Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Except for one short stint earlier this summer, FLop has performed poorly in 2007. Really, I am not sure why. But, at times--he looks disinterested. That's just my view from afar, although I have never seen a baseball player go day after day showing less emotion. Never does Felipe Lopez seem to smile. All making me wonder whether he enjoys playing THIS GREAT GAME.

Last night--a crucial error on a grounder up the middle by Los Angeles speedster Juan Pierre. Lopez's miscue could have been a rally killing double play in that decisive seventh inning. An effort that would have made Reliever Chris Schroder more of a HERO in his first real attempt to prove he belongs in a pressure situation. Instead, with Ray King now in, the bouncing baseball glanced off Felipe's heel of his glove for an error. Loading the bases, King, unable to put out the fire. A Game Saving Situation that turned sour on a simple Sacrifice Fly given up to the very next Dodger Hitter--Andre Ethier. Los Angeles scoring the go ahead and eventual 4th winning run of this affair.

A 4-3 defeat saddled on Chris Schroder that just has me wondering about FLop. Yeah, he had two hits last night--but he also made a key fielding error the evening before, in another close 5-4 loss at Dodger Stadium. Never have I been able to understand Felipe. Rarely is Lopez available for interviews with the media. Does anyone really know anything about him? Its OK to be quiet and private. Really, I can understand that part of being a public figure. Its just that FLop looks lost.

Earlier this summer, when Our Number 2 began to play well for a stretch, I remember reading a report that Felipe was getting over some personal problems. A possible excuse for his early poor play. Fine. Yet, nothing more has been written about those incidents since. So--where is FLop's head now?

I don't know--but Felipe Lopez is nowhere near The All-Star Player he was selected as just two seasons ago. Yeah--"The Guz" being hurt, resulting in the moving of Felipe back to shortstop has also hurt his progress. But, that still doesn't make up for the almost apathetic approach to the game seen most every day playing for Our Washington Nationals.

Felipe--whatever it is--get through it. You are a far more talented player than shown in 2007. Your Mental Lapses are killing Your Game and Our Team's--as well.

PS--Its been a very busy Television News Week for me while Our Washington Nationals have been in Los Angeles. Really, I have not had any time to watch most of the past two games. But, I am paying attention.

PSS--Although I did watch the first two innings last night before heading to sleep and got a kick out of the always late arriving Dodger Crowd. When that game got underway, it looked like a Nats/Marlins Match up--whether the game was being played in RFK or South Florida--you can choose. Eventually--49,698 was the announced crowd. And, I am sure most of them left in the 7th inning also. Gotta Love LA!!

Of course--in 2005 when Nats Fans showed up in DROVES at RFK, Our Crowd never really settled in before the 4th inning either. Still today--many leave after the 7th inning also--even with a tie or close game at hand. We have talked about this, at length, in Section 320. Its understandable on a work night or school night. But, on a Friday or Saturday Night--Where EXACTLY are all you supposed fans going? Just Curious.

Tonight's InGame Photo--(AP) Chris Carlson


Anonymous said...

You know about Felipe's childhood, right? Im just thinking that might have to do with the way he acts out there.

Anonymous said...

Traffic might simply be one of the big reasons in both DC and LA. Both cities are kind of nightmarish. (Which may explain the late arrival better than the early departure. But still, people may want to get a head start.)

The other similarity I see is that we're both "one-industry" towns. In hollywood, I imagine Dodger Stadium is as much a place to be seen as it is a place for hard-core fans. It's an LA experience, not simply a baseball one. As I think it will be for the politicos in our new stadium next year. I have to believe novelty is what drove the big attendance of '05. But as the team faltered, the "charm" of RFK quickly wore off for casual fans. But hopefully the new digs will fit the area's Brooks Brothers sensibilities, and the Nats will become as much a DC experience as a baseball one. But those types of fans aren't the gamers who'll stay till the last out no matter what.

As a die-hard, that does bug me. But I'm a realist too. I don't know if we can ever grow Redskins-like rabid fan base. But the American Pastime can and should be an iconic and sought after experience for locals and visitors alike in our nation's capital.


Screech's Best Friend said...

andrew s: I have no idea about Felipe's childhood. Long before he left The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star, Todd Jacobson told me he had a story in the works on FLop, his background, and that might explain his often odd ways. But, I never saw that story and never read anything else out there about Lopez.

Mick: Good points. New Nationals Park will be a "TOO BE SEEN" place. That I have no doubt. Also, I am confident there will be a strong fan base that the team can depend on. Winning always helps. If this team continues to make good moves on and off the field--I am sure the attendance will follow.

Anonymous said...

They are leaving because people in DC are not fans, they are spectators. Why would they stick around to see the inevitable collapse and subsequent loss by a bad team? Makes sense to leave early and beat the traffic

Anonymous said...

SBF good post and you are right on the money about Felipe. To me, he isn't a guy you necessarily want to invest in long-term.

As far as the late arrivals and early departures, my theory is simple -- lots of folks in DC work long hours, and while I make it a point to be in my seat for first pitch at 7:05 on a worknight, a lot of people don't have that luxury.

I bring my 6-year-old son to games - he may rival SBF on how much he likes Screech. Even on weekend nights I like to get him home and in bed by 10, which means the latest we stay at RFK when he is with me is about 9:15. Probably a lot of other parents have this dilemma. The good news, of course, is he loves the Nats and never wants to go. I am raising the boy right!

See you all this weekend.


Anonymous said...

SBF - Felipe's father would scream at Felipe during his little league games whenever FLop would do something he thought was wrong. Eventually, once theyd get home, his dad would get even more abusive, and I will leave it at that.

SenatorNat said...

Flop just made his third error in four games, 15th at SS - bases now loaded, while Nats lead 8-3, with Fick going yard again - as he did in the last century, too! All three runs just scored on bases clearing double, so Flop leaves the floodgates open again; while Fick slow to react to ball down the line. (Hill now coming out, and #56 coming in - go Ayala.) Two run homer, SH, 8-8 now: we are jinxed and doomed, and Hill just cannot win!!!!

He would be fine next year at second-base with Belliard splitting time with him next year, and spot duty at SS, spelling Guzman. Lopez is not part of the Nationals long-range future, I am convinced, based on his mercurial play and attitude...

And - Teddy will lose on His Day - since losing is Teddy's signature.

Trust in Kasten. All Good.

Anonymous said...

as a kid my father taugt me important lessons in my childhood and one of the main lessons about being a good fan was

A) Don't ever leave a game early, you paid for 9innings and the team needs all nine to win a ballgame!

B) If you can get the chance to get FREE BASEBALL, enjoy it!!!!!!!!!!!!

just a side note a player I really want to see in a Nats uniform is Carl Crawford from Tampa Bay. I would give up one young pitcher, Kearns, and Flop for him!!!!!

Crawford in LF, Logan/Church CF, and Willy Mo in RF is good for me. I really dont want us going after Aaron Rowand during the offseason. I want to give Church and Logan more time. I know most you guys on here arnt a Nook Fan but he is growing on me this season and I think his bat can be consistent throughout next season!

Cya Sat for Teddy Night!

Anonymous said...

It would probably cost the Nats all their toppest prospects to get Crawford, but no worries - hes a FA after 08 anyways