Hopefully The Nats Will Be Champs Of The Off Season

If you would have told me a few months ago that Justin Maxwell would score the banner pic for the final game of the 2010 season, I would have found you nuts. I would have put my money on Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman and maybe even Adam Dunn. But nope. It is outfielder Justin Maxwell.

And he earned it.

Maxwell battled in a 14th inning at-bat and drew a bases loaded walk that brought in Adam Kennedy to beat Team Choke East in the final game of the 2010 season. The final score was 2-1. Put a fork in 2010. It is finally done and the results, 69-93 with a .426 winning percentage and 28 games back from first in the division, leave something to be desired. Manager Jim knows this and went on record with some on-the-nose quotes and excuses trying to show that he knows what we’ve known all season. Again, it is cliche and boring what he said so we put it through the Dialectizer again set at “jive” to spruce it up.

“Most uh de dudes — individually — had an Coo’ year statistically, but ya’ put it all togeda’ and it plum dun didn’t wo’k,” Riggleman said. “On sheet, it looked Coo’, but it dun didn’t turn into some lot uh runs sco’ed. Dat be de point uh de game — ya’ try t’outsco’e da damn opponent — and we plum dun didn’t sco’e enough runs.”

“Dere is a couple uh catego’ies dat we is not real baaaad in — situashunal hittin’, on-base puh’centage. Dose two doodads gots’ta go down some little mo’e. Man on dird wid less dan two out and digtin’ de runna’ in. ‘S coo’, bro. Surprisin’ly, droughout baseball, it seems likes it’s not some tough doodad t’do — t’get dat runna’ in fum dird wid less dan two outs. But it’s less dan 50 puh’cent droughout baseball dat it real happens.”

Rumor has it that Jim Riggleman is going to be a zombie for Halloween this year. That is because even though he is pretty set for 2011, there isn’t any better definition of “dead man walking.” There is no way he keeps his job past 2011, no way. If 2011 even begins to stink of 2009 or 2010 early on, he might be out of DC quicker than anyone believes. Again, Riggs is a good man, good baseball man, a beer buddy, but just a bad manager. No fire at all. Some say he shows it behind the scenes in the locker room, but pennants aren’t won in the locker room. Sorry, Phil Wood.

If you want a more honest viewpoint, then you might want to turn to reliever and resident poet Miguel Batista who laid down these choice words:

“On my behalf, you need to play with pride and you need to — I wouldn’t say compete. We need to beat people. There are some teams out there that go play and they look like they are superior. That can’t happen. We need to go out there — make people afraid to go to Washington like people don’t want to go to Yankee Stadium, they don’t want to go to Philadelphia. We need to play [in] that kind of environment in D.C., where fans can be proud of the team that we have.”

Batista nails it on the head. DC shouldn’t be an enjoyable baseball atmosphere to anyone but DC fans. Unfortunately, thanks to Judas Kasten and phantom ownership that just isn’t the case. For the past two seasons at least they’ve thrown a frat party at Nationals Park and the visitors still haven’t gone home. Nats fans feel like aliens in their own house. That will change– in time. I have no doubt. But it is going to be an ugly process getting ownership to actually catch a clue and sweeping out the garbage.

So this is what the off season feels like. It is kind of dull. Unexciting. I guess I could go up in the woods and set up my deer stand for hunting season. Or maybe catch up on some reading. I think I have a daughter running around somewhere. Maybe I will take her to the park.

If she even remembers who I am. It has been a long blogging season.

The Natful Dead

Sup, Citizens of Natstown. DangerNat here, back on the NQ. I have been battling that first season cold the past couple days and I am finally getting over it. I am not saying I am 100%, but I am getting close to it. So I plan on in the next few days getting on that 40 ounce and body butter thing. That is in my queue.

I can honestly say I haven’t missed much, other than the final series of the 2010 season. Today is in fact, the last day of the 2010 season for the Washington Nationals. The Nats are sending out Livan “Orville Redenbacher” Hernandez against Mike Pelfrey of Team Choke East this afternoon to wrap things up. Judging by the first game and second game of this last series, the Nats have pretty much packed it in. Don’t worry, boys. Nine innings to go before you can pack up, get on that plane to Florida and hit the tee with Judge Smails and Al Czervik at Bushwood. You’ve earned a little R&R. Who wants to play in the post season anyways?

