Nationals Baseball: The season of nothing?

Friday, August 24, 2018

The season of nothing?

Along with the dream of the playoffs, the Nationals season once held other dreams as well. Max was cruising toward a third Cy Young and dare we say an MVP? Juan Soto looked like a shoe-in for the ROY despite giving the rest of the field a couple months headstart. But now, with the Nats season just awaiting the official killing blow, even those little pieces of consolation are in jeopardy.

CY YOUNG
The main pitching story of this season has arguably been "How can Jacob deGrom pitch so well but never win any games?" The Mets never seemed to score for him. From April 21st-June 18th deGrom threw to an 0.90 ERA (that's right 0.90) yet he only went 3-2 in those games and the team went 3-8. It was comical. It was also killing any chance of deGrom winning a Cy Young as people couldn't imagine giving the award to someone who may be below .500 in wins and have fewer than 10 of them, regardless of the reason.

Eventually the Mets stopped Metsing and more recently they have scored some for deGrom, not alot but enough to take him from 5-7 to 8-8. This run has started to put deGrom back in the conversation. Is it real battle?  Yes

Wins : I'll start with this because I still care about wins for these things because I believe the awards should be a reflection of the year you had in context, not in a vacuum. Some people find that unfair. You can only do the best you can do. But for me that's true for the raw evaluation of statistics, not handing out silly subjective baubles. So the literally best player loses out in a MVP race to a guy who was say 5th best but felt like he had the most impact? Who cares? We aren't computers being asked to crank out an objective winner. We're people being asked our opinions. Anyway Max with a big lead here 16-6 to 8-8

ERA : deGrom 1.71, Max  2.13.  ERA can be funny sometimes but in this case the fancy stats back up the difference the FIP is 2.07 / 2.63, the xFIP 2.72 / 3.04.   In terms of preventing runs from scoring deGrom has been a better pitcher this year.

K/9 :  Max with the lead here but probably not as much as you think. Max 12.1, deGrom 11.1

BB/9 : deGrom with a slight lead 2.1 to 2.2

H/9 :  In terms of being more unhittable Max wins 5.7 to 6.7 which is a pretty big gap. This also is why Max gets the lead in WHIP 0.886 to 0.971. But then why is deGrom's run preventing stats better?...

HR/9 : Max 0.9, deGrom 0.4. Max hasn't given up a ton of homers but deGrom has been impossible to homer off of this year - only 8 so far. And yes that's a little fluky but it's also true the difference between the two pitchers in this skill is real. It's a lot harder to homer of deGrom

IP : But Max is a beast right? So he's going to win by pure IP advantage much like he just overcame Kershaw* in 2016.  Nope Max has a lead but it isn't big. 181.2 to 174 and Max has one more start so they are both pitching about as deep.

WARs? :  deGrom leads in fWAR, Max in bWAR so no clarity there.


So is Max in a real battle? Yes. Definitely. Forget the MVP, he could lose the Cy Young depending on how he (and deGrom) pitches down the stretch. However, there's no clear favorite here and if they end the year with the stats as close as they look above, Max should win his 3rd in a row. I can't tell you he will - voters like to change things up and deGrom would be worthy, but I think he should. Still one bad start is likely to decide this as much as anything.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
For a time there was no battle. Despite the hype over the Braves rookies and the fact they came out of the box strong, Juan Soto was a revelation.  A month and half in he was sporting an OPS over 1.000. A month later a 3-5 game against the Marlins with a homer and a triple put him over that mark again. He wasn't just the best rookie, he was arguably the best hitter in the National League.  How Acuna, who missed a month and had slumped going into his DL stint, was doing was immaterial and only a huge slump by Soto AND a huge surge by Acuna would make it a race.

Soto since then : .221 / .374 / .349
Acuna since then : .327 / .409 / .752!

Soto has suffered pretty badly in August his average falling way down and only hitting two homers. His K rate also jumped showing that either the league was adjusting or he was getting tired or both. Meanwhile Acuna has put on a display of power we haven't seen from a rookie in a long while. 12 homers in the last 25 games.

Where they stand now presents a clear question to voters on what matters to them - power or patience.

Soto :  .287 / .408 / .512 (2 SB)
Acuna :  .286 / .355 / .571 (10 SB)

Acuna has more power and more speed (at least shown).  Soto though has a decisive edge in his ability to get on base. If you look to defense Acuna has the edge there. He's been nothing special mind you, despite the expectations, probably nothing more than average this year in left. But Soto has been kind of bad, the one minor leaguer who might have actually been held back for defensive reasons.

