Friday, July 8, 2011

Taking a long view

The Goessling Game: Davey Johnson taking a long view of Nationals' development

This piece just gives me a jumping off point for a few observations.

First off, please stop with the contend in 2011 crap. That isn't going to happen. It just isn't. Enjoy the winning, enjoy the 1 run wins because they will be gone as soon as they arrived.

I think a taste of it was administered last night. The overtaxed Clippard and Storen weren't available to put out the fire and the rest of the pen proved unable to hold the line. Expect to see more of that in the 2nd half.

Johnson's observations (about the questions at short and CF) are on point. Now it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that but at least I know he knows. FWIW.

Yes the NL East is tough division right now. but you know what? The Phillies are on their last legs. Right now, they are running on the fumes of two pitchers on the wrong side of 30. Check out their offense . . . middle of the pack despite playing in the CB bandbox. And best of all . . . there isn't a lot of room for their main offensive players to grow. Howard will continue to decline, Rollins, Utley Ibanez all on the down side.

Now the Braves are another matter. They are loaded with young talent specifically pitching. We still have to see how committed their ownership is to winning though. Oddly, this is one franchise that really doesn't see a huge boost from winning. Are they sudden;y going to start flooding Turner Field? How would this team's winning be different from the years and years of it they've been doing and not really enhancing the attendance figures? It would be easy to imagine an ownership group who is content to be very good but not be willing to step out on a limb and really make a championship investment. And that might be smart since they are unlikely to get back that investment (with more revenue from more fans)

There is a chance for the Nationals to contend soon perhaps as soon as 2012 if you want to wishfully think. But certainly by 2013 the erosion of the Phillie juggernaut should be evident and we'll know if the Braves ownership is willing to lay out for a title. And by then some of those holes could be fixed up.

If they are looking to fill holes, please do not be afraid to sacrifice this year. Burnett=gone. Marquis=gone. Nix=gone. Turn them into future assets, they can be whatever is the best deal since with the glut of young catchers and middle infielders there will have to be some trading in Mike Rizzo's future. Having a few extra assets to sweeten the pot could be the difference between winning a trade or coming in second again.

Also: Matt Stairs needs to be DFA'ed TODAY. He's on the team for one reason and one reason only: to give professional pinch hitting atbats late in games. A professional PH should be able to get a run in from 3rd with less than 2 outs. Not even asking for hit just a loud fly ball. Got a pop up. Tell me the team wouldn't be better off with Chris Marrero in his spot right now. Marrero could at least play the field and could match up late with LOOGY's. With Nix, Ankiel and Bernadina occupying the other bench PH spot at least Davey would have options. And it would be nice to see Marrero outlast all the "hes a bust" labels thrown on him for the past five years.

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