|Anything Goes: The Natinals|
Written by Adam Adkins (Contact & Archive) on July 15, 2009
(Oops, I forgot that "O."Â What?Â Just a simple typo.Â Anyone can do it.)
The Washington Nationals stink.Â That shouldn't be news to anyone -- they've been bad since they used to be known as the Montreal Expos.Â They've been under .500 every year since 2005, when they went 81-81 (their first year back in Washington).
The thing is, this year they're really bad -- 26-61.Â Yeesh.Â Twenty-two-and-a-half games back in a division that can hardly be described as tough.Â The thing is, Are they really that bad?Â Eh.
Their runs scored/runs allowed data says they're actually a 34-53 team, a full eight wins better.Â That'd make them...14.5 games back.Â Not remotely close enough to change anything.
Âlineup on their B-R page, they have five 'regulars' with sub-100 OPS+ counts.Â This offense is very top-heavy, and you have to at least consider the possibility that Johnson will get hurt.Â It's what he does.
The pitching, on the other hand, is awful.Â Shut your eyes horrific.Â B-R lists 23 pitchers that have thrown for the Nationals this year.Â Not even bothering to look at the innings, only six of those 23 are harboring better than average ERA+ counts (over 100).Â And 5 of those are relievers.
The rotation is awful.Â I like Jordan Zimmermann a lot, and he's been good -- 3.00 K/BB -- but he's getting hit, hard.Â He'll continue to develop.Â Nats fans, the idea of Stephen Strasburg-Jordan Zimmermann as your 1-2 should be exciting.
The thing is that's all they have.Â It would depress me to even list these guys and go over them.
I want to address the management situation.Â I think most people realize that Jim Bowden is a slimeball, and it's good that he's gone, for two reasons.Â One, he sucked at his job, and two, he ran a very (dirty?) unpleasant organization, and the situation with the Nats holding back signing bonuses only illustrated that fact.
Also, this wasn't Manny Acta's fault.Â A manager is not responsible for 61 losses.Â But, I guess Nats president Stan Kasten wanted someone to blame, and he wanted that someone to be other than him.Â That's common, so I won't spend a lot of time on it, and perhaps -- as my friend Justin Zeth said -- Acta is really the lucky one.Â He's being paid to not be a National.
The Nationals must sign Stephen Strasburg, too.Â We haven't heard much about the negotiations, which is really a moot point because the deadline is August 17th, and that's when it will happen, if it does.Â This isn't about the fan base -- they have fans? -- but about the product.Â The Nationals lack bonafide star talent, and Strasburg is that kind of player.Â He could bring some life to them, and boy, do those poor Natinals need it.
Adam also writes for his blog.