Posted on October 6, 2014
Some random thoughts on the Washington Nationals game from Saturday night:
- I left at the end of the 9th inning. I was freezing my butt off and they stopped serving beer. I had a feeling the game was going to go on for a while. They stopped serving beer. It was my idea to leave, not my wife’s idea. We went to a local bar, where they were still serving beer, where there was no epic line for the bathroom and where it was warm. We stayed at the bar until the end of the game. Maybe I am not Superfan, but I was warm and I had ready access to beer. This is the definition of pragmatism over principle. The principled Nats fans froze their butts off without beer. The pragmatic Nats fans stayed warm and drank beer.
- Based on my three years of coaching Little League and my relatively short career as a high school baseball player, let me give Matt Williams some advice: When Jordan Zimmerman is pitching a gem and is on a roll, leave him in.
- Let me take some of the blame for Storen’s blown save. I was at the game in 2012, wearing shorts and flip-flops, wearing the same Nats shirt, when Storen blew the last playoff game he pitched in. Like that game, I made a critical miscalculation about the weather, and I froze my butt off. I will take the blame.
- I’m just kidding. It’s not my fault. It’s Denard Span’s fault. And Jayson Werth. And Adam LaRoche. And Bryce Harper. They sucked. They were 0 for one thousand. They kept swinging for the fences, instead of selecting their pitches, working the count and poking the ball up the middle, like Anthony Rendon (and the San Francisco Giants) did. I am the hitting coach for my son’s Little League team, so I feel I am qualified to offer this advice.
- I am glad that Matt Williams and the second baseman Cabrera (I don’t know how to spell his first name), got tossed for arguing the balls and strikes of the umpire, because it shed an important light on the real culprit of this loss. The umpire. It’s always best to blame the umpire in these circumstances. Either the umpire or Steve Bartman.
- Talking about blaming a fan, some pundits have taken to blaming the Nats fans for either (1) Waving those stupid white towels, which clearly distracts the hitters (2) Not standing up enough during the game (and thus blocking the view of my son, at least in the first game) (3) Not being sufficiently knowledgeable about the game (4) Not sticking around for all 18 innings (which I think is easily remedied if they continue to serve beer throughout the game). This is stupid self-flagellation because clearly there is only one reason why the Nats lost. And that’s because:
- Ryan Zimmerman is not playing enough. They need his bat, his leadership, but especially his bat. Ah, but where to put him. I would put Zimm in left, put Harper (he of the titanic home-run) in center and then put Span on the bench, and let him think about the fact that he doesn’t have a hit in the playoffs.
- I am glad that we talked through this together.