I’ve got good news and bad news, Nats fans. We’ll start with the bad news:
They’re shitty. Indeed. The Living Legends themselves. The now 7-12 Washington Nationals bungled their way into getting swept in a three game series by Jeffrey Harold Loria’s most recent Ponzi Team and thereby landed themselves in the cellar of the NL East. It has been awhile since we’ve been down here, hasn’t it? It is a little more wet and drafty down here than I remember. It’s nice no one has changed the drapes since the last time we were this low in the standings– and in spirit.
The first 19 games of the 2015 season for DC have been a clinic on how NOT to play the game of baseball. It has been nothing short of a hyped up clown show. Usually you don’t get into too much of a panic over 20 games. Twenty games won’t crash and burn your season, but it does a provide a sort of early checkpoint for your team and sort of dictates where your team is headed. It’s a point where you can briefly step back, look at yourselves and say, “Are we okay? Are we alright? Am I wearing my spanx today?”
The Nats are clearly not alright. The errors are racking up, fundamentals are going down the toilet, the bullpen is neglected, the offense is terminally inconsistent, there is still no proof that the Nationals have any sort of legitimate strength and conditioning program judging by continued injuries and their manager is as green as a patch of Colorado Shamrocks.
Same Number Two, different season.
Not that I can honestly blame manager Matt Williams. It really isn’t his fault. One fan on Twitter put it that Matty W. was given the keys to a very fast car last season and this season he has to learn to drive one that goes a bit slower. The thing is, Williams never earned the keys to begin with. A high powered, young-studded team on the cusp of going to next level needs a seasoned skipper at the helm, a judge, jury and executioner with experience. Williams had none. He was given the keys to the team anyway and in 2014 he wrapped that neat, shiney, Scott Boras-loaded car right around a tree during the playoffs. You’d think the Nats might have learned a valuable lesson, but of course not. Spoil the child, spare the rod. Williams was handed the NL Manager of the Year award and the keys to a much more powerful car for a good ole’ country drive in 2015. Williams has apparently chosen the longer, scenic route this season and already looks like he is a bit lost.
I can tell you one thing: no fan of a oafish 7-12 team wants to hear about “waiting for sparks” and unicorns. That is unacceptable. Great teams don’t wait for sparks, they make them.
Another year, another of GM Mike Rizzo’s Frankenstein monsters. One has to wonder if Williams and the Nats can’t turn this baby around, get to the playoffs and just get past the first round that they won’t land Rizzo and his Tommy Bahamas on the hot seat– if he isn’t already. Rizzo has endlessly preached long term, the bigger vision, but there are times he chooses the short term and cripples his teams in the process. After the Riggleman debacle he hired Davey Johnson who brought Washington that grizzled, experienced manager and who took them to new heights– but only for two seasons. Davey was aging and Rizzo had to have known he’d have a short time to make things work. He went all in, Johnson never had the intention to do more than he did. So while building a team Rizzo knew he was going to have to disrupt the whole operation to bring in a new manager. It seemed desperate, short sighted and bonkers. A team like this needs stability and Rizzo wasn’t going to give it to them anytime soon.
Then of course, he hired tenderfoot Williams, that was just absolutely shocking. Where did he suddenly come from? What really propelled him to the top of the list to manage the Maverick and Goose of all MLB teams? In fact, the whole process seemed short and bizarre. Why would you give a team like this to such inexperience? That was Rizzo’s call too.
A blind cyclops could’ve told you how shaky the bullpen seemed coming into the season. Rizzo did nothing except trade Tyler Clippard, a dependable arm for the most part. Rizzo played around with the bench a little and made a few decisions here and there but he continues to rely on players who just can’t consistently produce offense, especially in big moments…
I don’t know. Rizzo is a good baseball man, but is lacking something that puts him above mediocrity. His track record is beginning to show it. Perhaps he is waiting for a spark…
However, Nats Nuts, not all is lost. I said there was good news and bad news. That was the bad news. The good news is:
It’s only the first 20 games. What more can go wrong?