Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Every team slumps...

I'm going to try to calm down. Boswell's e-mail column today, while nothing terribly insightful, reminded me of a few things we need to remember.

Here are some excerpts:

"Witnessing a team-wide hitting slump, like the one that has engulfed the Nats, would be comic if it were not so sad to watch."

"So, it's time to panic, right? The Nationals are doomed to turn into the '04 Expos and lose 95 games. Though the team is still slightly over .500, hopes for a decent season are just a delusion. Clutch hitting will be a nemesis for the entire season, right?"

"Actually, no."

"What Washington baseball fans are about to learn, though perhaps painfully, is that over 162 games there is no such thing as a 'normal' Nationals teams. Every team is many different teams during a season."

"When a team is going through a losing streak, fans seldom notice what's going right. They see what's failing. That's natural. And the reverse is true as well. When the Nats were winning low-scoring one-run games at home last week, the story was the 'true grit of a spunky team.'"

"For example, right now nothing of consequence is actually wrong with the Nats' batting order. Despite all the well-publicized injuries, many to pitchers or second-line players, the Nats were able to field their Opening Day lineup Tuesday with the exception of Jose Vidro. And Jaime Carroll [sic], hitting .284, is as good a utility replacement for Vidro as any team could want for a few weeks. That night's lineup of Wilkerson, Carroll, Johnson, Guillen, Castilla, Church, Schneider and Guzman is perfectly acceptable for a team with sensible aspirations of winning 75-to-85 games."

"But the whole bunch of 'em are pressing. They're not trying too little, but rather, trying too much."

"In baseball, when you think you know what will happen next, when you think you can extrapolate the present trend far into the future, that's when the game surprises you the most. Right now the Nationals look like they are about to be fed into the toughest meat-grinder section of their schedule. After an off-day, they must face the three best teams in the National League -- St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida -- in nine [ten, actually] straight games."

"One of the oldest but truest sayings in baseball is, 'A team is never as good as it looks when it is winning and never as bad as it looks when it is losing.' The Nationals weren't as good as they looked when, just a few days ago, they were five games over .500...."

"And they're not nearly as bad they've looked while losing back-to-back series in Toronto and Cincinnati."

We definitely need to keep in mind one thing Boz alluded to. As fans, we project the current trend far into the future. The Nats were winning a lot of games last week, and we thought that they would steamroll Toronto and Cincinnati.

We got killed by Toronto and Cincinnati. Now we think St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida will crush us over the next ten games. And we probably are right.

But we might be wrong. Here's hoping...


Blogger El Gran Color Naranja said...

I got a problem with one thing. No lineup with Guzman batting is "perfectly acceptable". The sooner we get the Great and Powerful Boz to realize that the better.

12:55 AM  
Blogger Rocket1124 said...

Guzman sucks, I sure hope he realizes that.

But the lineup ain't half bad if .500 is your goal.

8:38 AM  
Blogger Basil said...

That begs a fascinating question, though: does the good start change the goal?

Or, phrased another way, at which point do we throw our hands up in the air and say, "Good enough"?

9:06 AM  

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