Nationals Baseball: Boundless optimism

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Boundless optimism

What's different about this season can be boiled down to the first question in Ladson's mailbag this week:
Since Stephen Strasburg will be under an innings limit in 2012, why not have him start in mid-May of this year so he can pitch into the postseason?
-- Paul D., Warrenton, Va.
Follow-up: In the World Series do you bat Bryce Harper 5th where he has been hitting all season, or do you move him down a couple spots so he doesn't feel too much pressure to produce? I'll hang up and listen.

Silly question, sure, but one that couldn't have been asked by any sane person in any season prior to this one.


Sec 204 Row H Seat 7 said...

Great post!! My "boundless optimism" is embeded in my prediction this year for 88-90 wins and competing until Septemer. Also 2013 will be the year.

Positively Half St. said...

I would have been as optimistic had the Nats signed Prince Fielder. I am over that now, and hoping for solid work from Adam LaRoche.

I am doing my best to recalibrate my expectations, and to be happy if the Nats manage their first winning season ever. That is by no means assured, and should be welcomed gratefully if it occurs.


Kenny B. said...


Kevin Rusch said...

Well, remember that 85 wins has you showing up on the "wild card hunt" lists all through labor day. That's pretty great.

So, this year's team will have a stronger rotation (Strasburg, Gio, more Znn) Harper, and Werth can't be as bad as he was last year. At catcher, Ramos+Flores > Ramos+Pudge.

I have to say, I was quite pleased with Hairston last year, and the bench really needs help. But this is the time of the year when those guys get picked up...? I just think they'll be at least 4-5 games better than last year.

michael k said...

The questions and answers from that site made my brain hurt. Is too opteemis an homeee 4 me. Aw crap see what it did! That's why I like you, Harper, you'd never say anything silly like "the Nats are best off with LaRoche"

Anonymous said...

So how 'bout bringing Vlad back as the Matt Stairs bat off the bench to finish the career where he sorta started? You could even DH him in interleague. It's not like the door is getting knocked down there; he might come cheap and there's hardly anybody at AAA who wouldn't be better served by playing every day in Syracuse as opposed to sitting on the bench in DC.


Harper said...

S204RHS7 - you know I don't agree but I can't necessarily shoot that down as unreasonable either. I'm glad Nats fans have finally reached a year where dreams aren't "everything goes right" fantasies.

+1/2st - If I were in Vegas I'd definitely make the winning season bet. Even thinking they got lucky a bit last year and didn't improve THAT much, they should still get 3 more wins

Kenny B - ...wwwwwber was my favorite character on "Coach"?

KR - Well maybe. You could end up with 85 wins by being pretty much out of it and then going on a late Sept tear. That's a big hope for this year's team. Don't start slow. Keep the fanbase engaged all season long. A continual .500 season would be so much better for the team than a 10-20 start and a slow climb even if they end up with the same win total

mk - I could say that if it were some sort of fielding skills competition at the All-Star game or something.

chaos - not the worst idea, I mean he can't field or run or get on base but there is value for a guy on the bench that can get a hit or a homer. But he still wants to play at least as a platoon DH if not more and he's getting interest. It'll be a surprise if he ends up at the end of someone's bench.

blovy8 said...

Vlad would be pretty good to have, and that would be a nice story to end his career with his first franchise, but he held out last year for 8 mil from the Orioles with basically no one else willing to offer close to it. If he really wants to keep playing and accepts the 2mil or so the Nats would give him for that role, I'd be surprised.

I wonder if the guys like Vlad, Damon, Fukodome, etc. who could help would really accept the role AND lesser money. It seems like Ibanez has at least come to terms with it.

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