If you want the fancy stats both bWAR and fWAR favor Acuna. And honestly so do I right now. Soto's edge has dwindled from "everything but defense" to "walks more". I mean it's A LOT more, true but given everything else and the fact the Braves are in first and the Nats can't find a way into the playoffs? Right now this is Acuna's ROY to lose.


*how is Kershaw doing this year? Still awesome. Just a step behind these two and with his usual month of missed games he's not in the conversation unless both deGrom and Max go out for the rest of the year.

41 comments:

NotBobby said...

I think Aaron Nola is also in Cy Young race.

Anonymous said...

Nola is a legit CYA contender, though probably a step behind Max and deGrom

Ole PBN said...

Considering the contenders prowess at the plate:

Scherzer - .291 / .328 / .327
Nola - .063 / .082 / .083
deGrom - .111 / .158 / .130

Does this stuff matter at all? I'm sure it's factored into each players overall WAR, but might be overlooked given the difference in Max's performance over the others. For all the talk about deGrom not getting any run support, technically, isn't he part of that problem given the above compared to Max?

TwoGloves said...

As always, great analysis Harper!! I am amazed how may people discount deGrom as CY candidate. Good or bad, wins are not the be all/end all for starting pitchers like they used to be. If the terrible Mets would have scored even a trickle of runs for deGrom, he would be the clear front runner for CY. I agree that it will come down to the last month of the season to decide this and Nola is a dark horse to keep an eye on as well.

Kubla said...

@PBN

I think batting ability helps the long-shot MVP case for Max, but not the CY.

I also get a little annoyed that the voters/journalists finally come around to not thinking pitcher wins are that important but consider regular ERA a fancy stat. It's like when they finally came around on RBIs not being a great metric but picked BA as the replacement thing to talk about. It wasn't that long ago that Boswell was complaining about Bryce not having a 100+ RBI season, and he's really awkward when trying to include actual advanced stats in his analysis because I don't think he really gets them.

Fries said...

In my opinion, there's no denying DeGrom should win the CY in a vacuum. If I were voting, he'd get my vote. He's been a beast this year. That doesn't discount what Max has done, putting up arguably his best season yet. But DeGrom has been insane.

Josh Higham said...

@Ole PBN, pitcher WAR is calculated separately from position player WAR. (For fWAR, they start with FIP and apply a variety of scaling effects and multipliers so that there are 430 pitcher wins spread across all pitchers. bWAR is similar but starts with Runs Allowed.) Max has 0.9 fWAR as a position player, hitting only slightly worse than a random AAAA player but apparently providing positive value on the basepaths and in the field. https://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=3137&position=PB

Josh Higham said...

Oh, for completeness, Max has 0.8 bWAR as a position player. deGrom has 0.0 and 0.2.

As Kubla said, I think if the Nats were better, which would improve Max's MVP case, his position player WAR would definitely matter, but for Cy I really don't think anyone's going to say "wow, Max Scherzer has been an asset on offense. Yes, best pitcher!" Although some voters may be sort of subconsciously swayed--a halo effect.

Jay said...

I think you could argue the Nats have hurt Max this year. His last 4 starts he has given up a total of 3 runs and has gone 1-1 in that stretch. Two of his losses he gave up 1 run and 3 of his losses he gave up 2 runs. I think there are a few things working against Max. deGrom is playing in NY, and deGrom has admitted publicly that it would mean a lot if he won the Cy Young. Also, Max has won 2 in a row. I think most writers are looking for someone new to win it. I think Max should win it. I think it is closer than earlier in the year but not that close.

I think Soto has to finish strong to have a chance at ROY. Dave Martinez has run him into the ground.

Part of me hope the Nats struggle to the finish line. I don't think Martinez should be back next year and a so-so .525 finish at the end will pretty much guarantee that he will be. They have been much healthier for the last 3-4 weeks and shocker they are still a .500 team. Yesterday was a prime example of how far the Nats have still to go. A big zero against Nola.

BxJaycobb said...

