Washington Nationals: What a Stinker
I’ve been out of the country on business for the better part of a month. I went to Nats Park last night for the first time since shortly after the All-Star break. I was really looking forward to a live baseball game again. I didn’t make it to the end of the game. What a stinker. It looked like 2008 all over again. The Nats have a couple of guys in the line-up that have been passed by father time. A couple more who are at best AAAA players. Say all you want to about the amount of money the Nats are spending on prospects and the draft – right now they aren’t even trying at the Major League level.
Willie Harris in right field?
I like Willie Harris. I’m sure he is excellent in the clubhouse. He can’t play baseball anymore. His batting average dropped below .180 last night. He couldn’t get to a ball down the line that a younger man would have had. He also made a complete bonehead play after his legs failed him. All little leaguers are taught not to dive for a ball if you don’t have back-up. (This is especially true for corner outfielders down the lines!) Willie dove for a ball on the line, missed it, then laid on the ground until Adam Kennedy raced 75 yards from second base to the right field wall to retrieve the ball. What a disaster. I guess Harris was winded from the run to the line. Maybe he is a relative of Albert Haynesworth. Whatever the case, he should have been pulled from the game on the spot. It was inexcusable to dive for a ball on the line, and it was worse to take a siesta while teammates and opponents sprinted around the field.
Willie also just plain missed another ball. He jumped near the wall to catch a ball that was a foot and a half on the other side of his glove. He had plenty of time to get there, he just went to the wrong place.
Age gets to all of us. We can’t see as well as we used to, and we can’t run as fast as we used to. It’s time to stop playing Willie Harris. He is an old baseball player, with rapidly diminishing skills. Let’s see what the younger guys can do.
Pitcher as a Pinch Hitter?
In a classic give-up move, Manager Jim Riggleman used pitcher Jason Marquis as a pinch hitter. The Nats are so short on talent, they can’t even muster a proper pinch hitter. This team didn’t try last night. Every Nats fan (there were plenty of Cubs fans in attendance) got ripped off.
Time to give up the tickets?
Aside from April 2009 and April 2010, this team has been a .333 ball club for the last 3 years. There have only been two games this year when tickets were hard to come by – Strasburg’s first game and the Phillies DC home opener (thanks Kasten). Is it time to stop buying season tickets? Maybe the best thing to do is to check the line-up before heading to the park. If the Nats are going to field a major league team, go ahead and buy a ticket. If they put out last night’s line-up and you feel like going out, there are plenty of great restaurants down town.
Hopefully I’ll get back to regularly updating the blog this week. I want to watch a few games to get back into the flow of things. And of course, I’ll be there Thursday night to watch Zimmermann’s return.