Fear and Nats On The Lost Highway

They're Sheety (Mini)

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?

Missing Lombo


(Editor’s Note: This was written before today’s 4-3 victory in Philadelphia. It was to be posted pregame, but circumstances prevented it from happening, mainly, the Editor sucks. However, the meat of the article is fresh enough, though it may be a little cold. My apologies to Dr. W.)

I will preface this by saying that I am fully aware that we are only four games into the 2015 season. Nevertheless, there is a great deal to be uneasy about. Every single run thus far has come off of home runs. However many runs each home run brings in has been the totality of the runs for each game. This is simply not how you win ball games.

The defensive woes are unbearable particularly in the middle infield. I am not going to use names but let’s just say these errors were committed by a certain shortstop who, at one point, rocked a porn mustache. This has made me consider breaking out my personalized Nationals jersey and suit up myself. But one thing would have been better than me getting in on the action: holding onto Steve Lombardozzi.

I know we dealt Lombo in a trade that landed Doug Fister in Natstown, and I am more than satisfied seeing Doug on the bump. However, I can’t help but think that a lot of our defensive woes and controversies could have been avoided had we found a way to hold onto him. Lombo was regarded as the “ultimate utility player” for a reason. He could do anything. You need a middle infielder? Call Lombo. You need someone on the hot corner? Call Lombo You need a left fielder? Call Lombo. Not only was he primed to play just about anywhere in the infield and out in left field, his bat was solid.

In 2012 he played in 126 games and had a solid average of .273 with 22 extra base hits including 3 home runs. In 2013, his batting was not quite as good but he still put together a .259 average with 18 extra base hits including 2 home runs in 118 games. I could see Lombo batting at 7 or 8 in the lineup or batting leadoff if the situation called for it. And perhaps best of all, he is not error prone. In four seasons played at second base, third base, shortstop, and left field he has tallied a grand total of nine errors. In four seasons, with significant game time, he has tallied as many career errors as the previously referred to shortstop who, again, shall remain nameless tallies in the month of April.

The “what-ifs” are enough to drive you crazy. But Lombo is gone. Just like Morse. Just like LaRoche. He is another statistic of players who should still be here but are not. Oh well. I miss you Lombo and I am sure I’m not the only one in Natstown who does.

Best of luck in the Pirates organization.

The Circus Is Coming To Natstown In 2018


The Washington Nationals were awarded the 2018 All-Star Game, otherwise known as the Mid-Summer Classic, on Monday in a pre-game announcement led by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. Ole’ Rob. Good old Robby.

It is the first All-Star game played in Washington since 1969 when we put men on the moon and most of our parents were having a dandy of a time experimenting with LSD. Manfred had this to say about the Nation’s Capital finally getting the chance to host again:

“I am pleased that the Nationals will have the opportunity to host the Midsummer Classic for the first time since Major League Baseball returned to our nation’s capital in 2005,” Manfred said. “The best sporting event of the summer, which will be held one decade after the opening of Nationals Park, will add a new chapter to the long and distinguished baseball tradition in Washington, D.C.”

Best sporting event of the summer, please. I’d agree if the All-Star game was legitimately an “All-Star Game” but anyone with half a mind and one eye can see the All Star game is only one giant popularity contest and mindless sports spectacle. It is more like a Monster Truck rally than a test of the skill and grit of the league’s best. Hell, most of the time the “league’s best” aren’t even voted in or invited. It is a pathetically broken system that we pretend works over rounds of $10 Bud Lights and debt inducing authentic jersey buying.

Hopefully we can get more than the required Nationals representative into the game. Will anyone still be around in 2018? That has yet to be determined, but somehow probably Dan Uggla.

So bring out the clowns, roger in the elephants and build the trapezes. The circus is coming to town. The annual league baring its ass and hypocrisy to the world is at hand and it’s doing it in the town that makes a living at that sort of thing.

What? What are you asking me?

Of course I’m going to try and get a ticket.

Door Closes On Nats Perfect Season On Opening Day


Finally– Opening Day.

Baseball was in the air around the country, including in Washington D.C. Ballpark gates opened, hot dogs sizzled, peanuts heated in their warmers, beer flowed and dreams of a 162-0 season were crushed at Nationals Park as the Nationals dropped the first game of their 2015 campaign 3-1 to the New York Mets.