@Harper: Thesis: the entire difference between 16-17 an 18 (will be about 10 wins i expect) can be explained by 1 run game performance and strength of schedule from NL East. From a fangraphs article comment I saw:
“So much hand-wringing about the Nats’ season misses the main story: Their schedule went from absurdly soft in 2016-17 (MLB last and next-to-last in B-Ref’s strength of schedule) to neutral this year. You can see the difference in any number of opponent-W% splits, but the easiest is Nats vs. Atlanta and Philly:
— 25-13 average for 2016-17;
— 13-16 this year.
Those teams averaged (NOT including game vs Nats so don’t use that “it’s misleading!” excuse) .428 W% the last 2 years, .553 this year.
The Nats were built to beat what they’d faced before. But they faced better. My rough estimate is a drop of 6 wins to date just from schedule strength. And at 70-58, they’d be right in the thick of it.”
Then add a merely .500 record in the 1 run games and you account for basically entirety of drop-off. And that’s without difference in injuries.

PotomacFan said...

deGrom has been a beast. So, too, Max and Nola.

deGrom is on a bad team, and that hurts his W-L record.

But let's not forget, Max is on a 0.500 team (we always tend to think that the Nats are a good team -- not true this year), and he is 16 - 6, 10 games above .500. Max should get some credit for that. The rest of the Nats are 10 games below 0.500.

I don't think he'll get any credit for his solid hitting. The Cy Young award is for pitching.

Anonymous said...

"Meanwhile Acuna has put on a display of power we haven't seen from a rookie in a long while."

I hope this was supposed to be sarcastic given that Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger were rookies just last year. I'm willing to bet their very best power stretches last year were better than Acuna's recent (great) tear, though I'm not going to put in the effort to find out if that's true.

Ole PBN said...

Bx - interesting analysis, and I agree with it. Basically, its a pretty egocentric argument to think that if we lose, it simply due to us "losing the game, losing the season, etc." Never "the other team won, beat us." (gasp!)

Sammy Kent said...

After a two day tease the Nationals are back to being painful to watch. 18 scoreless innings since Zimmerman's walkoff. Ugh.

Harper said...

Everyone - Yes Nola is in the race. I think he's a clear third now, but is close enough to take over as a front runner in just two starts

BxJaycobb said...

He’s in the race. But I think it would be tough for him to leap ahead of both of them. Unless he finishes white hot and at least one of them has a bad September and the other finishes meh. Right now he’s not Number 1 at any meaningful stat—-2 and 3 at basically everything. Behind Max in Ws and Ks and IP (and will continue to be in latter two, maybe he can catch him in Ws) and WHIP. Behind DeGrom (and will continue to be) in run prevention. In other words, Nola isn’t going to finish as best in run prevention and he’s not going to have the K or K/BB or IP that Max has....so it will have to be some mix that compels voters. I think that if you toss Ws out the window (as you should) DeGrom will be the favorite end of year. He has done his job—preventing runs—better than anybody else this year...and it’s not like he’s leaned one some awesome defense. The Mets are putrid. If season ended today I would give it to him.

BxJaycobb said...

@Harper (and everyone). An analysis comparing Soto and Acuna, albeit from perspective of fantasy and who will be better next year. On another note, I feel like Davy is ruining Soto’s chances at ROY award (which still definitely exist....he has the same wRC+ as Acuña and similar WAR) by not giving him a day off.
https://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/juan-soto-vs-ronald-acuna/

Max David said...

After Felix Hernandez won the Cy Young with what a 12-11, 13-12 record some years back that set the precedent for future years I don't think the voters look at the "wins" as much as they used to. I hate to admit it, but as long as deGrom continues what he's doing and as long as Mickey Calloway leaves him in the rotation every 5-6 or even 7 days and he continues to put up zero's and ends the year with an ERA below 2 he's going to be tough to beat for Cy Young since he would've accomplished something not done in 50 years since Bob Gibson did it and they lowered the mound the next year....finish with a season era below 2.00. As Yogi would say "it's getting late early here" and deGrom's probably got what 6 or 7 starts left including 1 with the Cubs next week @ Wrigley and possibly 1 or 2 more with Philly, Atlanta and the Nats in DC so still time for him to blow up, but IF (and that's a big if) he finishes with an ERA below 2.00 deGrom should win, he'd have my vote if I could actually vote, lol. Max should win if deGrom blows up. Nola is definitely a distant 3rd, and really I can't see any path to how he wins - ok maybe 1 - he pitches lights out (no more than 2 earned runs in any of his remaining starts), Phillies win every one of those games getting him the win every game AND the Phillies win division/make playoffs. I could possibly see Nola getting the edge over his division rivals even though the voters aren't supposed to base it off whether team X made the playoffs, team Y didn't and team Z finished 20-142 but I think we all know that is bullcrap.


