Sunday, June 01, 2008


If any player in Baseball comes up lame, hurt or broken--Team Management has the right to replace that player with a fresh face.

So--why do Our Washington Nationals continue to leave Our Manager Manny Acta shorthanded in most every game?

From the get go in 2008, Washington has competed with less than the 25 players available to use--most every night. No, I don't get that. These scenarios started early on--in April--with Dmitri Young's back problems, Chad Cordero's shoulder, Paul LoDuca's knee (later hand), Johnny Estrada's elbow, eventually on to Nick Johnson's wrist and has continued through Ronnie Belliard's infected finger and subsequent hamstring--then on to Austin Kearns' elbow and finally with Our Franchise Player--Ryan Zimmerman's shoulder. None were put on The Disabled List until time had passed--to the detriment of Our Team. Is "The Z-Man" next?

Considering the fact that Our Washington Nationals are struggling in nearly every offensive statistic in the game. Last in The Majors in most categories--why limit what little aggression is available at our disposal?

For the past week--Our Number 11 has sat out each and every game played on the just completed West Coast Swing. A 2 Win, 4 Loss trip--dropping Washington to 10 games below .500. What was first diagnosed, and reported, as a slight irritating shoulder strain--"nothing big"--now has aggravatingly moved from Day-To-Day to maybe "Z" will have to deal with this problem for the remainder of the year.

Say what? Have we not heard this exact same "floating" diagnosis from the medical staff in each of the previous season's since baseball's return to Washington for like every single player that has ever donned a Nationals Jersey?

OK, fine--I understand the fact--as frustrating as it may be--they are injured. And each and everyone needs to the time heal--properly.

But, why do Our Washington Nationals continue to give Our Number 14 less than a full roster of players at his disposal because someone can't go--for an extended period of time? Sorry, someone has got to know the truth. This is not a guessing game. And that makes no sense to me. If Ryan Zimmerman should be put on the Disabled List--please put him there. His absence for 14 days is not going to have an overall effect on the progress of Our Team THIS SEASON. Washington is not going anywhere this year. Why not do what's best for HIS, and OUR FUTURE, and sit him down for a required period of time?

If "Z" goes on the DL, it would disappointing. But--his extended injury is not going to drastically change the outcome of 2008.

No matter if those available down on the farm are of supposed lesser talents--or simply not ready for the Big Time--should Manny not be given a Full Fighting Chance to Win? Every single player will have their day in the sun. On any given day--anything can happen. Our Manager should not have to maneuver with a less than full compliment of players.

Shutting yourself down is one thing. Shutting yourself out of every opportunity to win is another.

Someone, Anyone, Is Always Better Than No One.


Many times in the first two months of 2008 and now continuing into June--Our Washington Nationals have positioned themselves where their bench players and even their closer were unavailable due to a "nagging" injury. Situations that had nothing to do with giving someone a deserved rest. Being cautious is fine. Medical conditions are sometimes difficult to determine. But this is getting painfully silly.

Hockey teams are forced to play shorthanded when a penalty is called. Soccer teams play shorthanded when a red card is waved. Both are ruled decisions. Our Washington Nationals are playing shorthanded by choice--not by a judgement on the field by an arbiter. And in doing so--are limiting Our Manager Manny Acta's skills to manage each and every game to his fullest capability.

Please JimBo--just make it happen. You know as well as I-- playing shorthanded is a huge disadvantage.

PS--My workload has been quite significant over the past week. A never ending Presidential Primary by The Democratic Party, The Scripps National Spelling Bee (which Steinberg even admits is really a great event) and the busiest weekend in some time---has made it impossible to closely watch all the games from San Diego and Phoenix of Our Washington Nationals. Considering the fact that Washington was shutout over their last 18 innings played--maybe I was more fortunate than I realized.

But you can bet--Sohna and I will be there for EVERY SINGLE GAME this coming week against The St. Louis Cardinals and The San Francisco Giants at New Nationals Park--as always.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for spot lighting what we all have questioned? Jimbo seems out of it to me......Can you get him to talk to us about how out of sync the roster moves have been all year. Is he losing it or does this somehow have merit?

Anonymous said...

The line up that the Nats are fielding doesn't constitute a decent Triple A minor league team. This team has become a joke and a total disgrace.

Chris Needham said...

$390,000 league minimum salary divided by 162 games = ~$2,400 a game they're saving.

I doubt that that's the full reason, but they certainly make you wonder sometimes.

Jim H said...

I'm with Chris, seems odd, and leaves you to wonder about the finances of the thing.

Time and time again, this has been positioned as a period of time where "auditions" are being held to determine the keystones of the franchise. Well...why not bring up new faces when someone is hurt?

Makes no sense.

Nice that Manny allowed Bergmann to complete the game the other night, eh? (Albeit a loss.)


Sean Hogan said...

SBF, I'll try and track you down again at a game like I did back in April against the Braves with my roommate Mike. Since we met, I started a blog up, so hopefully we'll be getting to know each other through comments =)


Old Nats Guy said...

The way Brandon Webb and Dan Haren pitched the past two games, it seems unlikely that Zimmerman would have made any difference in the outcome. If he had gone out and flailed at pitches the way his mates were doing, there would have been a flood of criticism aimed at Manny for playing an injured star instead of sitting him and allowing the shoulder to heal.
Our (sadly, he is still OUR) GM apparently hasn't found a former Red in the Nats' (or any other team's) system who can fill Zimm's spot on the roster. Has the pipeline of ex-Reds finally run dry?
Two weeks ago, the GM said that we should start to see the hitting come around "by the weekend." Since that proclamation, we have suffered through two weekends of unmet expectations. Jimbo, please be more specific and tell us during WHICH weekend you were expecting this transformation. Sounds like more "spin" to me.

Tom said...

A healthy Zimmerman may have made a difference this weekend. But, like every other player an unhealthy Zimmerman is of marginal use to this or any team. This team especially needs to field healthy players because we have such a slim margin of error.

So who says SBF can't go on a rant.

PS Chris, the team is already paying the minor league player that would be called up $10-20K/ month so the cost is not even $2,400/game.

Anonymous said...

I just found out that our main man at 3rd base, Ryan Z keeps a blog. You can read about his thoughts on the team, the season and other things like the NBA play-offs

Chris Needham said...

OK, so they'll add an additional $2,200 per game. Close enough.