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The significance of not losing 100

Morning brushback

The Nationals last night ensured they will not lose 100 games, which, depending on one's perspective, is a meaningful signpost or an unimportant sidenote. The cosmetic significance of win No. 63 means the Nationals don't have to stare at triple digits in their loss column. The real significance?

"There's none," reliever Tyler Clippard said. "It's a non-successful season regardless if you lose 100 or 95 or 90. It Doesn't matter. If you're in last, it's not good. So it has no significance, really."

On the other side was John Lannan. He's been through two 100-loss seasons, and even a measly 63 is already four more than last year. It's not good by any means, but even a small step is a step.

"It's cool just to see progress," Lannan said. "Even though it's small, we're progressing. Our bullpen's done such a great job. We've got guys stepping up. And our starting rotation is starting to take a little bit of form. So just a little bit of improvement, we're still a young team, and we're going through some growing pains and it's not going to happen overnight. This not getting 100 losses is pretty big for us."

The difference between 100 and 99 is the same as, say, 98 and 97, but it's also not. There is a certain stigma to losing 100. Given the Nationals 20-15 start, it took some putrid baseball to wait this long for their 63rd win. But at least that much will save them from extra infamy.

"I guess when the season is over, nobody wants play on a 100-game loser," Adam Kennedy said. "You don't want to be a part of that. It just makes for a rough year. It's rough enough as it is. You get to that point, it's tough. Hopefully, we can get it to 10 or 11 from 100."

FROM THE POST

The Nationals' seven-run eighth inning led to an 8-4 victory over the Astros that ensured the Nationals won't lose 100 games.

FROM AROUND THE WEB

Last included a surprising rally and a surprising finish, Mark Zuckerman writes.

Some surging players fueled the rally, Ben Goessling writes.

Bill Ladson takes a crack at what the Nationals 2011 roster may look like.

By Adam Kilgore  | September 22, 2010; 8:55 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brushback  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Why Jim Riggleman pulled Drew Storen
Next: Nationals renew agreement with Hagerstown

Comments

Hey Gang-Hope springs eternal....the Pirates won last night, leaving the Nats as the only team in MLB without a winning streak of FOUR games. Can we do it?
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | September 22, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Not losing 100 is nice, but they're still more likely than not to lose 300 over three years because they had a five game head start from '08 and '09. They'd have to win five of the last eleven to avoid 95 losses this year, and they've got six games against the Braves and the Phillies.

Posted by: adbiosec | September 22, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Hey, zendo -

I think it depends on what you mean by "do it." If you mean, go the entire season without winning four straight, then, yeah, I think we're perfectly capable of it.

Our last nine games are against the Braves (playing for a wild card), Phillies, and Mets. Hard to see a four-game winning streak in there. So if we man up, dig down deep for the best that's in us, I think we can go the entire season without a four-game win streak. You gotta believe!

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 22, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

The Titanic had more direction then this team does. It is hard when nobody in thier right mind want to make the Nats their first choice to play for. Who fault is that the FO.

Posted by: hansenjo | September 22, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I am sorry but it's still losing. The Riggelman era was suppose to show improvement and it's not. It's showing that he really doesn't know how to win and excepts losses.

Sorry the Nats need to loss Jim and find a manager that knows how to win.

By vote is to get rid of Dunn and use his $10 million dollar salary to coax Joe Torre here. He knows how to win.

Posted by: Golfersal | September 22, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Hansenfo

The Titanic had exactly as much direction as this team:

Very fast straight into an iceberg. Then very fast straight to the bottom!

Seems like a decent parallel.

Posted by: soundbloke | September 22, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

This statement by John Lannan is damn near delusional:

"'It's cool just to see progress'.. . . Even though it's small, we're progressing. Our bullpen's done such a great job. We've got guys stepping up. And our starting rotation is starting to take a little bit of form.. . . [W]e're still a young team, and we're going through some growing pains and it's not going to happen overnight. This not getting 100 losses is pretty big for us.'"

The bullpen has been horrid all year long. The starting rotation is probably even more unsettled than it was in the Spring, with its most important component on the shelf until 2012, and it's only dependable member at least 35 years of age.

Which brings us to the part of Lannan's comment most divorced from reality. This is not a young team, it is in fact a very old team. With Desmond having had his birthday Monday, there is not a single regular position player under the age of 25. Of the 11 players now on the roster with 150 or more at bats, 7 are at least 30 years of age. The starting catcher is 38, the second baseman 34, and both are noticeably on the downside (the latter will probably have his contract bought out). The shortstop has 33 errors, and cannot make accurate throws from off-balance positions. Of the prospective outfielders for next season, the only bona fide ML regular is recovering from knee surgery. The first baseman is a free agent in waiting, and is believed to be headed elsewhere. The centerfielder, currently under suspension, is a head case management would apparently love to dump, and they're seriously taking about giving the position to Justin Maxwell, who will be 27 next spring, and has yet to prove he can hit minor league pitching after 5 years as a pro.