As for the ROY race I think Acuna has taken the lead on Soto into the home stretch but really as other posters have pointed out can we give Soto a game off here and there?? I mean I'm happy he's getting the ABs but does he really have to play all game every game or really every game every series when the team for all intents and purposes is toast?? I know it was 3 managers ago, but the last time we were in this predicament with a team playing out the string with a talented rookie spending the last bit of August with the team before September call ups Turner could barely sniff the field. I wish I could find it because it was 3 years ago, but I compared Turner's first 20 ABs to that of Trayce Thompson, than of the White Sox, on another board and it was astronomical how different it was. As I said I forgot what the exact totals were but I think Thompson had his first 20 ABs in like 6 games while it took Turner closer to 11 or 12 to reach 20 ABs. Obviously, I don't want Soto sitting 5 out of every 6 games or 6 out of every 7 games, but can it really hurt to sit him once a week, twice a week even??

Ty Miller said...

Homering every 3.83 games is the most frequent HR rate among every player ever before their age 21 season.

Kubla said...

@Max David

AFAIK Hernandez winning marks the only time in the last 15 years the winner wasn't at least top-5 in wins. Even then, he held the ERA, IP, and K leads, and even that year's NL CY winner was the W leader (pours out a little brew).

Do I think deGrom objectively should win the CY...probably. Do I think he will? Probably not. Will I be happy if Scherzer wins it despite thinking deGrom deserves it? Definitely, and I will use Ks and cherry-picked fancy stats to justify my totally biased opinion.

Max David said...

Edit from above re Thompson/Turner.

In their first 22 games in 2015: Thompson had 5 starts and 19 AB's in his first 22 games for comparisons sake Turner only had 1 start and 11 AB's in his first 22 games. Yes, Turner came up in late August while Soto has been up since May and has ingrained himself into the every day lineup he looks tired and just because you are an everyday player doesn't mean you actually play all 162, especially now when the team is toast. I mean, they just got shut out by a pitcher with a 7 ERA that if he were still pitching with the 90 loss Royals he'd be out of the rotation (see Ian Kennedy & Jason Hammel).

JE34 said...

Sweet jeebus Davey. How much more do you want to pile on Juan Soto's shoulders? Big RBI chances are finding him, and he is pressing, and it's not going well. He is 19, for crying out pete's sake. Why is it so difficult for this manager to grasp that the kid needs a day off? It's visible from space.

Of course they all seem to be playing with tightened sphincters with hitting with runners on base.

Johnny Callison said...

Hope Davey doesn't mess up Juan. Davey doesn't seem to push the right buttons very often.

Ole PBN said...

25 innings without scoring a run. Ha. Hahaha! Man... to quote Sebastian Maniscalco: “Aren’t you embarrassed??”

Froggy said...

Hey, trade away the best hitter on the team (Murphy) and a guy who eats up righties (Adams) and you wonder why the offense stinks.

Thanks Rizzo.

TwoGloves said...

Wow, back to back shut out losses to the Metsies, and deGrom didn’t pitch! Hey Nats, how low can you go?

Jay said...

Is there any question that Davey and staff have to go? Kevin Long is sort of awful. Lilliquist is most definitely awful. Part of me was hoping the Nats would stink down the stretch. I was worried if they did fair-to-midling that the Nats front office would just chalk everything up to injuries (which were bad) and leave the team pretty much intact. They are a .500 team at best as currently constituted.

The mere fact that Davey may be ruining Soto at this point is enough reason for him to go. Soto has had two games off since he was called up. One was July 4 against Boston and he pink hit. The other was June 12 against CC Sabathia and the Yankees. Two days off.

Also, do we really think Acuna is the second coming of Babe Ruth or growth hormone-enhanced Barry Bonds? He's a great player. He should probably win the ROY at this point. Trying to argue he is the greatest home run hitter ever at his age actually hurts the argument imo.

Here's to hoping they hire a real manager next year.

Sammy Kent said...

Baker/Jones/Maddux > Martinez/Long/Lilliquist

For that matter,

Mo/Larry/Curly > Martinez/Long/Lilliquist

Shelton said...

