Wednesday, April 16, 2008

From A Foreign Land


When I am walking down the street in a very rural area--in a foreign land--of course wearing my Navy Blue Curly "W" Cap--and someone comes up to me stating--"What is wrong with The Washington Nationals?"--you better believe that caught my attention. An unexpected, but interesting conversation from a local. Then, when Internet Access becomes available and I read Our General Manager Jim Bowden stating the beginning of The 2008 Season for Our Washington Nationals "has been a disaster from top to bottom."

All I could think was: What in the world is going on?

Apparently--while incognito overseas-the nine game losing streak ended? But, another losing streak--now at two games--has started anew.

Not only have Our Washington Nationals consistently not hit in the clutch--when any game is close--but they are finding ways to lose. None worse than Our Once Proud Bullpen--withering this early April. Tight affairs--have become lost affairs. Additional runs allowed by the relief corp--containing any comeback possibility.

Every team struggles at some point--throughout any baseball season--but Our Washington Nationals are simply not helping themselves these days. Expected strengths are currently weaknesses. Who would have believed "The Most Thrilling Closer In The Game" has only pitched in two games so far? Chad Cordero is reportedly not throwing 100%. So--why is he not on The Disabled List? Playing a man short--does not help any team with its back against the wall.

A disadvantage only made worse--when Our Manager Manny Acta's Bench provides virtually no input? None whatsoever.

While Ryan Zimmerman, Austin Kearns and Wily Mo Pena are treading water early--not one single player Manny has called on to change the tide has helped. No life preserver yet to be found. No reserve reversing the flow. Yes, Our Washington Nationals are in a Team Slump. A riptide, seemingly, has taken fast hold. Can Washington swim out from this undertow currently gripping them and swim ashore--safely?

1/10th of the season will be completed on Thursday.. Win or lose against The New York Mets--its a small sampling for the long haul. But--Our Washington Nationals must strive to re-gain their confidence, their abilities and use those strengths to turn around a very poor start.

After all, they are a Major League Team.

They need to use those talents and start playing like one.

Now not knowing what had transpired over the past few days--how odd it was to be approached by a complete stranger in A Foreign Land--wanting to discuss the current state of Our Washington Nationals.

Disappointed to hear the results--but fascinated over the continuing International Appeal of Baseball.

The Great Game is appreciated well beyond the land of its invention. Baseball will always survive. Now--can Our Washington Nationals survive this season?


PS--No I didn't see it, but I would lying if reading about "My Main Man's!!" Home Run off Matt Chico tonight didn't bring a small smile to my lips. Whether Ryan Church will realize his top potential now in Major League Baseball is not the point. But Our Former Number 19 should have been sent out on the field of play by Our Washington Nationals each and every day over the past three seasons to find out whether he could actually help us--long term. He wasn't. And why was platooning with Nook Logan taken so seriously?

Lastings Milledge may well turn out to be a far better player at a younger age. Unquestionably, Our New Number 44 is talented and gifted--although he needs some work. But you can bet the house--Our Washington Nationals will send Lastings Milledge out on the diamond--flaws, mistakes and all--every single day--to realize that potential. Promise that Ryan Church should have been given while a member of Our Washington Nationals.

Tonight's InGame Photo--(AP) Kathy Willens

9 comments:

Old Nats Guy said...

I can't remember seeing a major league baseball player with as much "potential" who is as fundamentally unsound as Lastings Milledge. Can't Manny take him aside and say something like: "Don't look at the ball when you're running" (just one example: his attempted steal of 3rd on Tuesday) or "Hit the cut-off man" (after Wily Mo's butchery of the line drive on Sunday, he backed up, but threw wildly to no one in particular, allowing two runners to move up--one of many overthrows so far) or, in general "What are you thinking?" And let's not forget the fine defensive (lack of) effort against the Braves that allowed Matt Diaz to turn a single into a double. (Didn't Manny bench Ryan Church for half-heartedly running out a routine ground ball to second? Why was Milledge spared the humiliation of being benched?) And for this, Jim Bowden gave up Church AND Schneider? Omar Mimaya must have seen him coming on this one.
As much as I hate to admit it, our team has become painful to watch. Even last year's slow start didn't seem this bad. In spite of all the early losses, there seemed to be some enthusiasm among the members of last year's Nats. This year? They seem down on themselves. If this type of play continues, they are going to lose not only more games, but more fans.
I smiled at Church's HR as well. For whatever reason (perhaps it's the lack of the proper Cincinnati pedigree?), in Bowden's eyes, Church's days seem to have always been numbered. That was a shame. I thought he deserved better. I wish Ryan and Brian Schneider the best. At this point, I think we all miss them.

