Watching a Virginia Tech football practice one day, a young player with some promise mouthed off ever so slightly. A veteran assistant coach shook his head and told him, "Son, you are nowhere near good enough to be an asshole."
I was reminded of that when I read today's update on Nationals.com about that abomination at Citi Field.
Elijah Dukes has no reason to listen to me but I do wonder if he's listening to anyone. Does he still have the baby-sitter? I meant to ask that last week when he had his Little League fiasco. But this guy, of all of them, ought to be very, very careful about being an asshole.
Now is not the time to ask you about that shit? (that's my guess as to what he said, since 'something' was in parentheses and I can't think of another curse word that fits). When IS the time to ask you about that shit? Tonight at dinner? At the club? Tomorrow?
Here's what I ask for the money you make, a point I've made before: Your best effort every time out and accountability. Those reporters aren't down there because they love hanging out with you postgame. They're down there because their job is to be the connection between you and the fans, their readers. You don't owe the reporters jack squat. But you owe ME and the other fans who invest chunks of time and money some sort of explanation as to how you botched an easy fly ball, turning the first inning into a shitshow.
You do that through the reporters.
The other thing you may want to think about there is what those reporters may do when you do need them. They're professionals. They'll be fair. But they're also humans. So when there's a screw-up of some sort, minor or major, do they write that you are really trying hard and deserve another chance? Or do they write that it is time to cut your "not the time for that shit" self loose? Think about that. I hate to admit it because I'm still a media guy at heart. But it does happen.
I also understand Manny is very frustrated right now and quite tired of dealing with variations of "why do you suck so much?" every day. Well, he IS the manager and dealing with it is part of the job. Best way to end those questions is to stop sucking so much but it sure doesn't look like that will happen any time soon.
When he says the fact that Dukes probably won't talk is "not my problem," it is laughable. If you have assholes in your clubhouse making it difficult for the media to do their jobs, it is your problem. The splatter could end up back on you. See the explanation above about the media connecting the fans/their readers to the team. It applies here, too.
By the way, I heard a variety of coaches/managers use the "don't ask me ask him" kind of line over the years. Without fail, it was code for "I'm tired of alibi-ing for his ass." This could be very interesting to watch.
Again, I understand frustration. Everyone involved with the Nats - from the top through the organization down to us beleaguered fans - feels it to some degree. I hope. If 3-13 and an ugly 3-13 at that doesn't frusrate you, you may be dead.
They're still professionals and they should act like it. For our money, we fans deserve answers. From everyone.