by Chris Lingebach

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Just how deep do Nationals manager Matt Williams’ competitive juices run? 

He insists his coaching staff compete in “camaraderie runs.”

The topic was raised by Nationals first base coach Tony Tarasco, in an appearance with 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier, when he was asked who on the coaching staff dominates in Fungo bat competitions.

“My Fungo game’s great, alright? Now, this is a competitive staff,” Tarasco answered. “We go on these camaraderie runs, and there’s all kinds of challenges going on between the coaching staff, and so, you know, I’m gonna say hands down I have the best Fungo. I’m gonna stir the pot right there.

“I’m willing to stick my neck out right there, and say I have the best Fungo,” Tarasco continued to gloat. “That’s it. I’m just gonna leave it at that.”

Tarasco named bullpen catcher Nelson Robledo and defensive coordinator and advance coach Mark Weidemaier his stiffest Fungo competitors before going on to explain the camaraderie runs. “They’re two very skilled Fungo hitters, but I think my skills are about another couple notches above theirs.”

“What are these camaraderie runs?” Tarasco was asked.

“Well, Matt [Williams] walks in one day, during the beginning of the year, and says, ‘We are going to run as a coaching staff. We are going to stay in shape, and this is what we’re going to do.’ And every day that you don’t feel like running, he walks in and he challenges your heart and your mentality, and he says, ‘Are you willing to make the sacrifices necessary to win a championship?'”

“And so he feels like staying in shape and going on group runs is what’s gonna help us win a championship,” Tarasco held back his laughter.

“But, have you guys mentioned to him, any point, whether we jog or not tonight is not going to change if Doug Fister goes out and throws a shutout?” Paulsen asked.

Tarasco, now laughing, replied, “We do have these discussions some days, and they turn into some heated arguments sometimes, but he is the skipper, and nine times out-of-ten we side with him and he gets us going. But it’s fun. We try to stay in shape. It’s a good way to relieve stress, it’s a good opportunity for coaches to get to talk to one another, you know, run some ideas by each other while we’re on a run.”


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