Clippard responds to Storen being optioned to minors
After Friday night’s walkoff win over the Mets, the Nationals locker room quickly turned from celebratory to a much more serious tone. Closer Drew Storen had been optioned to Triple-A Syracuse and one player in particular, Tyler Clippard, wasn’t happy about it.
Clippard spoke out on the move, saying he disagreed with the way the organization handled the situation with Storen and the free agent closer they brought in, Rafael Soriano.
On Saturday general manager Mike Rizzo addressed Clippard’s comments, saying he understand his concerns but wishes he would have gone about expressing them in a different way.
“I talked to Clip,” Rizzo said. “His opinion means a lot to me. I disagree with his assessment of the situation, but you fight to the death to let them speak their mind and say what they want. And that’s what makes these guys what they are on the mound. You’ve got to have a certain type of attitude and makeup to pitch in the latter-end of these games. They’re a competitive bunch, and the one thing I’ve never shied away from is when we have a discussion, we have it man-to-man, eye-to-eye, and I certainly can take his opinion. Like I said, I don’t agree with it, but I commend him for having a strong opinion on it.”
Manager Davey Johnson also spoke about Clippard’s comments. He believes Clippard stated what was already a known dynamic on the locker room.
“I understand all of it. Unfortunately, a lot of the things, that’s baseball,” he said. “All that change is sometimes tough for them.”