Whatever progress is being made is of the backward variety.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 22, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Fairfax: your comments remind me of what the Zorn-coached Redskins were saying after their many deeats last year: "We're better than this," etc. No they're not, and no the Nats are not either.

As far as Riggleman, I seem to hear him saying between the lines that he could do better if Rizzo would provide him with better players. As it is, there's no way the Nats could find another decent ML manager to take on this listing ship. So Riggleman stays, along with the rest of the sorry crew.

Other than some Zimmerman fielding highlights, I'm trying to figure out why anyone would want to pay to watch the Nats next year.

Posted by: JohnRDC | September 22, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

John RDC, your reference to Jim Zorn reminds me of another football coach who's more worthy of quoting, Bill Parcells. He was famous for saying, "You are what your record says you are."

I understand what Lannan is saying about seeing progress. When I see guys like Desmond, Espinosa, Ramos, Storen and Maya coming along to join some of the good players the Nats already have, I feel like represents progress.

But how much progress can you claim when you still lose 90+ games? How can you not concede this team needs more talent? Where is it going to come from?

Those kind of questions take away any positive feeling you might have about not losing 100 games.

Posted by: baltova1 | September 22, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

fairfax, you lose credibility when you say our bullpen has been, to use your word, horrid. About 3 weeks ago we had, statistically, the 4th (I believe) best bullpen in the NL.

I understand the hatred and the frustration with the team but lets give the team its due; it is better then last year and that is progress; monumentally slower then we as fans would like it but I for one believe the core of this team is better then it has been for the last couple of years, especially on the mound.

Great comeback last night and all the posts read the same; management is cheap, Riggs can't manage, we are going nowhere, Rizzo is incompetent.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 22, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

"This not getting 100 losses is pretty big for us." That's pathetic. And no, John, this is not still a young team. But whatever it takes for you to keep a positive attitude is fine with me. Just don't think any fan with half a brain is satisfied with this kind of "progress."

Posted by: Section222 | September 22, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

SCNatsFan:

I guess all those blown leads resulting in defeat that had people on these threads going apopleptic happened in my imagination.

I don't know where you got that stat from, but it certainly includes innings pitched by the long gone Matt Capps. The current crew has a total of 8 saves. Storen's last two performances are typical of what the Nats' pen has done all year. As to your claim that "the core of this team is better then it has been for the last couple of years, especially on the mound," the Nats pitching staff has one of the highest ERAs in the National League (12th out of 16). The core of this team, as I've detailed, is rotten, and the pitching staff is indeed horrid.

baltova1:

"When I see guys like Desmond, Espinosa, Ramos, Storen and Maya coming along to join some of the good players the Nats already have, I feel like represents progress."

Good comment, which I would recommend if that had that feature here. But tell me, what good players do the Nats have aside from those guys you name? Ryan Zimmerman and Dunn, and the latter is probably leaving. Of those you name, Desmond cannot play shortstop, Espinosa does not belong in the majors at this point, Maya is 29 (at least, with Cuban players you're well advised to add at least 3 years to what they admit to) and has been a disaster thus far. Storen and Ramos show promise, but even if they do fulfill their potential, the holes evident elsewhere are enormous, with the outfield being a particular sore spot.

I see absolutely no positive progress over the last two years. In fact, with Strasburg's injury, I see regression.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 22, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Fairfax6 - Agreeing with SCNatsFan, our bullpen has been very, very good this season. Especialy when you consider how few times our starters make it through 6 innings, our bullpen has been stellar.

Our bullpen:
Inning Pitched - 504.2, #1 in all of MLB
ERA - 3.41, 7th in MLB, 4th in NL
Batting Average Against - .240, 7th in MLB, 4th in NL
WHIP - 1.30, 8th in all of MLB, 4th in NL

Our Save% is low (64%, NL average 69%), but this has more to do with the fact that we're into our bullpen in the 5th and 6th innnings than anything else. We're getting to our save opportunites earlier than anyone else.

Lots of places to rag on this organization about. The bullpen isn't anywhere in the top 20.

Posted by: Sunderland | September 22, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Why are people so down on what Lannan said? Jeez, he was feeling all warm and fuzzy about his start last night, he knows he gets to keep his nice white uniform, his salary, he'll even get the buffet and snacks next year. He's a kid. He's happy. He only cares about himself. Just like the rest of the team. They could care less about the overall results as long as they get paid.

Posted by: Brue | September 22, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Fairfax6's breakdown above is brilliant. It is indeed an old team. It's good to look at what the team actually is instead of buying the picture painted by the FO.

Personally I think the Lerners are not really about winning. 100 losses isn't in the plan (or The Plan) - bad for business - but neither is breaking the bank for wins. I think they'd be fine with going .500 and pulling $10-15m in cash out of the team each year.

