Friday, May 04, 2007
The Big Bopper
Each and every time he stepped to the plate last season, everyone turned to look, whether on the field, in the dugout or watching from the stands. There was no telling what Alfonso Soriano would accomplish when he batted for Our Washington Nationals in 2006. Number 12 might slam the ball out of the park, steal two bases after walking or just whiff mightily looking for The Long Ball. Whatever the result, he was an arousing competitor, worth the price of admission. Now he's gone. And, I don't regret him leaving Washington, nor do I blame Jim Bowden or Stan Kasten--Baseball is Business, Big Business in fact. Alfonso's time had come and he is now gone from DC. Although, no doubt, his brief tour in The Nation's Capital to be cherished for years to come. Not one player in the brief HISTORY of Our Washington Nationals could get The African Queen's fannie in her customary seat more than, her love, Alfonso Soriano. That fact, I will appreciate forever. The 2006 Season was special because of Number 12.
And today, Our Washington Nationals faced their former teammate for the very first time. When our Old Friend, Alfonso Soriano, led off the bottom of the first inning this afternoon at Wrigley Field in Chicago, I fully realized--Our, 2007 Version, Washington Nationals have no IMPACT BAT. No one to stand in there with the game on the line, and expect to succeed. Not one player, other teams fear.
Yeah, we have some good players. But, currently, Our Washington Nationals maintain complementary parts, not one BIG SLUGGER. No One to give an opposing pitcher the jitters. No One to cause dread in an opposing manager. No One to trust, with conviction, to get the job done consistently. Most every Major League Team in the game has an IMPACT BAT. Even The Kansas City Royals have Mike Sweeney (if he could ever stay healthy). Some, like The Boston Red Sox, have two--Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz. The New York Yankees, well, they have about EIGHT in their lineup (then again, THEY ARE THE YANKEES, excess is the name of their game).
Sometime, hopefully in the near future, Our Washington Nationals will have such a Big Bopper in their everyday lineup. And, all of DC will embrace that new found Gladiator. Like Albert Pujols in St.Louis, Ryan Howard in Philadelphia, or Miguel Cabrera in Miami--whomever that Rising Star is, he will be beloved. The Talk of The Town. Only then, can Our Washington Nationals be a complete team.
Sure, your team can win in the playoffs on Pitching and Defense. Many do and alot more baseball followers believe it true. In a short series, matchups are possible, anything can, and usually will happen. Just ask our General Manager Jim Bowden, he of "Pitching, Pitching and Pitching". But over the long course of 162 games, everything evens out. More likely, even with pitching, your team doesn't MAKE IT to the playoffs without a true bonifide slugger.
That time Will Come, but certainly not today. At the intersections of Addison, Waveland and Sheffield, Our Washington Nationals got beat at Wrigley Field on The North Side 6-4. Despite getting off to a terrific start in the top of the 1st inning, with Austin Kearns unloading a three run shot off Carlos Zambrano, Washington couldn't hold the lead. And, today, Jason Bergmann was no match for Chicago's Thumping Bats. Derrek Lee and Alfonso Soriano got the Cubbies right back into this one. Lee with a Two Run Blast, Alfonso being the pest. Soriano a Key RBI Double, scoring two runs himself. Along with Aramis Ramirez, The Chicago Cubs have three GAME CHANGING PLAYERS. If only their pitchers would hold up--injuries to their staff are killing them--The Cubs might be serious contenders for A World Series Title.
As it stands now, Our Washington Nationals must play their very best, each and every game, to have a legitimate shot at winning. Fortune must be on their side. Luck, which did not arrive today. A player of Soriano's capability nowhere to be found on the DC Roster. Our Nats needing a Big Bopper late, THE EQUALIZER, to even the score, or pull ahead. A Player currently not smashing the ball, evoking worry in others, for Our Washington Nationals.
Perhaps someday, but Definitely not today-- Perhaps, most likely, not even soon.
Today's InGame Photos--(AP) Nam Y. Huh