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Sunday, August 3, 2008

What would it take?

So the NewNationals are 2-0 and we're all beginning to feel a little fog lifting off our heads. I think every one of us sick bastards who wear the Curly W on our sleeves was tired, frustrated, pick your word through July. It is amazing how a little new blood and two good games can suddenly make things a little better.

It can't last forever, of course. The NewNats are eventually going to lose a game, probably more than one. They may lose several in a row at some point. Today's question - what would it take the rest of the way to make you feel postive, upbeat, encouraged going into the offseason?

There's 52 games remaining. I would absolutely love to see 30 victories and I don't think it is out of the question. I also don't think it is likely. I'd be happy with 26 wins - a .500 record over the final 52 would give me a bit of a buzz heading into 2009.

What we are seeing now is a reasonable facsimile of the 2009 lineup. Put Guzman in at short and TBA at first and I can live with everything else. I would be fine with the bench being close to what it is now, though there are too many of them.
Flores/Nieves at catcher again? I'm OK with that.
Four bench players left. Harris/Belliard/Langerhans/Casto/Gonzalez/Boone/Orr. Gonzalez clearly stays, as does Belliard if he isn't traded. I don't see Boone or Orr coming back. Harris may opt to go elsewhere, though I can still see him playing a lot in D.C. Are Casto and/or Langerhans worth keeping? I'd like to see both but I don't see room. Casto is more versatile and better with the bat. Are we OK with Harris/Belliard/Casto/Gonzalez as our non-catching bench?

I'm sure some decent bench type players will be available in the offseason but I'd rather see the brass - the new GM and his staff - go after front-liners since the bench guys they have now can do the job.

Add a first baseman somehow and sign a pitcher or two (not to mention Crow, 12 days to go) and let's get 2009 started.

But back to the original question - what would it take over the final 52?


Steven said...

Here's a quick list, none of this really all that pie-in-the sky I don't think.

1. Crow signed.
2. Strong finish from Zimmy
3. Bergmann finishing with 150 IP and ERA at or really close to 4.
4. Balester finishing with an ERA at or under 4.50.
5. Huge gigantic tear from Dukes.
6. Bonifacio OPS+ over, oh, let's say 80. Gotta start somewhere. Really I just want to see him hit the ball on the ground 55-60% of the time or more.
7. Strong finish from Milledge
8. Hanrahan K:BB ratio stays over 2:1.
9. Lannan just stays reasonably close to what he's been.
10. Another trade--Odalis, Redding, and/or Guzman for prospect(s), ideally.
11. Cordero back in the fold.
12. Bowden fired.

George Templeton said...

More wins than losses. A team ERA around 4.00. That are young players that get called up in September do well. The team stays relatively injury free. A power surge from Austin Kearns.
Most everything Steven said. And a new play-by-play (whoops, that was already covered).

Sean Hogan said...

Steven-watch what you're wishing for. We don't want Dukes to have a gigantic tear.

Steven said...

onr other thing that won't happen that would help--lock up zimmy for the next 5-6 years.

Hendo said...

No more asinine, panic-driven signings of has-been (or never-was) FAs who won't be around by the time the Nats are in contention. The Guzman extension, IMO, is very much on the borderline of that kind of thing.

Corollary: Got to hang on to some guys with experience, even if they don't have a history of generating Web Gems (or even of playing every day for years at the MLB level). That means Guzman, I suppose, but I'm also thinking of Harris and Orr. Maybe Boone, just maybe, but I don't hold out a lot of hope for that.

Be ready to bolster the bullpen (HANG ON TO SHELL!) and to spend smart on starting pitching. That and decent defense -- like what we've seen from Boni and AG this weekend -- could take a lot of pressure off, and even improve the hitting indirectly as guys don't feel they're dumping hits and runs down the drain.

Establish and cultivate a culture of plate discipline. It's not there now, and, boy, does it show.

Anonymous said...

1. Sign top draft pikcs
1.A Fire Lenny Harris
2. Fire Time Tolman
3. Fire Jim Bowden

4-5 seem to have been take care of already.

4. Remind Manny that he was hired to put a time on the field that hustles and plays the game the right way. (not sure if he was told the following but I would say, if players can not run out balls, call balls or work a count then sit them down or apply for the Mets job this winter).
5. Give Manny control of the lineup and stop Jimbo's from micro managing him.
6. Trade or cut Perez
7. Clean House of all Jimbo's cronies.....Larkin, Rijo, Boone, etc.
8. Trade Guzman ASAP
9. Sign one top of the line FA Bat
10. Fire Clint.

MikeHarris said...

Poor Clint.

Hendo said...

Poor Clint my ass. (Sorry if I missed any intended irony there.)

This is single-A shtick being trotted out to the big leagues. It's so bad that it affects my timing to the ballpark -- I try to get there just early enough to get fed and watered, but not so early that I have to sit through an hour of Clint.

Give me TWIB. Music videos. Almost any damn thing. But not Clint. I'm beggin' here.

George Templeton said...

You know it might not be too late to start Emilio-mania in Washington.

MikeHarris said...

Yeah, you did miss it but no biggie.
I am curious though: The ire is over the idea of a Clint, not with Clint himself? Poor bastard is getting beat up everywhere and he's just doing his job.

We were in the Red Porch early in the season when Clint was out there for something. He chatted with my wife, son and me for an inning or so. Seemed like a nice enough guy and I will swear on my future grave that he introduced himself as something other than Clint. But why have a stage name for that kind of gig?

Another game, we're out there with my son and his girlfriend. Clint pops up and she says, "OH MY GOD! He used to date a friend of mine." She couldn't remember if his name was Clint or not.