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#pounditWednesday, August 12, 2020

Report: Nationals having major clubhouse issues

Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals continue to fall well short of expectations this season with their seemingly endless collection of talent, and the issues they are having on the field have apparently spilled over into the clubhouse.

Multiple sources told Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports that the Nationals are having leadership issues, with one source saying “the clubhouse is a mess.” While Bryce Harper is said to have a strong relationship with first-year manager Dave Martinez, the same cannot be said for some other players who reportedly feel “marginalized.”

As an example of the problems the Nationals are having behind closed doors, Passan pointed to Harper basically calling out the team’s front office recently after Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto hit a walk-off single against Washington.

“If that guy was on our side, it wouldn’t have happened,” Harper told reporters after the loss. “Tough luck.”

According to Passan, those remarks were viewed as “unprofessional and potentially divisive among (Harper’s) teammates,” especially since a lack of talent is not the issue with the Nationals.

Veteran starting pitcher Max Scherzer is also said to be extremely frustrated with the way things have gone, and some of that may have boiled over when he and Stephen Strasburg had a heated argument in the dugout in front of cameras recently.

There are always going to be issues when a team with such high expectations fails to perform, and the Nationals have underachieved for years. We have heard rumblings that players are voicing concerns about how Martinez is handling the pitching staff, and Martinez called out the team publicly on Sunday after a particularly brutal loss. Unless Washington can string together some wins, things will probably get worse down the stretch.

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