In retrospect, riding camels might not have been a good substitute for working on the fundamentals. This a common refrain surrounding the Washington Nationals’ 4-5 start, including streaks of four wins to open the season followed by a five-game losing run. Still, not all is lost (Nats Reddit disagrees, of course), as there have been some positives, most namely that it is still so early that Mother Nature has yet to realize the season has started. Let’s go over a few of the important points thus far.
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Well, here we go — the 2018 MLB season is upon us! The Washington Nationals are once again heavy favorites to win the NL East, as the rest of the division, while improved, is not ready for prime time. The Nationals are stacked—they boast one of the best lineups and rotations in the Majors. They have a very deep bench, and an underrated bullpen. Will the Nationals win a third consecutive division title? Will it matter in October? It begins…
The 2018 baseball season is around the corner, and this week, we got a preview of the on-field look for the Washington Nationals. This season has Nats fans attention specifically as the All-Star game will roll through town in July. Overall, not much changed from what 2017 brought us for the regular season, just one jersey addition and a fresh slate of holiday uniforms. Let’s take a look at what the Nats will wear this season.
Last year, you could’ve narrowed down MVP to a few candidates. This year, it’s open season. There were a number of players in the National League who had career years in many different ways. There were about 10 or 15 different players worthy of an MVP nod or win, and the nominees could’ve been picked out of a hat from that crop of players and it would have worked. With the number of players out there worthy of a nomination, somebody’s going to end up unhappy. Frankly, a lot of people are probably going to end up unhappy. Up until the announcement of the nominees, I had no idea who was going to make the final three; it all depended on what the voters were looking for. And once they were announced, I’m not afraid to admit that I was a little surprised with who ended up on the top of the heap.
The hell of the postseason is over, and now it’s time for the nightmare of the offseason to get into full gear. But before we submerge ourselves into that completely, let’s take a moment to look back and get a little nostalgic about the season that was. And yes, that means it’s time to indulge in award season.
After Dusty Baker‘s firing, Barry Svrluga wrote a column for the Washington Post analyzing the Nationals’ decision to not retain him —and what it means for the next manager. In his article, Mr. Svrluga states the Baker departure is both surprising and understandable. Baker was somewhat of a polarizing manager. He is lauded for his handling players and the clubhouse—a dimension this team sorely needed after Matt Williams ham-handed approach. However, his in-game decisions, particularly in the playoffs, are dubious. While the players love him, there are a few decisions that are objectively questionable:
Many a great remembrance of Dusty Baker’s time will be written across the DC region this week. Rightfully so. Two winning seasons with two division titles in two tries is more than any other manager in our short history has done, and for that he will always be fondly remembered. Well, that and because Dusty Baker is simply an awesome person.
Many people who derided his hiring instead of Bud Black just two short years ago — myself included — were very much won over by the charming skipper. His quips, his casual but confident way, his soft, smooth voice when answering questions. And, of course, all the winning.
But success cuts both ways, and Mike Rizzo probably has the right of it when he says regular season victories and division titles are not the goal anymore. Pulling yourself out of your post-Game 5 malaise, even the most ardent fan can’t pretend like they are okay going on losing in the first round ad infinitum. Where the dividing line between Rizzo (or maybe, more rightly, the Lerners) and fans is who exactly is to blame.
Note: there are many more obscenities in this article than those that usually appear on our site. If you find such things offensive, I recommend that you choose to read one of our other great articles by our amazing authors. Thanks.
I’ve spent the better part of a day trying to decide what to say, and if I wanted to say anything at all. I am still struggling with that, but I decided it was better for my mental health if I just started to type and see what came out. After all, that’s how I started getting into this in the first place when I started my first sports Nationals blog in 2010. What’s below are the ramblings of an incoherent person, one still feeling a wide range of emotions related to the Washington Nationals latest NLDS debacle, another baseball season gone by, and many years of closely following this team.
Continue Reading After Another Disappointment, Reject The Tired Narratives