It is a new season, but it is the same old story for those gnarly Nats who have Atlas-like expectations heaped on their shoulders: lack of situational hitting and lack of hitting period. Not much can be accomplished when you go 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. The only who took scoring seriously was Bryce Harper who jacked a solo in the fourth inning (hence why he gets our banner photo taken by Dr. W during ST). He hit his third career OD homerun off Bartolo Colon who in this blog’s opinion looks like the most disgusting looking ballplayer in recent memory. I really think I’d rather make out with Booger from Revenge of the Nerds than Colon. I mean he is named after the large intestine. So sexy. So gross.

Let’s give caca where caca is due though: the Dan Uggla/Ian Desmond losing a routine fly ball schtick late in the game might be uglier. They best get their stank together or Desmond will never make the paper he wants and Uggla might finally fall off the edge of the earth and baseball will never hear from him again.

What can you really say about an Opening Day loss? Do you really care? Yeah, it sucks, but does it really even matter? We have another 161 games to go and honestly, if you think about it and are honest with yourself, the earliest you might legitimately judge a team is only after they play 20 games. In fact, you want to know how to improve the sport of baseball? Forget all this pace-of-play rules garbage and just cut the first 20 games of the season. It is only “extended Spring Training with benefits” if you think about it in a certain way. I’d be all for 20 less games. But that is my opinion– or at least what I tell myself to deal with my disappointment.

Oh, yeah a mountain lion also. Chain a mountain lion to second base. That would make the game a whole lot more exciting, yet challenging.

Nats Blue Ribbon and– Bratwurst

The NQ pulled up to the (full and closed) Yards to try and find decent parking today and head over to reader @Powerboater69‘s tailgate in said Yards, but couldn’t get in due to huge masses of people already partying and getting juiced like degenerates and fake rock star Washington politicians.

However, it wasn’t a total loss. As we pulled up, so did the Pabst Blue Ribbon truck to Nats Park. Baseball Gods, be praised! Glory! If that wasn’t a good sign about how the day was going to go, I don’t know what would suffice.

Tailgating was pretty tight. Beers and bratwurst. With Dr. W having season tickets I am seriously considering a future NQ Tailgate event which would probably include beer and– bratwurst. And hopefully chicks. Yeah, chicks. Any chicks wanna come drink some beer with this blog?

But thanks to Tom and the rest of those particular hooligans for the invite, beer and– bratwurst. Big supporters of this blog even though we totally suck. Also saw these flags in The Yards and thought I’d take a shot of them:

A NQ tailgate… the idea gives me both nightmares and wood.

Nats Fans Are Riding (Getting) High These Days

The Washington Nationals continue to be in first place in the NL East regardless of major injuries to a good portion of their roster and they just finished off their first game at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox in systematic and badass fashion led by Stephen Strasburg’s 13Ks and a Bryce Harper two-run 420 ft bomb. The Nationals embarrassed a whole “Nation” by the score of 7-4.

It is a ridiculously good time to be a Nationals fan right now and apparently, some are celebrating by breaking out the wacky tobacky.

Speaking of “420,” a clear-eyed (?) Nats fan known only as Natz420 sent in this photo from some headshop. Even the proprietors of fine tobacco-use only products are cashing in on the recent Nationals success. It only goes to show you: if your baseball team is playing good game, everyone benefits.

I bet if Elijah Dukes had this little guy in his man-purse, he would have done a lot better in Washington.

Idiot Editor’s Note: The NQ has been a bit absent lately and have missed tons of good and awesome stuff. Our apologies but life has gotten in the way. We’ll try to jump back on this horse as soon as we can. Until then, hit up the other nifty Nats blog located on the sidebar– there, I did it, I promoted. People say I am so selfish, too selfish to promote other blogs. Well, they can take that and put it in their Nats pipe and smoke it.

Congress Wants In On The Nationals/Phillies Ticket Epic

So you remember that whole “Take Back The Park” thing the Nationals have going to seemingly trying to prevent Philadelphia Phillies fans from invading Nationals Park? I think you know it. It has had Nationals fans thumping their chests and Phillies fans throwing their hands up and slapping air the past week.

If you are like me then you are tired of hearing about this gimmick, this twisted ploy by Andy Feffer and the Nationals Think Tank who are making themselves out to be 300 Spartans against a horde of elephant-riding mutants when in actuality they are just shrewd salesmen taking advantage of minds full of delusion and toxicity up North. If you think they aren’t making a pretty penny off this then you are nuts.

