- Sen. Rand Paul: ‘I am seriously thinking about’ running for president in 2016
- Sleet, ice, deepfreeze hit large swath of U.S.
- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
Rick Eckstein takes fall for hitting woes, but Nationals’ players know they must perform
As their offense has languished among the worst in the game, the Nationals have made minor moves to this point — sending Danny Espinosa down, bringing up Anthony Rendon, trading for Scott Hairston and sending Tyler Moore to the minor leagues — but Eckstein’s firing carried a different weight.
Players recognized they cost someone their job — someone many in the clubhouse considered a friend. They recognized some sort of change was probably a necessity.
“Just looking at the offense we’ve got and the numbers, something’s not adding up,” said first baseman Adam LaRoche. “But it comes down to us. We’re the ones who should be sent down for a couple weeks. It just doesn’t work like that, obviously. Somebody’s got to take the fall.”
Added third baseman Ryan Zimmerman: “When you get to this level, it’s your job to hit. You get paid a lot of money to do our job, and [if] we don’t do our job it’s nobody’s fault but our own. … No coach is going to come in here and turn someone into a .300 hitter who’s not a .300 hitter. You are what you are. If we play like we’re supposed to play, then we’ll score runs.”
Schu, who was expected to arrive Tuesday, joins the Nationals’ staff with 16 years as a major league and minor league hitting coach on his resume, along with nine years in the big leagues as a player.
He was one of the first professional hitting coaches Bryce Harper worked with after being drafted by the Nationals, and he has a positive reputation in the organization.
So, on what most agreed was a difficult day, many tried to look forward.
“It’s not the guy’s fault that we’re not hitting and he’s the scapegoat right now,” infielder Chad Tracy said. “As much as I like Rick Eckstein as a person and a hitting coach, the decisions have been made and we have to move on. Now it’s time to move on with Rick Schu, and hopefully he can bring a new attitude that somehow lights a fire under us.”
Said shortstop Ian Desmond: “Rick was part of something really special here. With Rick, we got better, we continued to get better and we ended up winning a division title. … He’s done a lot of special things and he’s obviously a very good hitting coach. But this is a very cutthroat business and it’s all about what have you done for my lately. Unfortunately for him, he had to go.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.
- What will Nationals do this offseason to contend again in 2014?
- As Nationals' manager search begins, Randy Knorr the players' choice
- Davey Johnson's big-league journey ends with Nationals loss
- Team spirit and Holy Spirit — for Nationals religion looms large on and off the field
- Jordan Zimmermann falls short of 20th win as Cardinals prevail again
Latest Blog Entries
- A fond farewell, and a bit of thanks
- Nationals coaches wait in limbo as team searches for next manager
- Davey Johnson won't be in uniform for Nationals in spring training
- Tanner Roark starts season finale with youthful lineup behind him (UPDATED)
- Dan Haren, Nationals top Diamondbacks in season's penultimate game
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Obama tries to calm Israeli fears over Iranian nuke deal 'not based on trust'
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- Craigslist killers: Police say newlyweds stabbed man for thrills
- Dick Cheney: Family feud over gay marriage has been 'dealt with'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Opinion, analysis, and musings on politics, pop culture, reinvention, and the resultant flotsam and jetsam floating around the right-of-center quadrant of the Left Coast.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!