Go look at the list of managers in the history of the Expos/Nationals franchise on Baseball Reference. Sort by won-loss record. One name stands out: John McLaren, he of the .667 career winning percentage (2-1). No one else is above .530.
Get rid of the Expos folks, and McLaren’s dominance n is even more stark. He is the only manager in Nats history with a winning percentage above .475. His legacy in this town is safe.
He also had a pretty great three-day run, getting thrown out in epic fashion during his first game as Nats field manager and then talking about it on MASN.
“My finger tipped [the umpire’s] cap and it was totally unintentional,” McLaren said. “I take full responsibility. Like I said, I think I had some anger inside, and I would say I released it. Like I said, it wasn’t pretty, but I let some stuff out inside of me.”
That was far from the only excellent quote of his tenure. Like, there was this one, about managing against Ozzie Guillen.
“I love managing against Ozzie Guillen, I can’t tell you how much,” McLaren told MASN during an emotional post-game interview. “We start off with a chess match, and then all of the sudden Ozzie wants to play checkers for a while, and then we go to Dominoes and back to the chess.”
In the same interview, after some wavering voice moments, McLaren wrapped up his three-game tenure.
“I had fun,” he said. “The first game was kind of an emotional rollercoaster, but the last two games I had my feet on the ground. I don’t want to talk about the situation any more; it is what it is. Let’s all go our own way, and good luck to everybody.”
Then there was this one, about the progress of the Nats.
“This team is not a doormat to the National League any more, I think that’s obvious,” he said. “And we have a good group of people here, and they're moving forward, and we’ve got people coming. It’s gonna be exciting times for Nats fans, and they deserve it.”
And finally, there was this.
“The John McLaren Era is over in Washington — is three games an era?” McLaren asked reporters on Sunday. “But anyway, I’m glad we won this series, I’m happy for everybody, and I’m going home.”