My morning routine doesn't usually include reading the comments section of Chico the Writer's Nationals Journal. It's a time thing. Today, I did venture there and was surprised to see people talking about Luis Ayala and FLop like they were one and the same.
Uh, no. Not close.
Granted, I wanted both of them gone as soon as possible. Neither was doing a good job for the Nationals and there was no indication that was going to change. The major difference is I sincerely wish Ayala well and I couldn't give a rip about FLop.
Ayala, by all accounts, is a good guy. I never had reason to question that. I've seen many cases over the years, in many different sports, where it just stopped working for someone for whatever reason. A change of scenery, a fresh start may be a tired cliche but sometimes it is all that is needed. Reports indicated Ayala was going through a divorce. I haven't had that happen (yet. If I keep acting like the guy in Damn Yankees, I may). I imagine it is difficult. A new city, new faces, a new routine. I can imagine it would help.
Power to him. I hated to see him pitching late in his Nats career because he wasn't effective anymore. I don't hate him. Nats320 did a nice tribute to him when he left and it echoed a lot of what I'd heard. Good guy (and I'll forgive him for his "don't speak english" stuff earlier in the year). I just wish he'd gone somewhere other than the NL East so he wouldn't have as many opportunites to shove it up the Nats' fannies.
FLop? Different story altogether. If he isn't a prick, he sure does a good job acting like one. Everything about him at the end indicated a guy who just didn't give a damn.
Over the years the Nats have existed, I've talked to a number of people who cover the team or are around it for other reasons. I've mentioned many times that it seems like a good group from a media standpoint. I get resounding agreement with a few exceptions. Damian Jackson, I think his name was, didn't endear himself to anyone. One guy told me Ronnie Belliard was basically a good guy who could get prickly sometimes (hey, so can I). By and large, a very good clubhouse to work.
The exception? Take a guess. Mentioned by almost everyone as difficult was FLop.
So I was more than willing to say AMF to FLop. I have no idea what he's done since he's been a Cardinal. I don't care. He may be tearing it up and he may have everybody thinking he's a good guy. I can guarantee it won't last. Eventually, he'll slump, he'll slink and he'll snarl.
In summation: Good luck, Luis. Good riddance, FLop. The only thing they have in common is they're ex-Nats.