Just some random thoughts and opinions…

Manager Jim Riggleman’s biggest regret of 2010 is not playing Adam Kennedy. You read that right, of all the things to be regretful for or be sorry for in 2010, Riggs is sorry he didn’t play Adam Freaking Kennedy more often. Or more to the point, he didn’t rotate Cristian Guzman, Ian Desmond and Adam Kennedy more often during that first two month stretch where the Nats actually looked like a real baseball team. Shocker. Let it be said, there are plenty of regrets when it comes to the 2010 season, but the biggest regret the team manager has is not giving Adam Kennedy more time? Glad to see Manager Jim has his priorities straight.

Face, Ryan Zimmerman, is sitting out his 10th straight game today and will finish out the season in the dugout nursing a sore rib. If you are a person who gets their rocks off by kicking people and things while they are flat on the ground, then take a few practice kicks before nailing a Nats fan in the nuts, make it count, because the Nationals and their fans just haven’t been this down since– ever. You would think the franchise would at least have its most popular player out on the field to send 2010 on its way into bad memory, but the Nats won’t even have that. If you are Ryan Zimmerman, how do you feel? The team you hold on your shoulders for five years is stuck in the dumps, your team president runs out on you and the team has no interest in resigning one of your best friends (Adam Dunn). Not that I approve of the frat boy mentality or anything, if Zimm is really upset about that then he needs to suck it up and realize he isn’t at one of the Rugby Road frat houses at UVa anymore, but you gotta feel he probably thinks he is being ignored and this team is headed nowhere. He is probably also wondering what if feels like to play in another uniform.

The season closes out today, but the NQ does not. We’ll be active this offseason so keep checking back.

Smile, Natstown, it is the end of another long, dreadful season. 2011 is right around the corner. Who knows what sort of boogeymen and hobgoblins are waiting around that corner ready to jump out at us, scare us, fill us full of dread and make us remember, “Hey, at least DC has baseball again…”

All hail the Natful Dead.

Good News, Nats Can’t Lose in Nats Park In 2010 Again

It is true. They can’t. BECAUSE THIS HOUSE IS CLOSED!

For the rest of 2010 anyways. The Nationals home campaign came to an end last night as they were completely butt invaded by the Philadelphia Phillies 7-1. Starting pitcher Ross Detwiler gave up four homeruns (two were back-to-back in the first inning) and the only offense that could be mustered was an Ian Desmond RBI. As Jim Rome would say, “War Ian Desmond.”

Manager Jim had the usual words about how they woulda-coulda-shoulda win-ith the ballgame which were way boring. So we put his quotes through The Dialectizer set to “Redneck.” Much more interesting. What do you have to say about the ballgame, Jim?

“We sartinly’d haf liked t’have won th’ ballgame, thass fo’ sho’nuff,” Riggleman said, cuss it all t’ tarnation. “Th’ fans haf come out an’ haf been so inergitic an’ positive fo’ us. Pitchin’ determines th’ outcome of most ballgames.”

Any words on Detwiler’s sour performance, Cotton Eye Joe?

Det jest didn’t haf it. Th’ Phillies loaded it up wif right-han’ers in th’ lineup. They kepp puttin’ th’ barrel on th’ ball an’ got th’ ball in th’ air. Thet was purdy much th’ difference in th’ game. They were able t’git t’him

If Nats Park ain’t like Dixie then I ain’t going. The Nats finish their 2010 Nats Park adventures at 41-40 with a grand attendance of 1,828,066.

I am still sick as a dog so I am going to cut this one short. It is hard to blog on a stuffed up head. Usually my head is stuffed with witty charm and intelligence, but right now it feels like a fishbowl of snot. Special thanks to whoever sent the chick with the chicken soup to my door yesterday. Extra credit for the fact she was only wearing a bikini when I opened the door.

That really didn’t happen, but fantasizing about it makes me feel better.

The Savage 2010 Season

The Washington Nationals are ending their 2010 season at Nationals Park pretty much the same way they started it: to the sound of vile taunts, the stench of raw flatulence and the drunken, frontrunner applause of hundreds of fans– that were not their own.

