MIAMI -- Nationals manager Davey Johnson isn't a big proponent of team meetings, but he called a brief one Wednesday afternoon with his club mired in a five-game losing streak, tied for its longest of the season.
Johnson said the seven-minute meeting in the visitors' clubhouse at Marlins Park was mostly fun and encouraging, and he wanted to remind his players that he was happy with their effort despite the results.
Johnson, who last called a team meeting way back in May, admitted the offense "has taken a nap" in scoring six runs over those five games, but he doesn't want his players to start pressing.
"When you lose, it's harder on the coaches and the manager. We don't sleep as well. If they start winning a few games, it'll make it easier on this old guy," Johnson said he told the team. "We all got a good laugh out of it and everything. It was a nice, fun meeting. I don't hold a lot of them, as you know. That way, maybe you guys think I'm doing my job.
"Sometimes it's nice for them to hear it from me as a group. They hear it from me individually all the time, but I think it's nice to sometimes tell them all en masse.
"I didn't even have any idea what I was going to say until I got in there. Sometimes it's nice just to have a fun meeting. Short, sweet, to the point. I know I probably held their attention span since it was only seven minutes. If you go over 10, you might lose it."
There isn't a great deal of concern about the losing streak inside the Nats' clubhouse, either. After Tuesday night's loss, first baseman Adam LaRoche admitted the Nats didn't have "the highest of spirits," but that's a natural product of losing five games in a row, especially for a club that hasn't endured many significant losing streaks this year.
If anything, LaRoche said, they can still look back and be pleased with what they did the rest of the season to this point.
"To be honest, when is a better time to lose five in a row? I mean, we're still in first place," added shortstop Ian Desmond. "If this is as bad as we can play, it's only going to get better."