This morning we noted that Nationals pitching coach Derek Lilliquist was fired after last night’s game. Today we learn that the Nationals, apparently, handled it poorly.
Jamal Collier of MLB.com tweets from the press conference for Lilliquist’s replacement, Paul Menhart. Menhart says that he was told three days ago that he was getting the big league pitching coach job. Which means that Lilliquist was the Nats’ pitching coach, doing whatever it was a pitching coach does, for at least two or maybe three games, depending on what time of the day Menhart got the call that day. All the while the front office and, one assumes, manager Dave Martinez knew Liliquist was a dead man walking.
I have no opinion about Derek Liliquist’s firing for its own sake. The Nats pitching stunk and it’s pretty standard for a pitching coach to take the fall for that, deserved or not. But if what Menhart says is true and he and others had made the decision for him to replace Liliquist several days ago, that’s some serious garbage on the part of the Nats front office.
You don’t humiliate employees like that. There’s absolutely no excuse for it. If the decision was made to replace Liliquist a few days ago, the Nats brass either should’ve kept that decision to themselves or else made the move immediately and either went with an interim guy or gone without a pitching coach for a day or two in order to get people where they needed to be.