Tom said...

And they say you aren't critical of this team??

Anonymous said...

The season is not even 1/10th over and already I am bored. The stadium is a pain to get too, the prices are ridiculous and more importantly the team is playing like they are just going through the motions. Why are Willie Harris and Rob Macoviak on the team? Why do they keep screwing with Schroder and Flores? What is wrong with DY? I waited all winter for this?

paul said...

Hey, we just threw out a runner stealing! (Hint: it wasn't LoDuca or Estrada.)

Natsphan1 said...

Tom: If you paid attention, you would realize that "our" comments have nothing to do with SBF being critical of the team, it's his continuing, CONTINUING lack of criticism for anybody involved in the operations portion of the Nationals franchise. Sorry, but you just can't run a reputable blog about a team without putting at least some of the blame on the people involved with this mess of a season, that being Jim Bowden, Stan Kasten and the Lerners.

What "we're" simply stating is that the fact that he gets special access to team functions and interviews, etc. is because he panders to those in the front office. Which let's be honest, along with "reporting", there is a great deal of that going on on this blog as well. You think he'd still get that special access if he was critical? Um, no.

It's ok if that's the case, but don't consistently call out the players on the field (a few of whom have no business being on a MLB team) without calling out the guys who put them there.

VCUAlum Kyle said...

This season has been awful. After the first three games its been a nightmare.

1) I agreee with old nats guy NO ENTHUSIASM, I did enjoy Wil Nieves enthusiasm behind the plate tonight. He is not the answer to our problems but that alone kept me pumped up watching the game on the tube!

2) Can we please get rid of Kearns! I would rather loose and see Justin Maxwell out there with Willy Mo and Millie. I know I am really hard on Kearns, and I have never been a fan of the Kearns/Lopez trade back in '06, but they both have been a huge bomb!

3) If we are going to play like a AAA team lets atleast use the talent. Jesus should be up, Justin Maxwell, C. Ballester, G. Mock, Ross Detwiller, and etc.

My final thought is WE MISS D. YOUNG!!!

He was the spark plug and leader in the clubhouse last year and thats why last year we were Lovable Losers (with huge talent). Zim and Johnson are quite Leaders and that is cool but you always need and EXPRESSIVE LEADER and D.Young is that guy and we need him back ASAP to help salvage the season.

Tom said...

Last time I checked DY is still in the dugout and clubhouse. And I'll bet he is the same person he was last year. Bottom line, too much emphasis on chemistry. DY is paid the big bucks for his bat. Lack of DY's bat in the line up combined with all the other injuries is what is hurting this team. This year's plan never left Viera. The FO & Manny are already scrambling to put together plan D.

Chuck B. said...

natsphan1,

Is there a blog rule book that says he has to be critical to reputable?

Do I wish SBF would be hold the Front Office a little more accountable for their failures? Yes. But, I don't think that is the kind of blog he wants. He is rarely negative in any way. I like that option.

If you want negative go read Chris Needham's Capitol Punishment blog. He is the polar opposite of SBF and I like that option too.

SenatorNat said...

Aside from all this internecine blog stuff, which is completely beside the point, Nats Manager Acta appears to be suffering from a sophomore jinx (slump) himself. It took him two weeks to change the line-up, moving Belliard up to 2nd and Kearns down a notch. He needs to move Kearns down further, and out actually. Mochoviak should be starting in right and Boone should start at third, too, for a little while. Z-Man and Kearns are automatic outs at the moment - change would do them good. Absolutely Maxwell better than having punchless W.Harris on the bench; and L.Harris is an experiment which has failed. We definitely need a batting coach that can instill some much needed patience at the plate. In the meantime, have all Nats practice hitting weak grounders to second until they get it out of their system. Nats Dream Foundation should be given emergency veto authority over any proposed move by BowBow involving any Ex-Red ("you are dreaming, Jim...")

D.Young was,in 2007, like Soriano in 2006, and J. Guillen, in 2005, the straw that stirred the drink: no such straw in 2008...Where is he, where is E.Dukes?? It is as though everyone just vaporizes, or suddenly, their arms fall off, if they are pitchers...

LoDuca is a bill of goods, clearly. His body is seemingly falling apart - aftermath of you know what?

Can only go up from here. The pitching last night was terrific. Normal MLB fielding, and that was a shut-out.

Trust in the Blessing of the Nats Clubhouse. All Good.