Friday, July 27, 2007

Lost In The Shuffle

Possibly lost in the up and down shuffle of the past two ballgames, is a point that regular reader Paul mentioned in the commentary from last night's post. Our Washington Nationals have this innate ability to stay in ballgames. Battles that you would think they have NO CHANCE OF COMPETING IN. At times they get blown out 15-1, or lose three to four in a row--and you fully expect the entire team to fall off the wagon.

Yet, despite countless times expecting the worst--Our Washington Nationals are actually a competitive team. No, not even a winning team, but a fascinating team to watch.

And, Our Manager Manny Acta deserves a ton of credit for how he handles this ball club. I may not always agree with every move he makes. Sometimes, he has me shaking my head in wonder. But, I can't deny that his professionalism, pride and ability to keep every single one of his players actively involved in OUR TEAM, is invaluable.

Manny Acta is a TREMENDOUS RESOURCE. Really, there is NO BETTER MANAGER for Our Team--at This Time. And despite what others may claim--he is not responsible for players not calling for the ball or making mental mistakes. Those errors are answerable by the players themselves. They are suppose to be Major League Ballplayers. Their years of experience should have them act like one. Sometimes Our Manager can only do so much.

As this 2007 season has progressed, Our Number 14 has more and more understood what each and every player for Our Washington Nationals can do. Effectively, he has maneuvered through 12 different starting pitchers and 22 different folks taking the baseball and walking to the mound for him. That is not easy to juggle. Especially, when so many player injuries were forcing his actions(Soon to be 13 & 23 with Jason Bergmann placed on the DL Today and Joel Hanrahan expected to be called up).

Off the bench--Manny's been given little to work with. In April, his substitutes were basically useless. Eventually, he came to trust Ronnie Belliard and now the ever emerging Jesus Flores.

When Our Washington Nationals take the field each and every game--Manny Acta understands what he can do--with those 25 players given. Yeah, he's outmanned and outgunned on most days--but he doesn't give in. From Day One of Spring Training--Our Manager has stated he goes out to win EVERY SINGLE GAME!! That competitiveness has carried over to his players.

Two Nights ago, Washington lost tragically on a comedy of errors with two outs in the bottom of the 9th. Yet, lost in the shuffle was a HUGE COMEBACK by Manny manipulating his bench--using every last player--to make difference. A characteristic now being shown regularly--The ABILITY TO FIGHT BACK AND WIN. Something Washington did again yesterday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. An electrifying come from behind 7-6 victory over The Phillies. Flores again with the Big Blow.

Rarely, do you witness Our Washington Nationals out of a game--for good.

A Last Place Team currently represents Our Nation's Capital. But, Our Team won that magical 43rd game last night. Shades of the 1962 New York Mets (the worst of all time), they are not. Not EVEN CLOSE. Each and every game--you know--most all Our Players are giving their all.

And, Our Manager Manny Acta deserves HUGE CREDIT for bringing a Positive Attitude.

A sensibility that is ever so slowly building, a WINNING ATTITUDE!!


Anonymous said...

"Each and every game--you know--most all Our Players are giving their all"

"most all"?????

Not Lopez that's well documented for those with eyes and a open mind......over 25 examples for him already....He must be gone before I am a trust my loyalty to this team to this leadership.

I take it you are now seeing the same as many have all year?

Screech's Best Friend said...

Anonymous. That's why I said most all. FLop is definitely on my radar screen. A few others as well. But, certainly Manny has most of his players giving their all. Whether they have the talent necessary is a completely different story.

SenatorNat said...

Acta is fantastic: cool hand at the wheel; very facile; unbelievably slow to let his emotions override his intellect. And, I would guess that he is endowed with a big intellect and we know he has a broad-base of experience. Perhaps not since Sparky Anderson have we witnessed a manager so young acting so mature. Plus, he will ride a hunch or two, which means he is not locked into one mindset, but is flexible the way great coaches have to be.

As to FLOP, I like him, since he has had to play second, then short, then second, and now short, and overall has done well. That short-hop Weds. night was a tough one, skipping away to his left; but, his throw was atrocious to the plate, allright. Plu, he is a tremendous baserunner.

Kearns is the guy who has driven me crazy with the hundred or so little inside-out swinging pop-flies to the infield or short-field...

Nats need two power-hitters, and them all this hypercriticism goes away, since a 3-run homer erases a lot of mistakes in an instant, as whown yesterday...


Anonymous said...

Interesting that we are talking about Lopez and Kearns is it not? These two were held up as the proof of Jimbo's superior smarts.

What I see (and it seems others as well as even SBF)is that while Lopez has great talent, that is not the issue. His mood and motor and baseball smarts are not what we want to build with. What he is showing us game after game is he is not the type of "ball player" we were told the Nationals wanted to build around. He does not anticipate, hustle and think ahead....while very few are Carroll like....Lopez is the exact opposite the type of player we sold to the Rockies for cash only!

Lopez show everything we want to cut out of this organization not build on.

Kearns has all the heart and hustle we need. He is a true "ball player but he does not have the talent we were told he did. Those fences in Cinny are short and the lineup provided great protection. He is at best a .255 hitter with 12 HRs and 65 RBI's......not really a building block at all (but I love the way he plays hard!)

Anonymous said...

A great example of the difference between Lopez and Kearns was last night when Kearns went in hard and broke up a double play.....Lopez slides 20 feet from the bag every time. About two weeks ago he did twice in a row and Sutton called him out. The second time he TIVO shows him sliding before the SS has the ball about 20 feet out....and yes it was an inning ending DB!