Dear readers, there is no denying it. The 2009 Washington Nationals are a complete embodiment of the new, hip and devastatingly adroit four-letter word dominating the interwebs. And that word is FAIL.
The Natinals‘ pitching is atrocious. Their defense is vomit inducing. Their front office is turbulent.
And, worst of all, Teddy Roosevelt still can’t win a race.
But this is U.S. America, my friends. And in U.S. America, we U.S. Americans can do anything we put our minds to… well, anything except provide universal health care, halt military action in Iraq and establish a sound domestic economy, of course.
Yet I have faith in the future of this franchise. They can hit. The Zimmerman/Dunn centerpiece in D.C. provides a solid foundation. Indeed, there is hope.
Because if someone can take this:
And make this:
…then miracles are possible!
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, failure becomes inevitable. For instance, the Detroit Lions. Seriously, was anyone surprised that they lost all 16 of their games? Not me, that’s for sure. And the rogue’s gallery of inevitable failures includes many other hallowed names like Michael Dukakis, Bill Buckner and the entire city of Cleveland.
But it’s always amusing and somewhat awe-inspiring when you get to see one of these failures in the making. And this year, we have that opportunity. This season, the Washington Nationals, despite the acquisition of Adam Dunn and the re-signing of Ryan Zimmerman, are currently on pace to lose 161 games. I assume they’ll pick up another one or two wins along the way but this is a team that just seems built to lose.
And it’s not just the losing. The Nationals also consistently find new ways to humiliate themselves. I mean, Elijah Dukes didn’t start yesterday because he showed up
late on account of his signing autographs for little kids! And it gets better. Giving up four runs in the ninth to the Marlins is one thing but not even being able to get your team’s name correct on their uniforms is a whole new level of failure.
Despite all that, I’m not completely convinced that the Nationals have claimed their place in the pantheon of losers. Have they achieved Cubs level futility with that ignominious 100 year drought hanging over their heads? Are they really 2008 Detroit Lions terrible? Frankly, I have to admit that the Nats haven’t quite earned those comparisons at this point. Their failure isn’t epic like the Cubs and isn’t quite as pathetic as the Lions. But, they do have company:
Yep, that seems about right.
-“Natinals” photo via FanIQ
-“Boxer” video via Every Day Should be Saturday
Sunday afternoon I had my first opportunity to hit the ballpark, soak up some rays, drink a few beers and enjoy watching the Nats as they entertained the visiting Cubs. However, as they say, sometimes the best laid plans of mice and men…..
Turns out that after a week of ridiculous heat and asthma inducing humidity, the weather gods decided to turn things on their head a little bit and go more for the mid-50’s with mist sort of atmosphere. And I’m not going to lie. When you’re sitting in the upper upper deck, way out in left field and that wind starts to blow off the Potomac, it ain’t pretty. And it wasn’t. But, I’m a trooper so I got decked out in my Sunday finest and headed for Nationals Park.
What can I say? It’s a new-fangled ballpark. They serve mixed drinks, they have Ben’s Chili Bowl and the seats aren’t too nasty yet. The game was a close-fought contest and the Nats prevailed. There were a couple of spectacular plays by Reed Johnson of the Cubs in centerfield and Ryan Zimmerman of the Nats at third.
But in the end, although I love visiting new parks, there’s really only one place that I consider home when it comes to watching baseball: Comerica Park. And yes, I know it’s new and I know it replaced Tiger’s Stadium which was a classic old ballpark. But you know what? When it comes to the Tigers, I don’t think they can do any wrong. This is a team that made me accept Gary Sheffield as one of our own despite the fact that I still picture him in Yankee pinstripes. And I just don’t have anything close to that affinity for either the Cubs or the Nats. The closest thing I could come up with is that the enemy of the enemy of my friend is my friend. But, that’s a pretty tenuous connection.
So, as it stands, I’m just going to have to sit tight and enjoy baseball as I can. But don’t worry. The Tigers come to Baltimore in July and I haven’t been to Camden Yards yet. The Olde English “D” will be flying free in the Chesapeake Bay breezes. Of that you can be sure.