It all came to a head on Thursday afternoon when Pennsylvanian Senator Bob Casey threw the all powerful arm of Congress into the melee with his tweet above. He then followed it up with this explaining why the Great Eye of Law and Equality has turned its gaze to Washington:

Right, Bob, right. Is this really how you spend your time? Do you seriously have nothing to do? “Some of the best fans in the world” throw up on little girls, get fried with tasers and hate Santa Claus and Bobby never speaks up, but someone comes up with a gimmick to maybe rob a few hundred trailer park nutballs who can’t figure their way around this of a weekend vacation they can’t afford and Bobby suddenly has the wolves on us.

Alright, Bobby. Fair move. You go ahead and bring Congress and the whole lot of them into this. You really can’t do anything more to make this anymore embarrassing for both parties. Do it. Sue us. Better yet, bring forth a “Phillies Fan Oppression Bill” and put it through the system.

By the way things are in Congress these days I am sure it will go right through like butter through a goose.

I Hope 2012 and the Nats Look Like Something Out of Tron: Legacy

Well it is finally here, the beginning of the last year in existence according to certain cultures long lost out of their own existence: 2012.

Good-bye 2011, you long, brutal bastard. It was a year that had the Inquisition spending a full month in Florida following Spring Training, a couple blogger’s nights at Nationals Park, going to more baseball games than ever before and having Jayson Werth yell at us for taking his picture. If you would have told me four years ago I’d be here listening to Red Fang and writing on one of the best god damned Washington Nationals blogs out there– STILL– after all this time I would of called you nuts.

And you are. You are nuts. I have the proof below. I have the “Top 5 NQ Blog Posts of 2011″ right here in front of me, ready to be typed up. 2011 was a year where the Nationals rose in the standings, regained Stephen Strasburg, had their catcher kidnapped then rescued commando-style, found a loved workhorse was in league with guys who use drug mules, saw Bryce Harper blowing kisses and being awesome, Jim Riggleman freak out and go drinking and a whole plethora of other Nationals events which might make 2011 truly memorable– and none of the top five posts based on page views reflects that. This is what you came to the NQ for in 2011:

  1. Mr. Miyagi Week And Nats Weekend Recap Blitz

  2. According To Topps, Jayson Werth Is Still A Phillie Under The Photoshop

  3. Bryce Harper Is The Dread Pirate Roberts

  4. A Brief History Of Nationals Facial Hair

  5. Elijah Dukes Swears He Didn’t Have A Man Purse Of Drugs

So if I read this right, a majority of people came to the NQ this past year to attend Mr. Miyagi Week and read about facial hair, Jayson Werth and man purses full of drugs. That is absolutely nuts. You all are nuts– and I love it. When I started the NQ back in 2008 part of the reason I did it was because I wanted to bring in a new breed of Nationals fan into the fold. Seeing that Top 5 gives me faith that we are headed in the right direction with this thing. People might be actually starting to get it and that is cool.

You might have noticed but the Nationals Inquisition went through a little bit of a redesign recently. It is still a work in progress, but so far I am liking our new digs. The side bar needs cleaning up, we need a new “about” section and we will be adding some new NQ-related links to the top bar that we are excited about and hope to share with you in the near future. If you haven’t tried it yet, hit refresh on the page: the photos on the sides change. There are six original Nationals-related photos that will cycle through. Collect them all. An absolute shout out to Miss Natpenny who has been in charge of the redesign.

There will be a lot going on with the NQ in 2012, even though the world might end in December. We are lining up our schedules to some games throughout the year, we’ll be in Viera for a few days this March and we hope to continue to grow the site. Been a wonderful four years and it is much in thanks to you all and your comments and mailings of thongs and underwear.

I can’t say where the 2012 Washington Nationals end up. They will either be the greatest team in Washington since baseball returned or will be the biggest disappointment since the Teddy Roughrider was retired from Nationals Park, but however it might turn out: I really hope they look like something out of Tron: Legacy because that movie was awesome.

I want Stephen Strasburg to come to the mound on Opening Day in a cloak, stand on the mound in front of a sell out crowd and then place his hand down in the dirt to activate the 2012 season using his mind– then kick the sh*t out of whoever is unfortunate to be placed before him.

Strasburg Lives.

The Nationals will rise.

The Inquisition has begun…

Coming 2012.