NEW YORK -- With Jim Riggleman expected to manage the Nationals in 2011, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said recently he would like to see the players make the skipper's job easier by policing themselves in the clubhouse.
Zimmerman would like to see Riggleman be able to focus on the game at hand. Zimmerman believes there are enough veterans on the roster who could help control the clubhouse.
"We are moving where we can make everything in here easier," Zimmerman said. "If we could control the clubhouse, all he has to worry about is doing the lineup, worry about stuff during the game, which is what he is supposed to do. ... We do a lot more than people think. I think that is the way that it should be perceived."
Zimmerman didn't give any examples, but he also would like to see the Nationals keep off-the-field matters private. He hinted that he doesn't like it when clubhouse meetings are revealed to the media. The last time a clubhouse meeting was revealed was on Sept. 12, when the Nationals lost to the Marlins, 6-5.
After the game, Riggleman held a team meeting with his players because he thought they didn't give their best effort for nine innings.
Instead of Riggleman doing the talking, he had his coaching staff express the feelings of the manager. The meeting lasted 30 minutes.
"You don't necessarily have to call people out, yell at people in front of cameras or tell people you had a meeting or anything like that," Zimmerman said. "I think when people do that, it's more for show than for effect anyway. A lot of things that are done -- that are most important -- are done behind closed doors, that nobody gets to know about, especially when you get to touchy subjects. I don't think it should be known. To say something to someone else and have everyone else hear about it, it's not very fair to that guy."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.