Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Was that so hard?

And so it was written: Strasburg to make Nats' debut on June 8 - Big League Stew - MLB� - Yahoo! Sports

Seriously? Was it. That's all we wanted, a firm date. And look, its a sellout! An extra 20,000 fans at $50 average means he'll earn back 1/15th of his initial contract! That's effective ROI

I'm still suffering from battered fan syndrome. I don't want to believe but I can't muster much of an argument.

They're running pretty close to their pythag record now. It's 52 games and they are still a .500 team. And it's not like they've feasted on weak sisters either.

I suppose I could cite Livan!'s remarkable run, Pudge's fountain of youth and Atliano's 5 wins and say these are flukes likely to regress to the mean.

But how bad has Nyjer Morgan been? And the back end of the rotation has been consistently mediocre at best. Not a lot of help from the pen other than Clippard and Capps. Won't even discuss right field.

Maybe all you need to compete in the National League is three great hitters in the middle of your lineup and enough pitching and defense to keep games close.

You have to just wonder: this 2010 Nats team is making statistical oddities like Livan! Lannan and Atliano look much better than they should. What could they do behind a true top shelf pitcher? Or will they actually do worse?

I suppose the best thing to do would be to carefully study all the other teams in the National League. I see the Nats flaws sharply, they stand out while the successes kind of fade out of mind. I mean is the Mets situation appreciably better or worse than the Nats at this very second? Starting the year I'd have said the Mets are better but looking at it today I'm not sure at all.

Was there a hitter for the Astros yesterday you had any fear of? Lee and Berkman should be those guys but they didn't seem so yesterday. Michael Bourn was their only spark and slap hitting speedsters do not a high scoring offense make.

So that's two teams I wouldn't trade lineups with. I'd trade pitching staffs with the Pads in a heartbeat. Those guys are good and young. Jed Hoyer's built quite the pen but they only have one hitter who you don't want to face (Adrian Gonzalez).

Being by nature a pessimist, I'll hold to my belief that this team is still on the underside of the success cycle. That means even if you have to sacrifice the .500 team you have right now, moves should be made looking to the future rather than August and September.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see meaningful baseball in DC in the fall. I'd just rather the team make smart decisions in the long term interest of building a World Series contender year in and year out over one fleeting post season hope. I'm sure the lure will be tempting with all the positive publicity they're getting with Strasburg and the #1 pick and a team that isn't historically bad. Get a Roy Oswalt and try to capture the DC market.

Winning over time will capture the DC market. Keep that in mind.

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