Our second installment of "Hey, it could be worse..." might seem to be coming at an odd time for the hometown nine, seeing as the Nats are a respectable 12-6 since starting the season a dismal 9-25. But, after visiting RFK last night (and trust me, there was nowhere near the reported 18,483 in attendance) and watching the Nats lose 10-0 to the offensively challenged Dodgers, I thought we better shower the Nats with whatever accolades we could now, because it is about to get very ugly again, very soon (and yes, I do hope for a collapse, because I want to win those cases of beer). You see, the Nationals took advantage of some very inept clubs (Hi NL Central!) on their way back to respectability (for them at least), and a cursory look at the upcoming schedule indicates the Nationals are in big trouble (Dodgers and Padres to start this homestand means very few runs for the Nats), but, as we like to say around here, "Hey, it could be worse..."
Overall Record: 21-31 (.404)
Wow, the Nats are in great shape here. Four teams actually have less wins than Washington right now, and three are tied with the Nats at 21. Throw these guys a parade.
Hey, it could be worse...you could be the team I root for, the free-falling New York Yankees, who are 21-29 and have lost 5 in a row (but at least Alex Rodriguez is gettin' some strange). Or, if you're like most of the country and wish people would stop talking about the Yankees, we can focus on the horrendous defending World Series champ Cardinals, who are 20-29 and show no signs of fixing their woes.
Pitching: Runs Against, 251
Again, given the personnel the Nats call a starting rotation, they're in decent shape here too. I find it amazing that a professional baseball team can run any of these guys out there semi-regularly and still scrape together 21 wins: Jason Simontacchi (last night's sacrificial lamb), Matt Chico, Jason Bergmann, Jerome Williams and Levale Speigner ("Sir, how did you get in the clubhouse? Oh, you're tonight's starter. Riiiight...SECURITY").
Hey, it could be worse...well, you could be the Tampa Bay staff, which amounts to Scott Kazmir and a pile of driftwood. Driftwood with sky-high ERAs and WHIPs. They're the only club to already allow over 300 runs, and they still employ Jae Seo. Good lord. We could also pile on the Yankees and Cardinals again here, but honestly, that's going to get old fast, since those two clubs belong in every one of these categories (what a sad, sad day).
Hitting: Runs Scored, 191
Yep, still a major problem. Nick Johnson is never coming back, Dmitri Young has chosen buffets over BP, and Mr. Guzman still gets to bat second in a MLB line-up (somewhere, Rob Neyer just hung himself with a flannel noose). That home ballpark doesn't help either - I watched 5 or 6 ropes off Nats bats get easily caught last night, all due to the unreal size of the RFK outfield.
Hey, it could be worse...you could be the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals. I know, I said no more, but these guys are the ONLY team scoring less than the Nats (179 RS for St. Louie). I think it's time to call up Rick Ankiel...seriously...come on, you know you're intrigued.
Management: "Larry, Darryl and Darryl"
Manny Acta - With that personnel, can you expect any more?
Jim Bowden - Antichrist. Can't believe he's still employed.
Stan Kasten - All I ever hear is how great this guy is, but if that's the case, what the hell is he waiting for? Fire Bowden now. Christ, let Screech (no, not the porno one...the mascot bird) be the GM.
Hey, it could be worse...ugh, with Bowden still as GM, could it? Dayton Moore in KC, the young kids in Tampa...they've done a better job. Maybe the corpse in Pittsburgh is worse, but I'm still taking Bowden in this race.