The Nationals were ravaged by the Philadelphia Phillies 8-0 last night at Nationals Park although it didn’t sound like it was played at Nationals Park. With last night’s win, the Phillies clinched their fourth NL East division title and they celebrated in style, turning Nats Park into a crimson-colored orgy of decadent bliss in a way that only Phillies fans and player can. At Nationals Park. Lord only knows what was happening in the visiting locker room after the game. They could have ordered hookers and taken them out on the pitcher’s mound for a rip-roaring good time and no one in that Park would have batted an eye or complained. Thanks, Stan. That is your legacy.

Well, no, that isn’t true. Shortstop Ian Desmond might have had a problem with that.

“It was kind of embarrassing. Everyone in the stadium is clapping against you and you are at home. It’s not really where you want to be,” Desmond said. “I wanted to go out there to win that game and show them we can play with them. We took two out of three from the Braves. We played them well all year. [And now], 8-0 is kind of ridiculous.”

Thank God one of the players has his head in the right place. Desmond doesn’t have his buried in some sand trap yet. Good for Desmond. The guy is a gamer. As Jim Rome would say, “War Ian Desmond.” It is that brutal honesty that has been completely missing from the Nationals organization all season and they are paying in spades for it. Just look at that Nat-fanless Park. Horrible. Embarrassing. And it is only going to get worse without some sort of intervention.

This is just how the Nationals 2010 campaign has been. Absolutely savage. Yeah, they aren’t going to close out the season with 100-losses for the first time in three seasons. Yeah, they have a better last place record than the previous seasons, but that is not satisfying or acceptable. It’s like spending three days in the desert without water and someone finally finds you and hands you a glass of salt water.

I thought the 2009 season was finally the season the Nationals hit rock bottom. I was wrong. In 2009 the Nats had viable excuses such as look at the players they had to work with. They just simply sucked. They sucked, but they had hope. The organization had all their front office positions filled, they had young guys on the cusp of making their major league debut, a bunch of dead weight was about to come off the books or be tossed away and a certain phenom was generating legendary buzz. It is 2010, so why don’t I feel any better or positive in the direction this team is going?

In 2010 the Nats have better players and have gotten younger. They still suck. The Nats FO is in a state of flux with their team president completely running out on the team when “this team is closer to contention than they appear.” That is just sad and unheard of. Then the bread, butter, hope and soul of the team is in San Diego healing up and quitting chewing tobacco and won’t be ready until late 2011 by the earliest. I won’t even go into the embarrassment of DibbleGate and NyjerGate that only further exposed the Nationals as a team that really has little idea what it is doing or the direction it is going.

This season has been absolutely savage. I feel mauled. I feel absolutely violated. No, really.

I feel like a Pittsburgh Pirates fan.

In Brief Relief–

Nats Have Gone Dunn It Again – Ben Goessling writes the Nationals are not too keen on resigning Adam Dunn over the off season based off his less than stellar defensive abilities. Says “one scout from an opposing team” the only people in the organization interested in resigning Dunn is the owners. This news of course has sent Natstown into yet another mindless frenzy. At this point, who cares? Sign him or don’t sign him, it won’t matter spit. By the time this team is ready to contend (3+ years) Dunn will be using a walker and be a non-issue. Let him walker out of here and take the draft picks.

The Deal – So the Nationals were able to finally string together four consecutive wins. That means I owe you faithful readers and haters a video of me attempting to chug a bottle of 40 oz. malt liquor while talking Nats. To make up for an earlier promise of melting butter on my chest, I will also do that at the same time. However, I gained a pretty nasty cold in Cleveland so mixing malt liquor and chest butter wouldn’t be the best thing for my health right now. As soon as I get over the bug, I will shoot some film. I’ll keep you posted.

Your Nationals Dispatch: Large Marge Sent You Edition

This blog and the Nationals share a sort of symbiotic relationship. Sort of. Like when the Nationals are relevant, as rare as that is, this blog tends to see a spike in readership and the material tends to be on the high end of the quality spectrum. On the flip side of the coin, when the Nationals struggle to find any reason to continue on in their 162-game plight, then this blog struggles to make any sense at all.

This is one of those times. The Nationals are the worst wreck we’ve ever seen– like a garbage truck falling off the Empire State Building– and we just don’t know what to post anymore so it is getting all random up in dis house. Tell’em Large Marge sent you to–

Your Nationals Dispatch.

