Friday, July 6, 2012

The Washington Nationals ?????

It's July the 6th. We have reached the half way point of the season and the Washington Nationals are in first place, 16 games over .500. Meanwhile, over in the NL Central, the Pittsburg Pirates are in first place. To quote Slim Pickens' Taggart.."What in the wide wide world of sports is a'goin' on here?"

As far as the Pirates are concerned...I have no earthly idea. I haven't watched a single one of their games all year. All I know is they have a ton of young players nobody has ever heard of and some decent pitchers. But they are the Pirates for goodness sake. They are a franchise that has compiled 19 straight losing seasons, an all-time record for a professional team of any sport in North America. I can name one player on their roster ( Andrew McCutchen ), which is saying something since I can name practically every position player on the Kansas City Royals. I know, I know..that's actually pretty pathetic. There is life outside of baseball, I'm told!

But the Washington Nationals are another story all together. Ever since the team moved to Washington, all of their games have been pumped into my living room via MASN. I confess to having watched their ineptitude  for quite awhile now. About halfway through last season, the front office fired the manager Jim Riggleman, and replaced him with 110 year old Davey Johnson. That's right, a very old man with a child's name..Davey. LOVE IT!! Since then, the team has responded to the old man in ways difficult to imagine. After all, The Washington Nationals franchise is the only one in the entire league that has never even competed in a world series. It's tag-line used to be..Washington..first in our hearts, last in the National League. Well, that was before they called up a 19 year old kid named Bryce Harper, and signed the flame-thrower Stephen Strasburg. Now, they are fun to watch. Harper runs the bases like his hair is on fire, the middle infielders, Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa vacuum up everything hit their way, and their bullpen is lights out...even though their closer is the goofiest, skinniest freak you've ever seen, made freakier by the fact that he wears glasses. Just last night, the boys racked up their 19th walk-off victory over the past two seasons, leading all of baseball. They have done all of this as their best player, Ryan Zimmerman, has been in a season long hitting slump, and their 126 million dollar free agent has-been, Jayson Werth languishes on the 60 day DL.

At this point, I feel obliged to point out that in my prediction's blog of March 17, 2012, I boldly predicted that the Nationals would indeed make the playoffs.