Who knows why things pop into my thick head when they do? I'm sitting here getting a lot of honest to goodness work done, being productive and all that. Suddenly, my eyes get big and I gasp.
I'm enjoying this stretch of improved baseball as much as the next person. Other than the has beens known as the Braves, it hasn't come against chumps. All the Dodgers did after whimpering out of D.C. was get hot and take over first in the N.L. West (which is worse than the N.L. East). The Phillies are fighting for a playoff spot. The Nats are equal opportunity spoilers. Maybe they can muck up the Phils like they did the Mets last year.
I make a lot of noise about the Strasburg Cup and how much I'd love to see Stephen Strasburg in Washington. I can accept that not happening in exchange for a little more good baseball.
But *** but *** is a hot stretch going to save JimBow?
Nothing screams failure like a 100-loss season. It is the Mendoza Line of won-lost records. Just like 100 victories is hailed as a smashing success, 100 losses is seen as Prime Time Bad. No way a team that loses 100 can avoid rolling some heads and there's an obvious one with the Nats. El Jefe isn't going to can himself. Uncle Stan would seem safe. Manny? No way. All signs point to JimBow.
That 100-loss mark seemed such a sure thing not long ago. Then the Nats turned into world beaters. Suppose the team gets to 70 victories? Laughable, sure, but are you willing to bet against it the way things have gone lately? It would require a 14-4 finish. Avoiding 100 only requires seven more victories. A final of 63-99 may not save him. What about 66, 67, 68 wins?
I have no personal animosity toward Jim Bowden. I'm sure he's a fine guy. Anyone brave enough to ride a Segway and let someone shoot video certainly has no inhibitions. I hope he won't hold it against me if I show up at the season-ticket holders picnic. Maybe I should get someone to sample my hot dog. I just think this team needs the proverbial "change of direction" and I fear it won't happen if this stretch continues.
But, no, that doesn't mean I'm suddenly rooting against the Nats.
As for Strasburg, the Nats' hot stretch hasn't taken them out of the running. I'm going to go ahead and say it right now. The Sept. 19-21 series against the Padres should be billed as the Strasburg Showdown. The "winner," if you will, goes on to win the Strasburg Cup. We just need Seattle to win a bunch of games and take itself out of consideration.