The Nats Spoil Houston’s Good Time - In the role of spoiler for teams already spoiled rotten, the Nationals won Game 2 and Game 3 of a four-game series against the close to irrelevant Houston Astros. The teams have one more game this afternoon to complete the series. Who are we kidding, they are irrelevant. Houston has as good a chance as the Nationals at making the playoffs in 2010.

The saddest part about this series is sports talk radio doesn’t even bother to update on the score of the game during this series. If they do, it is usually after they talk about sports like cup stacking and after the commercial about prostate pills, but before the adult diapers spot.

Don’t Do It Nats - The Nationals are expected to announce that they will be officially retaining manager Jim Riggleman for the 2011 season. Riggleman is under a two-year deal with the Nats, but only 2010 was guaranteed.

It is shocking to look at the standings, look at the miserable on-field play, see all the empty seats at Nats Park and still see the organization sing Riggleman’s praises. Do they really think they can sell a five game improvement? Does that really wow anyone? Last place is last place and regardless of what the Front Office spinners are feeding the press, there obviously still is no accountability or responsibility. What is the Nationals plan? Have record low attendance so they can move the team to Miami so they can tee off everyday like in that movie?

Some Minor Items – The Nationals have extended their relationship with the Class A South Atlantic League Hagerstown Suns with a two-year agreement while at the same time they signed a two-year agreement with the Class A New York-Penn League Auburn Doubledays. By joining with the Doubledays, the Nationals ended their relationship with the Vermont Lake Monsters.

No more Lake Monsters? Bummer. That was an awesome name for a minor league club. Vermont is an awesome state too. Especially if you like maple syrup. And Lake Monsters. I don’t know what a Doubleday is, but that logo is pretty funny. The guy looks like he is about to get beamed by a Collin Balester fastball.

Jose Baez Is A Crook - A Dominican court overturned a lower-court ruling that had the Nationals paying over $75,000 to former employee Jose Baez after he was dismissed in the Carlos Alvarez scandal that rocked the organization internationally and finally got former GM (and swindler) Jim Bowden out of DC.

Hooray! The Nationals finally won something! As for Baez, this is for you, pal: GOOD DAY, SIR!

And that is Your Nationals Dispatch.

I Thought The Nats Were Through Making Excuses

Brandon Flowers was onĀ  sports talk radio yesterday, a member of the Kansas City Chiefs and a whole other sport we aren’t concerned with in these parts, but that doesn’t matter because what he said is pretty much sports universal, especially one quote in particular:

“Fans don’t want to hear you talk about winning, they want to see you do it. They don’t want to watch you talk, they want to see you walk the walk.”

There is probably no truer words to wake up to on a brisk Tuesday morning. Stamp that as truth. Absolute truth. Like the world is round, dinosaurs came before man and Micheal Ironside is a completely underrated actor. It can’t be debated. Truth. So when you wake up to find articles titled like THIS and then read game recaps that contain a gauntlet of excuses, like the one about the Nationals 8-2 beating at the hands of the Houston Astros last night, it leaves you not only scratching your head and covering your eyes, but also leaves you wondering when this team is just going to shut up and do something.

I keep hating to bring it up, but we promised we’d hold the team to it– Stan? Stan? Where are you Stan? Excuses are multiplying like Gremlins and you said excuses will no longer be tolerated. Stan?

Some of the wonderful doozies from the recap:

Manager Jim Riggleman and the excuse for Adam Dunn/Livo error:

“I thought Adam gave him a good feed and didn’t handle it,” [Manager Jim] Riggleman said. “What I’m sure happened was Livan thought Adam was going to throw to third, so Livan kind of held up. He realized that he has to get it going again, and he’s all fouled at that point.”

Yeah, right. I’ll tell you what else is all fouled up at this point…

Willie Harris and the excuse for him not making a catch:

“The lights affected me when the ball came off the bat,” Harris said. “I think I still had enough time. I should have made the play. I picked the ball up in a decent amount of time. I just missed the play.”

This is the reason there were only 10,999 people at the Park last night. This is the reason why some people snicker like you said the word “penis” when you say “Washington Nationals.” This is the reason free agents avoid D.C. like the plague. This is the reason why this team will finish in the cellar again in 2010–

No accountability + No responsibility = Only Excuses

This is all this team has. Excuses when there should be none. Natstown does not want to read a bunch of Ra-Ra pieces like this one, this one and this one. They are hard to swallow and get behind during trying times and seem nothing like kool-aid induced puff pieces. We want answers to how this ship is going to be fixed. We also don’t want to endure paragraphs of hot-quote mouth flatulence like the current recap. We want results, forward progress. It is becoming like some horrifying sick joke the more and more Rizzo, Riggleman or some player continue to push the line, “…we are closer than we appear” when it is pretty obvious even to the most simple baseball minded that they are not.

