Nationals Baseball: Going on vacation

Friday, August 09, 2013

Going on vacation

I'll say hi to the Nationals offense when I see it.

A couple people said they liked Boz's column and you know what, that's ok!  It was a good column. It was a right column (well most of it was). It was just at the wrong time.  If the Nats were fighting for a division crown or even a WC spot than that column works. You want to be the best team you can. The Nats disregard for stolen bases is comical and their skill in performing basic baseball tasks could be improved.  Is it something that could make a difference in more than say, 1 to 3 games?  Probably not. But when you are fighting for a specific spot then 1 or 2 or 3 games really matter. The goal of the organization should be to maximize their chances to win prior to the situation by putting together the best team & best minor league system they can, getting them to play as well as they can,  and then seeing what happens.

Problem is now the Nats aren't fighting for anything. 1 to 2 to 3 games don't matter. So the column is complaining about the location of the band-aid on the sliced artery. You can maximize it but it's still not solving the problem (unless your goal is .500)

I want to reiterate something that is just remarkable to me. One month ago the Nats were only 4 games out of first.  That's right. On the morning of  July 8th the Nats were only 4 games behind the Braves. (they were also 4 games out of the 2nd WC).  In 30 days they lost 11.5 games of ground. That is hard to do.  Even more amazing to me on July 28th the Nats were 8.5 games out. They lost 4.5 games to the Braves in three weeks. In the next 10 days they lost 7 games. SEVEN! (The Nats have actually lost "only" 6 games in this time frame but the Braves won on both the Nats days off)

It's just crazy how this season, where the Nats basically spent 10 weeks trailing the Braves by 6 games or so, suddenly ended in the span of 10 days.


cass said...

Just goes to show that if the Nats had gone on a winning streak like the Braves did and the Braves scuffled like the Nats, the Nats would now have the lead in the division and the Braves would be close behind.

Didn't happen that way. Season's over. Time to maximize draft position and hopefully get a protected pick.

Bote Man said...

I blame Khalil Greene!

d28 said...

I read that Dan Haren is on waivers. What does this mean for the team? I thought they are short on starters at the moment.

Skippy said...

Ref Haren (if true), it means his contract is up at the end of the year and if they can get someone of any value now instead of nothing...we take it.

Chas R said...

Where did you read Haren is on waivers? He is scheduled to pitch tonight... against Lannan (!)

Have a good vacation, Harper. When will you back?

cass said...

They put lots of players on waivers. Standard procedure. Doesn't mean he'll be traded. Just that they could trade him if he passes through. But lots of players get put on waivers every year and don't get traded.

Harper said...

cass - yeah but we suffer from the underdog fallacy. If you trail by 3 games deep in a season, sure you can make up those 3 games real quickly. But it's more likely, assuming the season so far isn't misleading, that the team ahead will GAIN 3 games real quickly. And the bigger the lead, the later the season the greater the difference becomes. Behind by 10 games in late August? Far more likely you'll find yourself 20 games out by end of season than even.

The Nats were worse than the Braves. The 100 games that came first weren't misleading.

Bote Man - never a bad strategy.

d28 & rest - Yes, Haren through waivers is pretty standard. Hell you could put everyone on waivers if you wanted. You don't have to ever deal them. You don't do this though because you don't want to offend and you don't want to bother say telling the Marlins "no, we really don't want to trade you Bryce Harper and Steven Strasburg"

What it does is either shed Haren's remaining salary (if one claim was put in), gauge current interest in a deal (if muiltiple claims were put in) or allow you to deal him to anyone if he cleared waivers (if no claims were put in).

Haren has looked pretty decent recently. He could fetch a late season deal for some B-level minor league prospect if there's a late season SP injury which would be good enough to pull the trigger in my book.

Anonymous said...

That Boswell article is the reason why I hate mainstream sports journalism. It was a hacky, B.S. article. I hate when sportswriters take one little thing (Gio not getting a bunt down) and making it fit a narrative (the Nats aren't a fundamentally sound baseball team and THAT'S why they are bad this year). Also, the article completely discounted Gio pitching a great game. 2 runs in 7 innings should get the job done a large percentage of the time, even if he doesn't get a bunt down ever.

Fitting a narrative to what happens is hacky, Rick Reilly-esque journalism and that was my main issue with the article. Very little real, tangible, analysis.

Anonymous said...

The Nats are bad this year simply because they suck. Rizzo's an idiot. They were trying to count on LaRoche to be a power bat when all he's been his entire career is a ~.250 hitter that'll knock about 20 over the wall each year. And that's fine, but they shouldn't expect him to be Ortiz or Fielder. Plus, they have nothing on the right side of the plate besides Werth. When you only have one right handed power bat, you're asking for trouble. Mix that in with a bad bullpen, and your starters are left without a paddle.

This season was over by June. You don't scuffle around at .500 and win divisions, especially when you don't have a leader, and everyone's just looking for someone else to step up.

Chas R said...

Did you guys see this article on Sweet Spot Network:

No mention of the Espi and Storen sagas, but other than that seems reasonably accurate. Now, the question remains, what do you try to fix with all these little things that are broken. Will some fix themselves?

Higsy said...

I'd be interested to see what Billy Beane would have to say about Boz's article. My guess is he'd say something to the effect of, "You idiots assembled a team that gets out 70% of the time they come to the plate and expect them to hit enough one run homers to win more than they lose."

The Nats have some great players and have had some bad luck, but as far as I can tell, they were unrealistically good last year, so 100 wins was a foolish expectation. Plus, their record is actually better than their batting statistics would project. Thanks to the starting pitchers.

Find yourself some guys who get on base, Mike Rizzo. Harper, Werth, Zimm, and Desmond get on base reasonably well and are fan favorites. I'd say get rid of anyone else you can. We're not talking about the A's, who will never have the money to have big name players. We have 2-4 big name hitters (depending on whom you ask) who would be well served by having men on base when they hit.