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The Nats and the junkheap


(By Toni L. Sandys - TWP)


The Nationals' rise to something sunnier than mediocrity has yielded lots of amazing numbers, and will surely yield lots more for as long as it continues.

This, though, is one of the greatest. Fabulous local columnist Thom Loverro -- now writing for ESPN980.com -- calculated that pitchers responsible for 189 of the Nats' 323 322 starts in 2008 and 2009 were no longer on Major League rosters as of last week. As in, out of the big leagues. That means for 59 percent of their games, the Nats trotted out a starting pitcher who would not be an MLB player within two years. The only two pitchers who started for the Nats in 2008 and are currently in the Majors are John Lannan (31 starts) and Tyler Clippard (two).

"When you look at the 2009 Nationals -- and taking it a step further, a look back at the 2008 squad -- it makes you ask not how those teams lost more than 100 games each of those two seasons," Loverro writes. "The question is, how did they manage to win more than 50 games each of those years?"

The numbers don't get any less grisly as his report progresses. A total of 16 guys who pitched a combined 362 times out of the 2009 bullpen are gone from the Majors. Ditto for 15 relievers from the 2008 team. Eleven position players from the 2008 Nats are out of the bigs, and eight from 2009.

"The standard for what passed as a major league player was finally raised in the organization to a legitimate level, following the departure of a general manager who is currently not in a major league front office," Loverro writes.

Please read his full report here.

Incidentally, Byron Kerr sounded a similar theme on MASNSports.com this week, and he's getting sort of excited:

No longer will the Nats front office allow mediocre (or worse) play. If they are not getting what they need from a particular player or area of the team, they make a change....

With apologies to George Constanza, The "Summer of Nats" begins now. Dates for you to remember: May 16 --- Drew Storen. June 4 -- Stephen Strasburg makes first start. June 7 -- Bryce Harper drafted.

Not 2011. Right now. 2010. The Nats are going for it.

With or without Kory Casto, Kip Wells and Brian Bruney, apparently.

One final note: I was too over-the-top in my Dibble item last week. Yes, the arrrrrrrggggghs and whooooooooeeeeees and Get Ups! annoy me, but I watched the entire 2nd half of Saturday's double-header, and Dibble repeatedly agreed with umpires' calls that worked against the Nats. So my apologies. Arrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhh!

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 17, 2010; 3:01 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Nats  
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Comments

Thank you for admitting defeat. His best line was a gapper and him saying, at the top of his voice, GOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Posted by: BurgwithaU | May 17, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Thanks again, Lerners/Kasten/Bowden!

Posted by: Kev29 | May 17, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"The question is, how did they manage to win more than 50 games each of those years?"

It's a miracle.

Posted by: joebleux | May 17, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Losing games was the intention with the goals being Strasburg and Harper.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | May 17, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

And another question worth asking is how in the world did Manny Acta get a three year contract in Cleveland and Jim Riggleman only a one year deal?

Posted by: CHAMP1464 | May 17, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

This is so true.

-----

"The standard for what passed as a major league player was finally raised in the organization to a legitimate level, following the departure of a general manager who is currently not in a major league front office," Loverro writes.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 17, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't the above information suggest that Manny wasn't really the problem? To be successful with the 2008 and 2009 rosters would be like turning straw into gold.

I understand the arguments against Acta, and I think the club was right to let him go. But Joe Torre would have had a hard time avoiding 100 losses with these clubs.

I'm grateful for what Riggleman brings to this team. But I'm more grateful for the team that Rizzo has brought to Riggleman.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 17, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Dan you were not over the top about Dibble. He is not very good at this job. I think it is because he doesn't prepare for it. I'm going to have to be brutal and honest here; he is a cheerleader who only tells stories about himself and sadly doesn't seem to know the details and depth of the game. I'd want Dibble as the guy I hang out with watching the game with brews in hand; not guy to give color commentary and perspective about the game within the game. Yearrrrggggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!

Posted by: Nataholic | May 17, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

You buried the lede: "Loverro gets new gig, continues covering DC sports" was news to me, as a fan following DC sports from afar, and very good news at that.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | May 17, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

@JohninMPls"I'm grateful for what Riggleman brings to this team. But I'm more grateful for the team that Rizzo has brought to Riggleman."
------------------------
Well said, my friend, well said.

Posted by: souldrummer | May 17, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Thom Load-verro is on the junk heap of writers now himself, no longer writing for a major league publication. Oh wait, he never did. His is one voice I surely don't miss.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 17, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Kudos for acknowledging you might have yourself been "over-the-top" in your criticism of Dibble's over-the-top fanboyness. Dibble can be annoying at times, but in many ways is far more authentic than other hometown announcers who put on out a false image of objectivity.

Keep up the good work, Dan.

Posted by: jmnewman87 | May 17, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I'll never understand how they didn't lose 100+ in 2007 either.

Posted by: VelocityAtrocity | May 17, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I can't help it I find Dibble infuriating. First he calls everybody a kid (except Livo and Pudge). He's inconsistent in his critiques of pitching; He never lets up on a point. He ignores the video evidence from a replay saying a pitch is on the black when the replay shows it a foot outside. He's arrogant and overbearing. Thank God for the mute button

Posted by: jmwolgin | May 18, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Quoth Loverro: "So the 2010 Washington Nationals are better if, for no other reason, the standard for what passed as a major league player was finally raised in the organization to a legitimate level, following the departure of a general manager who is currently not in a major league front office."

Ouch, man. Cuttin' deep.

Posted by: info_stuporhighway | May 18, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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