I don’t know. Maybe I am the only one. I just feel a bit lied to. I was promised, as a Nationals fan, that everyone in the organization was now expected to win or come in expecting to win, but they aren’t. The days of accepting excuses were over, yet here they are, immortalized forever in sad post-game recaps. I have a hard time believing I am the only one on this train of thought, but somehow I doubt it. I guess I am just aggravated.

Until someone takes this team by the balls and solidifies a little true A&R (accountability, responsibility), I’d forget anything having to do with the playoffs, the standings, the score. This team has a lot of things to figure out.

“Before the game, we could tell the crowd was down [attendance wise],” Riggleman said. “It had all the elements that would cause that to happen. We have not been playing winning baseball. It is two clubs that are not in contention. If we want to have good crowds out there, we have to play better baseball and win more games.”

Is that what you have to do? Is that what you guys are going to do in 2011?

Mystery solved!

Don’t Drunk Dial 911 On Storen Yet

First things first, the NQ was not around this weekend for the ONE, TWO, THREE knockout the Phillies landed on the Nationals because we were at a wedding. Natty Galore, one of our Washington informants finally tied the knot. Many a single young boy went limp the moment she said “Oh, ok. I do. Sure.” Natty Galore gave the NQ one of our more colorful postings which involved former Nats pitcher Odalis Perez eating a bunch of sushi and stealing a girl’s coat in hopes of mating. Awesome story, awesome post. Congratulations to her.

Second things, second: do not give up on Drew Storen. I know how it looks. The Nats seemed to finally have hooked the Phillies last night going into the bottom of the ninth with a three-run lead, but Storen came in to close the game and did anything but. He didn’t record an out before it was over. He gave up a single, a double and a single before giving up the game winning bomb to Jayson Werth (a guy many in Natstown want to come to DC, but I have absolutely no idea why. He can’t even spell “Jason” the appropriate way).

Storen is 3-4 with two blown saves and a 3.83 ERA.

Already I hear rumblings coming down the grapevine that fans are worried Storen is not the Chosen One and not the team closer of the future. Oh stop it. It is the kid’s first season in the Majors. Are we seriously going to apply labels to the youngsters like this? It is like that group of fans that is in any fanbase who see a new kid, get uber-excited off a small sample of work and then hold meetings on what slick nickname can we give the guy.

I am of the opinion players “earn” nicknames and they come naturally over time. The same can be said of positions. In time Storen will naturally earn the closer’s role or he will not. It can’t be forced by the over-jubilant forces of slap-happy fandom. He has a long road to go down. Lets see where he goes on his own before we start boxing him in with labels and set positions. Lets not write him off. Not yet.

You think it was a simple road to becoming a sexy Nationals blogger? I can tell you it wasn’t. When I first started this blog I wrote posts and just let them sit there on my screen thinking you all could read them because the Internet is a mystical tool of spirits and witches. Then someone told me I had to hit the “PUBLISH” button and I was like, “Ah man, this is hard work!”

That is why in certain circles my nickname is “Funky-Stank Dumb Chimp.”

Your Nationals Dispatch: Phillies Ite Domum Edition

This blog has been accused of not following its roots. While certainly this is a Washington Nationals blog, I have a couple people wondering where the love for Monty Python is considering part of the name and part of the theme of this blog was taken from a famous Python skit.

Jesus Jiminy Cricket, you people are so hard to satisfy. Fine. Here you go. Life of Brian. Graham Chapman was the absolute shiz, God rest his soul. Phillies ite domum. Of course, this makes little to no sense because the Phillies “can’t go home” because they will be already playing the Nats at home at Citizen’s Bank Park tomorrow. Nor do I think that is proper latin for Phillies. I think the proper Vocative plural of “Phillies” is “Douchebagi” or something like that.

I didn’t do too well in foreign language class, but like you, I excel at reading–

Your Nationals Dispatch.

