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.