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Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Blame Game

Just a typical Friday night in Harris land. Dogs stretched out in various places around the room. My wife on the sofa, pretending to read but watching the Nats the whole time. Me squeezing the stuffing out of the arms of my chair. I go through about eight a season.

My wife asks good questions. Martin out in the fifth? Why - he's making them hit it on the ground? Good question. I guess Rigs told him to surrender mammoth fly balls instead because he had a center fielder who could run forever and bring them back from over the fence. Ground balls? Your middle infielders can't handle those.

Slaten gets a K and he comes out. In the fifth. Wait a second, my wife says, didn't he just come in? Yep, I explained. Matchups. In the fifth inning?

Over (clap clap) manage *** over (clap clap) manage.

One of my Twitter friends, if that's what they're called, asked where the blame should go on this - Desmond, Guzman, Riggleman. I'm going to go straight with Riggleman here, despite the Little League defense played by the middle infielders.

I'm sure everyone realizes if Guzman had actually completed that double play, the Nats would have gone into extras with one available pitcher? Unless I missed my count, Joel Peralta was the only one left besides the starters (can Jee-SUS relieve?). Suppose the game had gone 16-17 innings? Would Alberto Gonzalez finally get to play - on the mound?

Of course, the one reliever who should have come out quickly stayed in. Tyler Clippard was clearly off his game from the start but what the hell? Let's leave him in to do some more damage. Then we can get Capps to come in and induce a ground ball that can't be converted into a double play.

At one point, another Tweeter noted (Zuckerman, I think, my head hurts and I didn't sleep well), the Nats used four pitchers to record five outs. This is why my head hurts and I don't sleep well. Being a Nats fan is worse for my health than the 200 extra pounds. Of course if this keeps up I'll develop Natsbulemia and maybe that will at least help with the weight.

As for the second base situation, I don't have a perfect answer except this: There has to be a better answer. Can Jee-SUS play second?

I went to Tuesday's game with a group of Michaels: My regular co-attendee the Rib Michael and Michael our former intern (2004) who gave up a newspaper job out west so he could go to law school back east.

Why, Law School Michael asked during the ninth inning, is Guzman at second base?

Welcome home, son.

Adam Kennedy is the obvious first answer but he's been a lead glove himself. Can Mik, uh, Michael Morse play second? I'm serious. I know he has a background as an infielder. Is it time to trot Gonzo out there for a while and see what he can do? OK, we already know. At least he can catch and throw.

Is there anyone in the system close enough to ready to give a look?

Yeah, there's another part of the infield defense that's a serious problem, a part that has almost as many errors as all the Minnesota Twins. That'll have to wait for another day. I need to go find my pills.


Anonymous said...

Unless I missed my count, Joel Peralta was the only one left besides the starters

You're forgetting Tyler Walker. A totally understandable mistake, though.

Anonymous said...

Adam Kennedy is the obvious first answer but he's been a lead glove himself

He didn't really have that lead glove when he was playing more often earlier in the season. His hands could soften the more he plays. He wasn't considered a defensive liability when they signed him, was he?

MikeHarris said...

I didn't think Kennedy was considered a defensive liability but I could be wrong. I thought he was just the opposite. I still have that two-out error in Martin's first start fried into my brain.

And first anon (unless you are the same anon), thanks much - I did indeed forget Walker. A repressed memory I guess.

Kevin Trainor said...

Agreeing with the anonymouse at 10:32 but more importantly, if his defense at second isn't up to snuff, why in the name of Clark Griffith are we keeping him on the roster? To be Adam Dunn's glove caddy at first? Ridiculous!

Mike, you're absolutely right: FIRE JIM RIGGLEMAN!

Linked at Beltway Baseball.

bdrube said...

Well, now we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that what we saw earlier this year was just an illusion and that SS is not nearly enough to make this a .500 team let alone a contender. Starting today they are beginning the auditions for next year.

Aggressive trading followed by ownership opening its wallet in the offseason for free agents is the only way they will be substantially better next year.

To take one of your examples, 2B. There is NOTHING in the whole organization that can fill a hole that has been more like a gaping chasm ever since they came to Washington. Danny Espinosa is the best they have in the minors and he is at least another full season away from being ready, assuming he ever will be.

I'm tired of excuses and I am tired of "the plan." At some point they are either committed to getting better or they aren't.