Two More For A Forty Ounce - The Nationals put together a two-game win streak by taking two of three from the trying to compete Atlanta Braves. The Choking Tribe has fallen back two games in the NL East and the Nats organization has settled into the “spoiler role” as if that is any consolation prize for the many loyal Natstown residents who’ve had to endure yet another season of living in the cellar with the NL cockroaches.

The only good thing about this whole spoiler role is they have actually strung together a two-game win streak and that means they are only two consecutive victories away from having me dump 40 ounces of malt liquor down my gullet. And I don’t think they’ll lose 100 games if they do it too. Wow, if it happens it will be like Christmas on this blog!

2011? Already? - The Nationals released their 2011 schedule which has them down for starting the season on March 31st against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park. That is the beginning of a twelve game stretch against NL East rivals. The Marlins and then the Mets come after that. For some reason I was praying the Nats play something like 10 or 12 series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but the higher ups didn’t grant my wish.

A bad start out of the gate against the NL East will all but determine the Nationals season early on. I have to laugh when fans of teams like the Yanks, Rays, Phillies complain about how exhausted they are after the “162-game marathon” that is the baseball season. As a Nats fan, the baseball season only lasts a month or sometimes two so I have no idea what they are talking about.

Harper Is In Viera - Nationals #1 overall 2010 pick Bryce Harper will be in Viera, FL this weekend to participate in the Nats Instructional League. It will be Harper’s introduction to the pros. Manager Jim Riggleman says the Instructional League is important to Harper’s development, but nothing takes the place of spending a full season in the minors.

Ah, so Harper and Boras finally finished counting all their cash from the deal and NOW he wants to get to work. Good for him. Too bad he couldn’t get any work in the minors this season. Oh well. At least Harper can get a good look at the crop of Cocoa Beach girls down in Florida before the NQ arrives for Spring Training. I hope he sends us reports.

Still Waiting - Still no ruling on the upcoming Nyjer Morgan suspension appeal where if Morgan’s appeal failed, it would have him sitting out at least 15 games. Morgan was in a five-hour appeal meeting with the MLB higher ups last week, but since then there has been no word on the outcome because apparently it “takes a couple of days to go through everything.”

Bollocks. There are only two reasons this is taking so long. Either A.) they are planning to not only give him a 15-game suspension, but something else dastardly like having him run over hot coals while rabid hyenas chase him or B.) They’ve already totally forgotten who Nyjer Morgan is and can’t recall why they sat around drinking coffee for five hours last week.

And that is Your Nationals Dispatch.

Sometimes This Team Makes Me Balk All Over Myself

This past Sunday the NQ for the first time got in line for one of the the Nationals “Signature Sundays” where they post players in certain sections and give fans the opportunity to score photos and autographs. Don’t look at me like that. I might be a blogger, but am still a 12-year old fan trapped in a 30-year old’s vibrant body. Nationals pitcher Yunesky Maya was one of the ones offering his time and ink and I scored his Hancock on a ball. I don’t think he understood a word of anything I tried to convey to him (I welcomed him to DC), but he was all smiles and he took some time to put an intricate autograph on the ball, I mean like an artist. I dig a man who takes pride in his work.

Now if only Maya could hone his skills on the mound the same way he puts time in his signature.

In his second start for the Nationals, Maya put up perhaps one of the most morbidly bizarre innings any Nationals pitcher has had in 2010 in a 4-0 loss to the Braves. In the second-inning Maya gave up a single, a double, a triple and two balks which led to four runs. All in one inning. Confounding, amazing– Washington Nationals baseball!

With teammate Joel Peralta as an interpreter, Maya said he “rushed” and balked because he “couldn’t see the signs.”

Maya has struggled with runners on, saying he’s been “trying to spot the ball and missing pitches” while “rushing to make everything perfect.”

Maya made it through the sixth without allowing any more scoring and impressed [Manager Jim] Riggleman with his competitiveness. He allowed five hits, walked three and hit a batter while striking out two.

It was far from a shining performance, but there is a sense that there is something there. Maya can still be good. More time spent with the team, getting to know their system and proper training with a stable routine that does not involve defecting from Cuba– Maya can still be an effective piece. It will take time though. So don’t give up on Maya just yet. We’ll continue to be his Wingman for awhile or until we go all Maverick and Goose on him– sorry, watching Top Gun as I write this.

