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


JayB said...

"Sometime, in the near future, Our Washington Nationals will have such a Big Bopper in their everyday lineup"


"Perhaps someday, but Definitely not today-- Perhaps, most likely, not even soon."


If it is the former than I still content we should have paid Alfonso. He is not going to be more expensive that whom ever you are saying they are going go get next year to fill the role. In fact he may well look like a bargin by next year and he will still be the most exciting player to watch in the National league for years to come.

2 Draft picks for Alfonso.....Bad Baseball move by a organization that is being exposed as being unprepared take over from MLB last year and is still stuggling with basic operations. As Stan admitted on WTEM yesterday....they still were having troubles paying scouts just a month ago!

Anonymous said...

Not only is Zimmerman hitting an anemic .230 with no power but he is on a pace to rack up 40 errors this season, nearly three times the number he had last year.

Anonymous said...

Don't look fot them to buy the big bat.....They say they will sprend money only when there a player or two away from contending, and who know how many years it will be before that happens;4,7,10 years? I say that because I'm not totaly sure they will sprend the money when the time comes[which should be next year]

JayB said...

Notice all the bold predictions of Stan and Manny and Jimbo are long gone already.....

Yes Virginia, the Nats are going to be the worst team in baseball. Oh to recall the found words, "we are really going to surprise people, we are going to contend to the end, No way we will lose anywhere hear 100 games, we will be much closer to .500, we have core players in place that we can build a World Champion team with, we are going to score lots of runs, offense is not a problem"

All this was just a few short months ago and.....

Virginia there is no Santa in Baseball.

Screech's Best Friend said...

Jayb: I just finished working a 48 straight hour shift covering Queen Elizabeth in Richmond, Jamestown and Williamsburg. Despite all my efforts, I STILL CARED ENOUGH to watch The Nats Game on my laptop WHILE EDITING TODAY's Story from Williamsburg and WRITE WHAT I THINK IS A GOOD THOUGHTFUL POST. Then, after loading in pictures, proceeded to write the remainder of the piece on MY BLACKBERRY while we drove back to DC. Sorry that I MISSED ONE WORD that drove you up the wall. But, I cared enough to write a decent story that I am sure others would like to read. Whether people agree with me or not, it doesn't bother me. The varying opinions are what makes This Blog so good and strong. But, many people, including you, have cared enough to read my musings and comment reguarly. I appreciate that fact, tremendously. And, I try hard to accomodate, keep writing, even under tough working conditions in my REAL JOB. Which is a GREAT JOB, by the way. I DID NOT WISH TO DISAPPOINT. Sorry to have disappointed YOU.

JayB said...

No appology please. You always write a great story and it is always appreciated.

Point to my post was that OUR Nats have self inflicted wounds and time has come to call the ownership and front office to task for the results we are getting.

I have always worried that Stan's extreme approach and Lerner's lack of baseball sense would cause exactly what it is doing here now......Friction between fans who just want to enjoy games and get their money's worth. Baseball should be a way to enjoy a break from our 9 to 9 jobs. Sorry I hit a raw nerve. I really resent what the Lerners have done to a happy go luck team that WAS great fun to watch.

Jim H said...

I don't know, folks...this team is as advertised. Pretty bad. To go into panic mode over something we all knew was coming seems a bit short-sighted.

If we were promised better, I could see getting truly upset. But all signs pointed to "bad". Everyone predicts they're going to be better than expected...except Jim what?

The only time I get frustrated is seeing some of that shaky defense where we didn't think it would appear. But the end result is the same. "Wait 'til next year."

Don't get me wrong...I don't like it. I've been a full season ticket holder from the beginning. I hate seeing this team lose. But it's to be expected. Getting overly exercised over results that are pretty much on target is just a waste of energy.


PS SBF...thanks for all the effort. See you in the section.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jim. It's not like Kasten and the Lerners promised us one kind of team this year and delivered another.

Anyone who paid attention to what Kasten was saying in the off season, and who saw the moves that the team made, should not be surprised by the product that we have on the field right now. As a matter of fact, I would say that, at least for the past couple of weeks, the starting pitching (w/ the exception of Patterson) is much better than most of us expected it to be.

I'm still pollyanish enough of a fan to hold out hope that the Nats' hitting will come around eventually, particularly when Nick Johnson returns, and they will become a reasonably competitive team.

We all have to just accept this season as a developmental year; a 162 game spring training experience which is serving as one long tryout for next season. I get as frustrated as anyone with losses like yesterday, when they jump off to a 4-run lead in the first inning, and then don't sniff another run for the rest of the game. But those losses don't embitter me against the Lerners and Kasten. They have a plan, and I'm patient enough to let it play out and see whether it succeeds. it's far too early to decide that the team should go in a different direction.

RallyTime Richard said...

my two cents...

Yes, this team is "as advertised," but it is not playing that way. If you are going to put together a young team of no-names then you need an organization that gets the most from them. This is not happening (and by organization, I'm not talking just Kasten and Bowden, but Manny and the bench coaches). I know the management is new, but they are not newborns. You don't let your franchise player just walk, even for two first round picks. Baseball is indeed a business, and letting Al-fon-so walk was a bad business decision.

This management team fails our Nationals and us the fans on a regular basis, they would have been run out of Boston faster than the British.

Jim H said...

I don't remember Soriano ever identified as the Nats' franchise player. He was acquired presale of the team. I think his career year led to romantic hopes that he would re-sign with the Nats. I never saw any sign that he was serious about it. He was not going to be here long term. Since nobody knows the offers received for him, assuming they could have gotten more is simply guessing, and shouldn't be presumed as fact.

I was also under the impression Ryan Zimmerman is the franchise player. No? ;)

I'm much more frustrated by the shoddy state of affairs at RFK than I am about the play on the field. Mr. Kasten may not have promised us anything on the field, but he sure did promise an improving fan experience. That part of the equation shouldn't be only about next year.