Per Kolko, Davey went to Soto this morning, asked him if he wanted the day off, Soto said no, so Soto will play. Does it not concern anyone else, even if only a little bit, that we have a manager who lets a 19 year-old rookie tell him what to do? Imagine Maddon, Bochy, Francona, doing that.....

JE34 said...

[head explodes]

There is no one in charge of this tragicomedy. The 19 year old gets to decide when he plays? How can Dave Martinez possibly be retained in 2019?

Crap - he signed a 3 year deal.

30 scoreless innings in, and Zim hits a leadoff double. Does the team make an effort to move him to 3rd? No. The 19 year old with the great eye hits the first pitch he sees to short. K, pop up, and the streak lives. They continue to waste excellent starting pitching.

Charlie and Dave getting distracted and talking about non baseball topics is the only thing keeping me tuned in.

Johnny Callison said...

Shelton:

It seems that being a players' manager is Martinez's main strategy. We've seen it with Zim's invisible spring training, Gio's tantrum over being taken out of games leading to all the starters being left in too long, forgiving Harper for swinging for the fences on a 3-1 pitch he should have taken, etc. It's clearly a weakness because it creates a situation where you have 25 managers. Occasionally, a lower level player has been taken to the woodshed (Severino got busted for his bat flip; the trading of the two K's in late July), but Davey M has been unable to lead Harper, Zim, Rendon, Turner, etc. So the Nats don't seem like a team. They have been a collection of puzzling stats that don't quite add up.

Soto has probably never played this many games under this much pressure in his life. A day off would just let him take a breath.

Max David said...

Yesterday on Twitter I sent a couple of tweets not really defending Martinez per say but put more of the blame on Rizzo and the Lerner's for this disaster that has unfolded this year with the main point being "With how spectuarly this experiment failed in 2015 with a rookie manager it was completely asinine to think only a few years later with roughly the same main core around that it was going to somehow succeed this year, injuries be dammed. This season had disaster written all over it when it was announced back in October that Dusty wouldn't be getting his contract renewed. And than the Yankees threw them a life preserver when they were floating adrift in the Pacific Ocean with the Girardi firing that the Nats didn't take" (and really I knew the Lerner's weren't going to pay him anyways, so it was all false hope) And with my second point being what is Martinez supposed to say when he gets interviewed?? No, I don't want this job right now, give it to me in 2019 when expectations won't nearly be as high, but not in 2018?? Of course not! I know the GM is hamstrung by the penny-pinching owners, but that was an awful hire right from the start. A perfect landing spot for Davey this year would have been the Tigers or White Sox, 2 rebuilding teams, next to nothing expectation wise, so you jump into the kiddie pool, get your feet wet, learn on the fly from games that for all intents and purposes are meaningless, and nobody cares if you win 50 games or 80 games, because nobody expects you to win more than 70 (and even that's pushing it) and by the time July rolls around they are all onto football anyways, so nobody gives a crap about the middling baseball teams, so if Martinez screws up in a game the last week of September for a team that is 70-92, nobody will give a flying **** because nobody will be watching/following. If he wanted to sit out a year I think he would've been an OK hire for the Royals or Blue Jays next year after Ned Yost & John Gibbons inevitable get fired/resign (Yost will probably resign, I can see Gibbons going either way). More pressure, especially the Blue Jays, but those will also be 2 rebuilding teams with not a lot expected from them in 2019 either.

Max David said...

And for some reason I couldn't post the second half earlier

So, after that epic rant, and props if you actually read that, here's how I see is at fault for this season:

12.5% players. Zim, I think was the one that stated it best "the players still have to perform at an elite level." Every team deals with injuries find me a team where at least TWO projected opening day starters & one projected starting pitcher haven't gone to the 10 day DL at some point in the season. And next man up mentality. Magnaress (however you spelled his name) Sierra, Andrew Stevenson, Pedro Severino, Wilmer Difo, etc. should be nipping at the heels, and when their number gets called they should be excited to be given the opportunity to play, to make sure when the starter comes back management has a tough decision ahead because I am playing so well that they can't take me out of the lineup. Prime example of that was Matt Adams in Atlanta last year. When Freeman was able to come back, Adams was playing so well that they had to open up a position on the field for him so both Freeman and Adams could be starters which is why I think Freeman started a handful of games at 3rd base last year. Eventually Adams turned back into a pumpkin and that experiment ended, but he gave himself the opportunity to continuing starting every day.