The biggest story of the game was Derek Lowe finally solved the Nats offense (Nats have beaten him three times), who looked like they all but have given up and struck out a career high 12-batters. The Nationals tend to make any pitcher they face the next coming of Cy Young. The Riggleman Multi-Coach Team Meeting didn’t seem to have any effect on players who are ready to hit balls into sandtraps rather into the Red Loft.

It is hard to watch a team like this, especially one you love and dedicate so much time, funds and emotion to. How does a Nat fan go on believing in this team when the team doesn’t even believe in themselves? I don’t know. What a mind trip. To those fans who are still with us– thank you. Jesus, thank you so much.

The Nats would like you to fall behind the team as they try to play “spoiler,” but Nats fans would rather the Nats be the team to be “spoiled.” The role of spoiler is just a creation of team PR to give the impression it is still worth coming out to the ballpark and buying the merch. Fans have quickly soured on the idea even though the team might still be toeing that line:

“I wish we were the ones competing for the playoffs, but since we’re not at least we get in that atmosphere,” manager Jim Riggleman said before the start of a three-game series against Braves. “I think it’s good for our young player to be in these situations and we’re going to take the games very seriously.”

I really wish I knew what atmosphere Manager Jim is in because where ever it is, it is making him high as a kite. Last night’s game didn’t feel the least bit like a playoff/spoiler atmosphere.

It felt more like a funeral.

Nyjer Morgan Looks Like He Is Full Of Anger

Whoa, look out for Nyjer Morgan!

The Nats centerfielder looks full of rage, anger and hate. Especially today when he met Florida Marlins centerfielder Cameron Maybin in centerfield before the game and embraced him as one of his own. Don’t be fooled. That hug = hate. The media says so and you must believe what the media tells you. Even if Nyjer Morgan wasn’t giving a Florida Marlin the cold, Caress of Death that only pure evil people can give, I’d still be pissed if I was him.

The Washington Nationals dropped the final game of a three-game series against the Fish 6-5 this afternoon in front of a sparse crowd at Nationals Park. The three-game series ended in a sweep with the Nats on the wrong side of the broom and it was the fifth loss in a row for the Nationals who will not finish with a .500 record for the fifth year in a row– their whole existence since returning to D.C. in 2005. The NQ attended the last two games of the series and to say they were miserable for everyone involved is an insult to things that truly make people miserable– like politics, skin cancer and Justin Bieber. Apparently no one was more miserable than Nats manager Jim Riggleman who held a team meeting after the game. He even offered them a challenge. Nationals Daily News:

“You cannot go to the level that teams such as the Padres, Giants, Yankees, Tampa Bay, those teams who are gonna be right there at the end,” Riggleman said. “You cannot be in the same class with them until you have everybody on board, pulling the same way, and putting personal statistics behind them, and milestones behind them and all that nonsense.”

“If you’re an elite team in baseball, you can have a day where the energy level’s not where it is and it kind of goes under the radar,” Riggleman said, but not “when you have lost 100 [games] for a couple years in a row,” as the Nationals did in 2008 and 2009.

Riggleman took Sunday’s postgame press conference as an opportunity to issue a challenge to his team.

“We’re gonna figure out who the keepers are,” Riggleman said, “who is gonna be a part of this club in the future that’s gonna help us get out of these doldrums.”

That “challenge” certainly isn’t as cool as our “40 oz. in under 10 minutes” challenge nor are we convinced it is legit. Shouldn’t they have been doing this for like, every year of the past five years “in the doldrums?” Shouldn’t this process been a continuing process? And they are just starting it now? Yeah. If I were Nyjer Morgan, I’d be pissed.

Speaking of Morgan again, he just doesn’t seem to be getting anymore love from the Nationals even though it seemed the crowd really dug him today. Yesterday he scored the only run of the game, today he ate up a bunch of well hit balls in the outfield as well as preventing a run– and he didn’t even get nominated for the Player of the Game. Look, his suspension is coming up and it is inevitable it will be the max suspension, but come on. He is doing everything he can to get back in Natstown’s good graces. His bat needs to wake up, but you can see he is trying. You have every right to be pissed, but be pissed at the team and its staff, not just at one guy. No need to run Morgan out of Natstown a la Rob Dibble. Look around you. There is plenty to be pissed about.

Nyjer Morgan is angry too.