Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Like Christmas Eve After You Learn About Santa

That's basically the way I feel about tomorrow. I'm excited... it IS Christmas after all. But I'm not as excited as I was when I was a wee li'l boy in 2005. It's still a damn good day. Just not as magical and special as it was. And as a kid, I as singularly focused on what was in front of me... now? I'm just as interested in looking around, and seeing what presents everyone else is opening. I've always been a baseball fan before being a Nats fan. That's just intensified with the losing seasons.

And we all know there's little hope this year. What's a reasonable % chance of playing interesting September games? 3%? At least there was a path forward towards winning -- hell, even last May, you could've sketched out a path to semi-competitiveness. Now sans Strassy, it's an uphill climb just to hit .500. My guess? 72-90.

My biggest concern this year? The offense. It's going to be farking terrible. Remember 2005, when the offense would do nothing -- NOTHING! -- for innings at a time, as out after out after out piled up. And on the rare time that someone got on base, Frank would either force them into making another out, or you'd find yourself with two on, two out, and Guzman at the plate.

This year's prolly gonna be sort of like that. It's a team of On-Base sinkholes. I just don't see how this team is going to consistently generate offense. Oh, they'll have stretches where the singles are dropping in... and when their slug-first bats rip 'em into the gaps, plating a bunch. But the 1-2-3 innings this year are going to drive you batty. Werth/Zimmerman/LaRoche are an ok core. (Just OK) So it's going to be like '05 where for the team to generate offense, it's going to need the right three guys coming up in the right situation.

Desmond? Best case OBP guess... .325?

Pudge? He's only been above .300 for OBP once in the last few years. Best case is .300. Ramos should be better, but best case is realistically something like .330.

Ankiel's terrible... best case would be like .315-.320. But it's just as likely to be sub-.300

Espinosa has a passable walk rate (nothing exceptional), but he's also likely a low average guy. So there's not going to be much OBP there.

That's 4 of the 8 lineup slots that are pretty close to on-base sinkholes.

LaRoche might be average overall, but below compared to other 1B. Morse is basically average. Zimmerman's pretty good. Werth solid. So all isn't lost.

Add it up, and it's a team that's not going to get on base much. So sustaining rallies is going to be especially difficult.

I dunno. I see an offense that'll have some great moments, but, in the end, is likely to be one of the 3-4 worst in baseball. Sure, Rizzo's emphasis on improving the pitching through improving the defense is important (if not inconsistently applied) but a run scored is just as valuable as a run saved. And I doubt that LaRoche's glove (and the hundreds of errors I've been promised he'll save) is going to make up for that on-base sinkhole.

Anyway... that's enough of that. My best guesses:

Atlanta over Philly in the east.
Cinci to repeat; eff you Greinke

Atlanta wins the pennant; Heyward MVP (why not!)

Boston over Tampa over NY
Detroit over Chi over Minn
Texas over Oakland

A drunken Miguel Cabrera leads 'em to the pennant; Gonzalez MVP

Atlanta wins. (I think I pick them every year)


  • A coherent, rational evaluation and prediction post? without vitriol? what have you done with Chris Needham?

    By Blogger Dave Nichols, at 3/30/2011 11:06 PM  

  • I'm sure buried in there is some anti-West Virginia vitriol.

    By Blogger Basil, at 3/31/2011 10:02 AM  

  • so basically it's last year with different names? I can buy that. But at least I can fool myself into believing that these different names might surprise me.

    By Blogger Harper, at 3/31/2011 3:00 PM  

  • So...bring back Goozie then.

    By Anonymous Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_for_Me, at 4/01/2011 11:54 PM  

  • "Like Christmas Eve After You Learn About Santa"
    Good line. Me, I don't even get a tree anymore. Chinese dinner and a movie.

    By Blogger Soul Possession, PFB Sofa, at 4/04/2011 1:28 PM  

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