12.5% Davey Martinez. Yes, I've tried to defend him, and some of his moves have been baffling (is that story true Shelton, did Soto really tell him no I don't want to sit out??) but that's what you have coaches for.

25% Mike Rizzo. For making the same mistake he made in 2014.

50% Lerner's. That's who I blame most of this $#!t sandwich season on. THEY were the ones that didn't want Dusty back, THEY were the ones that weren't going to pay for a Joe Girardi, Mike Matheny (after he got fired), THEY are the ones that won't pay top dollar for a manager, THEY are the ones that won't add payroll in season so we are stuck with what we have or have to search the scrap heap for bum's like Greg Holland, THEY are the main reason why this team will not be in the 2018 playoffs.

G Cracka X said...

A wounded tiger is a dangerous animal...

Sammy Kent said...

Mark Zuckerman wrote:

"Over the last four days, the Nats outscored their opponents 15-8. Alas, their record over those four days was 1-3.
“That’s baseball,” Martinez said."

No, Davey. That's NATIONALS baseball. Symptomatic of this franchise for years; but worse than ever in 2018.

"That's baseball." Same old trite, pat answer to everything. Listening to Davey Martinez is like a flashback to my childhood when I could pour my heart out to my dad over some depression I had and he'd say "Snap out of it." It was automatic. No matter what, just snap out of it. That's baseball, indeed.

Kubla said...

I'd rather have Martinez caving to Soto about playing time than Dusty listening to Werth.

If you look at the play-by-play in Saturday's 3-0 loss to the Mets, it really is an example of s*** happens: lineouts and double plays. If anything, the managerial mistakes were in taking the small-ball actions that he gets criticized for doing too little of by Dusty Stans (i.e. sac bunts and aggressive baserunning).

The blocked Lerners are clueless said...

"50% Lerner's. That's who I blame most of this $#!t sandwich season on. THEY were the ones that didn't want Dusty back, THEY were the ones that weren't going to pay for a Joe Girardi, Mike Matheny (after he got fired), THEY are the ones that won't pay top dollar for a manager, THEY are the ones that won't add payroll in season so we are stuck with what we have or have to search the scrap heap for bum's like Greg Holland, THEY are the main reason why this team will not be in the 2018 playoffs."


After watching the Blocked Lerners make the same stupid decisions over 7 consecutive seasons exactly what makes you think that things will be any different over the next 7 consecutive seasons? The Washington Underachievers have been a popular pick to win The World Series in several different seasons over the last 7 years, and they can't win a 5 game NLDS.

The refusal of the ownership to correctly identify and aggressively address the obvious deficiencies of the team is amazing. Until the Blocked Lerners figure out how to win in the post season and allow the GM to properly address the deficiencies, this short sighted ownership will never win anything meaningful.

Ole PBN said...

The Lerner’s are definitely at the top of the list when it comes to blame for this season. But the fact that they’re team is consistently picked to win the WS is a testament to the success of the team that they helped put on the field no? I mean I give the lions share of credit to Rizzo for that but it’s the Lerner’s who also opened their wallet for these guys. At the time we enter the NLDS each year, who is screaming: “this team isn’t good enough and it’s ownership’s fault our team won’t win this series!” Really? Every year we made the playoffs, I thought we had as good a chance as any team on it to go all the way. It’s the PLAYERS and sometimes the manager who’ve ruined that dream.

And also, do you mean “Blockhead Lerners?” Blocked Lerners doesn’t make any sense, blocked by whom?

Sammy Kent said...

Neither does "The Lerner's" make any sense. The Lerner's what? Who is "The Lerner" and what does he own? Do you mean "The Lerners?" If you're going to be a Grammar Nazi, better get it right yourself. Otherwise you look like a blocked. ;-)

Anonymous said...

When a (presumably) human being who (presumably) watches baseball sometimes writes a rant in which he or she openly pines for Mike Matheny to manage his or her favorite team, something has gone terribly wrong.

Baseball Axiom #1: Mike Matheny is never the answer to any managerial problems.
Baseball Corollary #1: As bad as you think the manager of your favorite team is, Mike Matheny is worse.

Jay said...

I think it was supposed to be some type of "blocked" curse word is my guess. Also, I agree that Mike Matheny is never the answer.

The Lerners are part of the problem - won't spend for a manager, cut corners on the bullpen, won't add to payroll in season. They are also part of the success - spending for Max, Strasburg, even Werth. Hopefully, they can do better at paying managers better and not short cutting other areas.