Sunday, April 02, 2006

Why The Nats Are Going To Win 90+ Games

Have speakers? Yes? Good! Click this. (If you prefer Field of Dreams, check out the rest of their post) It'll help you to get in the mood, as we come to the realization that 90 wins for the Nats isn't impossible.

Oh, it isn't likely. But it's certainly possible. Who thought that the Nats would get off to the start they did last year? Not even Tom Boswell's biggest dreams would've predicted a 100-win pace. It can happen again this year!

"But the pitching!" says you. Poor, poor negative you. Where you see a rotation of dreck, I see a world of possibility. John Patterson is going to win the Cy Young. I have no doubt. High rising fastball, above-average slider, curve o' death, and now a changeup. What's not to like? Give him his full compliment of starts, and work with the Patterson who learned how to throw deeper into games, and tack on another 20 innings of dominance.

And Livan? El Gran Caballo is healthy. Not only is he going to give us 250 innings of goodness, he's going to do it with an ERA closer to 3 than 4.

Ortiz/Armas/Tinker/Evers/Chance? Who cares. When one of them stinks, we've got Rauch, Drese, Traber, Watkins, and a slew of fresh arms. We don't need dominance. That's what Patterson and Livan are for. Just give me 200 innings of what Loaiza did. League average pitching from the backend of your rotation? Sure! I'll take it. And we have enough warm bodies, that some combination can get us there.

The pen? You don't have any serious questions about the pen, do you? C'mon. Now you're just being negative for the hell of it. Cordero, Majewski, Hernandez? Think the Braves would like that troika? Eischen and Stanton will come up huge, doing what they do best: getting the big left-handed bats out. Sit down, Delgado! Sit down, Abreu! Yer out!

"Oh, but the offense!" I can hear your whining from here! We don't have a Delgado or a Chipper in the lineup, but think about this: Vidro, Johnson, Guillen, Soriano, Zimmerman. That's a pretty good 2-6. Not a bad hitter in the bunch. Vidro hits .300 and sprays doubles. Johnson walks 90 times and rips balls to the wall. Guillen HAS to hit more than 3 homers at home. Give him 15 at home, and he has 40 on the season. Soriano? Everyone points to last year's road numbers. Don't his 2002 road numbers count? What about his 2003 numbers? Zimmerman had 7 homers in spring! He batted .400 last year! The sky's the limit with the kid.

And with the pitching we'll get, we don't need a ton of runs, but this offense can be good enough to win those close games that the spacious walls of RFK creates!

And the bench! Oh, the bench! We made fun of Bowden's second baseman fetish, but damn, that's a useable bench. No longer will we have Tony Blanco flailing at three crotch-high fastballs! We're not going to groan and give up when Frank sends Baerga waddling up to the plate in a close game. Marlon Anderson is an improvement. Matt LeCroy's going to destroy the division's crappy left-handed relievers. Can't you hear Rheal Cormier sobbing?

The wins are there. The potential's there. Last year we needed 20 things to go right and we got only 15 of them. We need even less this year. Who's going to win the division? The Mets? Have you seen their rotation? They're in the same condition we are! The Phillies? Seriously? Those choking dogs? They have David Bell in the lineup fer crissake! His name is the english translation of Cristian Guzman! The Marlins? Ha! And the Braves? All streaks must come to an end. Without Mazzone's magic, the pitching can't be as good as it's been. Can you name anyone other than Smoltz and Hudson in their rotation? Do you really think that fat Andruw is going to be an MVP candidate again? C'mon!

It's there for the taking! They can do it. I have faith. Do you?


  • This is the most brilliant tongue in cheek piece of Nationals satire, correct?

    I actually have thoughts like this, but they are usually after a lot of alcohol, or very early in the morning after reading Boswell. But luckily, I eventually come to my senses.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/02/2006 9:41 PM  

  • The thing's posted for 4 minutes and one of the faithless already emerges!

    Once this bandwagon leaves the depot, there's no hopping on. You're either on or off, and the whistle's a-blowin'! Make your choice! ;)

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/02/2006 9:44 PM  

  • Can you please fisk this like you did to Boz's piece? I'm suprised you didn't point out that Ryan Zimmerman is 21 years old, the same age that A-Rod, Junior, Pujols and other superstars have been in their lives.

    By Blogger DM, at 4/02/2006 9:44 PM  

  • Well, DM. Ryan Zimmerman is the first player in quite some time to be starting opening day the year after he was drafted. The last? Pete Incaviglia. Oh sure. You can scoff now at the fat guy's funny name.

    But you know what the fat guy did in that rookie year? Thirty fecking home runs!

    He hit 79 homers in his first three seasons! Pete Incaviglia! Zimmerman's better than him, isn't he? I'm smelling 35 homers this season! (Park adjusted down to 21, of course)

    I'm disappointed in you DM. I figured you'd be there right alongside driving the bandwago. Oh well. That just leaves more room for me, and now no one'll complain when I take my shoes off.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/02/2006 9:48 PM  

  • See! That's the spirit, Sam! Winning out of spite for the common fan is perfectly acceptable.

