When the Nationals go in and sweep a team for the first time since September, the victimized team has to take a real look around and assess what’s going on. Unable to cope with the embarrassment of losing an entire series to the team with the 4th-worst record in baseball (the worst is owned by the team who was just swept, tied for 2nd worst were the NL Champs last year and the always-present-on-this-list Royals). Seattle fired Bavasi, who has made a number of terrible moves over his tenure. Besides trading for Jose Vidro to DH, and signing Brad Wilkerson, he gave big deals to Beltre and Sexson, and probably overpaid for Ichiro. Altogether, the team has as much ability to score runs as the Nationals, only without the hope that some day the players would grow a little and get better. All they had to look forward to was decay.
This offseason, they made a big splash trading for Erik Bedard, and everyone though that was the key to their winning. King Felix and Bedard, and they’d make the playoffs. The Nats could have both of those players, they still wouldn’t be a playoff team, yet that is what everyone seemed to think could happen with the Mariners. Of course, I said I didn’t think they had enough, but I also thought the Mets would cruise to an NL East championship, so what do I know.
It just goes to show that numbers don’t lie, even if they are inaccurate sometimes. Last season, the Mariners had an improbable winning record, despite scoring less runs than they allowed, and were actually in the wild card race with virtually the same lineup that they had this season. The lesson here is just because you get lucky once, or even for one season, don’t expect that luck will continue the next time. Relying on luck, rather than assembling a team that can score enough runs is just stupid and it will come back to bite you.
In terms of the Nats, I really was going to write about what helped them win this weekend. But The Nationals Journal did a great job. I would put #4 as #1 though, I think the fact that the first 3 guys are hitting at the same time is the most important thing right now. Regardless, Mariners fans owe a debt of gratitude to the Nats for helping end Bavasi’s time there. In exchange, we’ll take Felix Hernandez for Johnny Estrada, and call it even.
Mystery of the Missing Jerseys
In other news, I got an e-mail from a reader yesterday who said that there was supposed to be a promotion this Sunday – a kids jersey giveaway for the first 10,000 kids 14 and under. And now that promotion is gone. Gone from the website, no record of it exists. I have no ability to verify this, does anyone know what happened here? Did anyone get tickets thinking they were going to a promotion game? If so, let me know.
And while we’re on the subject of jersey’s, a few months ago I whined about how the Royals were giving away jerseys. Meanwhile the Nats say idly by and gave away t-shirts with Abe Lincoln’s picture on it. Now, I have seen that the A’s are doing the same thing, giving away a Vida Blue 70s retro jersey. I can’t tell from the picture whether it is a jersey or a t-shirt, but either way, it is a great giveaway. The Royals one, by the way, was almost definitely a real replica jersey, judging by the buttons. SO I ASK YOU WASHINGTON NATIONALS – WHEN DO WE GET OUR SUPER AWESOME PROMOTIONAL JERSEYS WITH BUTTONS?