Wetteland removed as Nationals bullpen coach

Updated: June 15, 2006, 6:20 PM ET
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- John Wetteland was removed as the Washington Nationals' bullpen coach Thursday and offered another job with the team because of what manager Frank Robinson said were "philosophy differences."

Robinson said he asked Wetteland several times to get the team's relievers to focus more and cut down on practical jokes, such as lighting firecrackers.

"He just didn't conform with the way I wanted things done out there in the bullpen. I talked to him on a number of occasions," Robinson said after Thursday's 8-1 loss to Colorado. "I never talked to a bullpen coach as much as I talked to him about that situation and the problem. It started in spring training and carried right over into yesterday."

Nationals relievers have 12 saves in 21 chances this season, with a 7-12 record and 4.41 ERA.

Wetteland was in his first season as Washington's bullpen coach. His 330 career saves rank ninth in major league history.

"It will take a little bit of time to get over this. John was obviously very well-liked by the guys down there and by the guys on the team," veteran reliever Mike Stanton said. "He helped several of the young guys down there. That was what he was brought in to do. But there were some other things that went on that Frank felt like couldn't be overlooked anymore."


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press