year on the disabled list and in the minor leagues. Tim Redding, who led the team with 10 wins, was nontendered. Odalis Perez, the Opening Day starter in 2008, was released after being re-signed. Shawn Hill, once considered the ace, was also released. The team released Wily Mo Pena at the end of spring training. Lastings Milledge (right), this year’s Opening Day center fielder and leadoff hitter, was traded - with reliever Joel Hanrahan - after being sent down. Elijah Dukes also was sent down; Jesus Colome, who pitched 71 innings last season, was released twice.
Manny Acta’s entire coaching staff - save for Randy St. Claire (right) - was axed after the 2008 season, including hitting coach Lenny Harris, bench coach Pat Corrales, base coaches Tim Tolman and Jerry Morales and bullpen coach Rick Aponte. St. Claire didn’t last much longer, getting nixed June 2. Acta’s dismissal Monday completed the purge, though Corrales returned from a stint in the front office to join Riggleman as a bench coach.
Two big names left the front office during spring training: Jose Rijo, a special assistant to the general manager, and that GM, Jim Bowden (right). Rijo, the former Reds pitcher who ran an academy for the Nationals in the Dominican Republic, was fired after it was discovered that one of his finds, the former Esmailyn Gonzalez, had a different name and age. That helped push out Bowden, who resigned in March, saying, “I’ve become a distraction.”
- John Taylor
By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
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