Sunday, September 30, 2007

As Tears Subside, I Find It All Amusing

There's plenty of time for the analysis later. For now, it's just the realization that the season is over, the third such for our Nats. Each season has taken on a distinct feeling, and although the ultimate result was similar in the last two, there are certainly many more reasons to be an optimistic Nats fan today than there were just a year ago.

It's strange, too. In my heart, I feel like there's a lot to like. Yet, my brain says that this year didn't really demonstrate much. We didn't really learn anything new about the bulk of our players. We just sorta treaded water, with a few developments along the fringes. Yet, it feels good. 89 losses never felt so good. Svrluga framed it best: "Rarely has mediocrity been deemed so glorious" (well, at least if you ignore the passivity of the sentence!)

Over the last few weeks, there's been far too much strutting and preening as the team has bolted past the 'historically bad' category. No reasonable look at the team could put them much below 100 wins simply because 2006's pitching was already incredibly terrible. It's not hard finding a pitcher that's more effective than Ramon Ortiz was. The Nats dug up 6 with a lower ERA than he had in 2005. And Mike Bacsik was only .07 runs behind.

But even as they bolted past expectations that really could've and should've been ignored, they started bolting past predictions that were reasonable. I didn't think they had a shot of reaching last year's record, and yet they passed it. While the division was a bit weaker this year, that's still an amazing accomplishment.

It's that accomplishment that fills us with hope, a belief that a piece here or there is going to be enough to propel us to .500. Or beyond. I believe that in my heart.

But then my head thinks about it a little. Where's that improvement going to come from? The Nats have a lot of near-average players and the kinds of players available on the FA market aren't going to mean that many wins over our guys.

But, like I said at the top, there's plenty of time for analysis later.

For now, I'm happy at what the team did. But sad that it's over.

There's something wonderful about having the game on in the background, listening to the cadence and patterns [ed: insert Bob Carpenter screwing up a flyball call here]. It'll be back soon enough. And this offseason should give us plenty to think about and plenty to over analyze.


  • Chris, thanks for all your posting this year. It's provided a ton of insight into the in's and out's of a scrappy team that really did play over its head for much of the year.

    As I gathered my family to watch yesterday's triumph, all I could think about is "give me this team in April 2008." I know that's irrational, but I really think you throw out this disasterous April, add a couple of arms/bats (who? I dunno...), give me the new beautiful park and I'm ready to roll.

    Thanks again for all of your insights, etc.

    ps - Resign Fick!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/30/2007 11:38 PM  

  • Thanks, Mr. Fick!

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 9/30/2007 11:39 PM  

  • Chris...

    Thanks for the year of realism. Though I kvetched a bit about some of your rants, I spent much more time reading, learning and thinking about what was happening along the way.

    Thanks again for putting yourself out there and for providing so many "things that make you go...hmmm".

    Keep writing and I'll keep reading.


    By Blogger Jim H, at 9/30/2007 11:45 PM  

  • Thanks Chris. Great stuff all season, and I look forward to your analysis during the offseason. I live in Australia, so it's my summer, which is sooo great, coz i get to watch cricket now.

    Notes to the front office -
    1) Nook is a BAD baseball player. If you want speed, sign Asafa Powell
    2)That dude who gave up the homer to Bonds, he does that to lots of batters.
    3) Make sure Wily Mo says healthy.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/01/2007 1:16 AM  

  • Hi. The worst blog wants to thank the best blog for all the good writing and the baseball numbers and thinking about them. Okay!

    By Blogger Shek Baker, at 10/01/2007 1:57 AM  

  • this blog has been one of the highlights of my baseball season. thanks and keep it up!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/01/2007 8:01 AM  

  • Ditto the kudos. This place is my fav Nats hangout. (BPG has turned into a total whine fest) Nice mix of content. Not to statty, not to fanboyish. Hope you can keep up. (How much are they paying you again?)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/01/2007 8:18 AM  

  • Uncle Teddy assures me that the check is in the mail.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 10/01/2007 8:29 AM  

  • I was thinking of an old line that goes, "Medicoracy is ok. It isn't great....but it is ok."

    By Blogger Ray Firsching, at 10/01/2007 8:51 AM  

  • What I learned this year? I learned that the talking heads and experts don't know more than I do. I learned that the Nats management has improved-how much will depend on the mailing of 2008 season tickets and the parking situation at the new stadium. I learned that we have a good manager who has a good handle of each player's talents, can motivate players and can manage a game well. And,I LEARNED THAT I FEEL BETTER THIS MORNING THAN THE METS FANS!!

    Here's a vote for Anita Marks as our next play-by-play person!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/01/2007 10:00 AM  

  • Cheers to Chris and here's to signing a center fielder!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/01/2007 10:04 AM  

  • "Here's a vote for Anita Marks as our next play-by-play person!"

    Aaaargh! I watched too much of her show while being bedridden this summmer and here are my two cents worth:

    1. She has a poor voice for radio/tv.

    2. She's dumb as a stump.

    3. Football is her favorite sport.

    4. She's cheap--both meanings, consequently fits the Baltimore market like a suit.

    Meanwhile, Chris soldiers on. We wish him good health and prosperity so this blog can keep us going over the fall/winter.

    With regard to 2008, my sense is that the new stadium plus much the same cast of characters on the ball club will carry us through the year. 2009 will tell the tale as to where this franchise is going.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/01/2007 10:59 AM  

  • Johnr(VA)
    Get a life! I wasn't serious about Anita Marks!! A woman play-by play person,the baseball traditionals would be in full revolt!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/01/2007 11:10 AM  

  • Yo Anon:

    I'm easily given to nightmares. Don't do that again.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/01/2007 4:54 PM  

  • By Blogger eda, at 10/31/2009 1:43 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home