    Just win, Baby!

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/02/2006 9:56 PM  

  • It's hard to imagine them possibly being as good as the phillies. I hope I'm wrong... I do think the team will hit .500, though.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/02/2006 9:58 PM  

  • Give Dutch the same juice Inky had and I'll ride in the trunk!

    By Blogger DM, at 4/02/2006 10:01 PM  

  • coughJONLIEBERcoughcoughOPENINGDAYSTARTERcoughcough

    Man, didn't they learn last year?

    Did they ever bail Ugie Urbina out of jail? ;)

    You're off the bandwagon, Ed! Your loss!

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/02/2006 10:01 PM  

  • DM, does THIS look like a man who's using ANY sort of juice?

    Maybe he's heating up some Crisco and drinking it, but that's certainly stretching the definition of juice!

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/02/2006 10:03 PM  

  • You do know that there was so little interest in the Texas Rangers in the 1980s that they didn't waste time actually playing the games and just made up the box scores and stuff?

    By Blogger DM, at 4/02/2006 10:23 PM  

  • Now you're just going to piss Oddibe McDowell off.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/02/2006 10:25 PM  

  • BTW, Danny Graves? Do the Indians know this is not an exhibition game?

    By Blogger DM, at 4/02/2006 10:36 PM  

  • It's brilliant strategy, actually.

    With Graves on the mound, they knew the inning would continue indefinitely. And since the rain was coming, they could get the game cancled and start over tomorrow without Buehrle.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/02/2006 10:38 PM  

  • Within an hour, you mentioned Pete Incaviglia and Odibe McDowell - can I get a Steve Buechele?

    Count me in on the bandwagon. 110 wins, no problem

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/02/2006 10:41 PM  

  • If anyone even thinks Scott Coolbaugh, I'm gonna scream.

    By Blogger DM, at 4/02/2006 10:45 PM  

  • No Buechele, but I'll raise you a Ruben Sierra.

    How the hell is he still in the league?

    I like the way you think! 110's possible if EVERYTHING goes right: Pedro's toe would have to fall off, The Phillies would have to be the Phillies, the Marlins would have to trade Dontrelle, Bobby Cox would have to be arrested for beating his wife -- again.

    Not likely, but certainly possible! (the 110-win thing. Cox could certainly smack his wife around again at any time!)

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/02/2006 10:46 PM  

  • Oooooh! I love me some Drese! If you've been reading since last year, you know I love that SOB.

    (I just hope that's not a Claudio Vargas rush job)

    115 though? Nope. I've already accounted for Drese's 19 wins in my 90+ assessment.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/02/2006 11:27 PM  

  • Oh, and from Ladson's article:

    The last time the organization won a season opener was in 2003, when the Expos pounded the Braves, 10-2, at Turner Field. Tony Armas Jr. was the Opening Day starter.

    And how many wins did the 03 Expos have? 83.

    And Tony Armas was their opening day starter? He's the fifth starter here! That's at least 7 wins, right? ;)

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/02/2006 11:29 PM  

  • Who is this Ladson of whom you speak?

    By Blogger DM, at 4/02/2006 11:38 PM  

  • Stop trying to get me in trouble, you miserable cur!

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/02/2006 11:39 PM  

  • When you're finished taking a hit off that, could you pass it my way?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/03/2006 7:39 AM  

  • If you work-a-holics can tear yourselves away, M., L. & B. are going to interview Brandon Watson on XM 175 this morning during the 08:00 hour, repeated during the 11:00 hour.

    You can even call in afterwards and lambaste him on nationwide radio. WOO HOO!

    By Blogger Bote Man, at 4/03/2006 8:06 AM  

  • You're all nuts.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/03/2006 8:55 AM  

  • Believe, baby, believe!

    By the way, I'd like to jump aboard as the official Brandon Watson Apologist, if only because I am an absolute sucker for track stars.

    In a perfect world, we'd have Church AND Watson out there, co-existing in an outfield of peace, love, and rainbows.

    I'm also pretty sure that in that perfect world, I'd be able to go to Burger King and see Bowden behind the counter, serving me my Big Buckin' Chicken sandwich.

    By Blogger MDT, at 4/03/2006 10:01 AM  

  • No. In a perfect world, when you go to BK, you wouldn't see Bowden, because he'd be way back in the kitchen having fry grease splattered all over his cherubic face, or hiding in the ladies bathroom, roll in hand, waiting to change the toilet paper.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/03/2006 10:05 AM  

  • Uh, April Fool's Day is the FIRST day of the month, not the second.

    This is an April Fool's joke, right?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/03/2006 10:29 AM  

  • Another fan of no faith. Man, I just don't understand all this negativity! ;)

    We're in first place!

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/03/2006 10:31 AM  

  • We are not in first place :(
    But alas, neither are the PHilthies

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/03/2006 6:38 PM  

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