- I think Ian Desmond is a terrible hitter that will never adjust to the majors
- I also think Ian Desmond should start at least until September call-ups.
That may seem contradictory but the key word is "think". I think, I don't know. Because I don't know it makes more sense to me to let him keep playing and see if he can make it work. Three months more isn't going to kill anyone. Lombardozzi is young, Antonelli is a reclaim project, Rendon hasn't even signed. Three more months to see how it all shuffles out in AAA is fine. What I worry about in the long run is letting Desmond start NEXT year as the starter (assuming he doesn't start hitting much better). In my mind the Nats are eyeing 2013 for the serious run at the playoffs and I think it's better if they aren't dealing with a SS issue that season. They still could be even if they decided to roll with Lombardozzi in 2012, true, but I feel better about that than rolling with a Desmond who's failed in 2011.
But that's something to worry about in September.
Ok so here my question:
The Nats have dropped back under .500. It's pretty likely they won't be making a run at the Wild Card. (Sorry but that little slide has dropped them back to 8th in the WC hunt. Can they play better enough that they catch and pass all 8 of those teams in half a season? It's tough to think so.) They'll probably be minor sellers and end up with say... 75+ wins.
That's the most likely scenario. While most fans dream about the improbable 2nd half that pushes the team to the WC, there is another possibility. The team could crash and end up with closer to 70 wins. Again. ZNN will hit his innings limit. Strasburg might not make it back. Espinosa and Ramos could tire out. Morse and Nix could peter out. The pitching staff could fall back to having more average results.
If this happens, if the team doesn't build on the 1st half success, but instead falls slowly away from relevance again, who would you blame? Would you blame Rizzo for not making this team a winner when they looked better and for driving away Riggleman? Would you blame Riggleman for walking away when the team was at its best? Would you blame Davey for steering the ship into an iceberg? Or would you blame no one and just shrug your shoulders and say "That's baseball"?
I know it's more complex than that and could hinge on a lot of 2nd half happenings. Hard to blame anyone if Zimmerman goes down again, or conversely it would be easy to blame Rizzo if in two days he gets rid of Marquis and Nix for table scraps. But I think most of us have leanings one way or another (i'm a "That's baseball" kind of guy, but I'm also a soulless automaton who is just learning how... to... love... baseball. I'm like a D.A.R.Y.L Ward. ) Where do you think your anger will be directed?