I think most of the Nats' personnel decisions come down to, "we have a small-market payroll in a big city because our owners want to make $10m+ a year." But the FO can't just SAY that. So Kasten & Rizzo tie themselves in knots selling cheap moves with weird, inconsistent explanations. We can't keep (expensive) Adam Dunn at first because we're focusing on defense; we're keeping our (cheap) horrifically errorful shortstop because at age 25 he will magically get better; etc.

You don't get three straight years of 95+ losses by accident. The Nats will keep losing until the FO quits spinning fairy tales and faces reality.

Posted by: hubcap | September 22, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

When Felix Pie didn't run hard on a dropped pop up and ended up only on first base instead of 2nd base last night, Buck Showalter read him the riot act and let everyone know it. That's not acceptable. Be accountable.
Nyjer Morgan turns a routine flyball into an inside the park home run by having a tissy fit and throwing hit mitt down and Riggleman doesn't say boo about the guy or the play and and then has the chutzpah to defend the guy after the game. One manager is going to lose close to 100 games again. One manager is taking a losing team and playing at a 100 game win clip. You figure out which is which.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 22, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

skins fan, you think that showalter makes the O's a 100 win team? Please. His schtick will wear out there like it did in NY and AZ. Coaxing 4 or 5 more wins out of a bad team isn't enough; these same players could ahve the ghost of Connie Mack managing and they's still lose 95.

Not a fan of Riggs but blaming him is like blaming a Captain of a ship in Pearl Harbor at that time (no disrespect to the men who seved there). He's in a situation where he is doomed to failure.

I agree on not confronting Morgan, although you never know what is said behind closed doors; not every manager wants to be a media superstar, some keep things in the locker room, as it should be.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 22, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I think everyone agrees that the Nats have a lot more talent on the field today than they did 365 days ago.

And yet we're looking at finishing this season with a record that's maybe 5-6 games better than last year.

I like Riggleman, but if the players are better and the team isn't... Maybe what they need is someone who'll tear a player a new @$$hole when he makes a bonehead play.

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 22, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Ozzie Guillen might become available, there is a chance the Sox might go in a different direction. Rizzo should jump on him as fast as he can.

Posted by: hansenjo | September 22, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

"But how much progress can you claim when you still lose 90+ games? How can you not concede this team needs more talent? Where is it going to come from?"

Well, if you lose 93 games instead of 103, you can claim ten games of progress. If you lose 95, you can claim eight. And progress is progress. When you claim credit for making progress, you're not saying you don't need more talent. You're not saying you don't need or want to make even more progress. So where will the additional talent come from? Trades, FA signings, the minor leagues. Same place it always comes from. And here's the thing. You never know if it's going to come or not until it does or doesn't. That's why they play the games.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 22, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

>>skins fan, you think that showalter makes the O's a 100 win team? Please. His schtick will wear out there like it did in NY and AZ. Coaxing 4 or 5 more wins out of a bad team isn't enough; these same players could ahve the ghost of Connie Mack managing and they's still lose 95.

Of course the Os are not a 100-win team. They are just playing at that clip right now, against top-notch competition I might add. But there is no question they are vastly improved as anyone who has been watching them can see. They will be a +500 team next year. Their talent will finally begin to be recognized. Whereas the Nats unfortunately are headed in the opposite direction because of their rudderless leadership and they will lose more games next year than this year.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 22, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Not to rub salt in an open wound, or come off negatively at all, but if the Natinals have fans actually celebrating the fact that the team cannot lose 100 games, well, unfortunately that says a lot about the organization, the direction it is heading, the value that is placed on winning, the expectations of both franchise and fan. Shows just how far the team located in the Nations Capital has to go.

Also, SCNatsFan but Showalter brings more the the table than "4-5 wins." In the month an a 1/2 that Buck been the O's skipper, the Orioles have basically won just as many games as the did in the prior 4 months. I'd say that's a bit more than "4-5" extra wins.

Also, in the previous thread there was talk of Showalter and his pitchers. One thing I read was that he told his pitchers to basically trust their stuff and not worry about scouting reports as much.

O's are reeling in the Natinals like Quint reeled in Jaws. Oh, and we do have Chief Brody on our boat too.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 22, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Remember what happened to Quint Poopy

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 22, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Sunderland:

"Inning Pitched - 504.2, #1 in all of MLB"

Aside from the fact that this is an indictment of just how bad the pitching staff is overall, you also need to remember that when the other team is up by a significant margin in the 4th or 5th inning, its hitters will be a lot less selective facing the guy who comes in from the bullpen. Part of this is because they realize that with a big lead they are free to gamble by swinging at pitches they would normally lay off, and part of it is a desire to just get the G-d game over with as fast as possible. So they indulge all the bad habits the hitting coach tries to drill out of them, and make mediocre or worse pitchers look better than they actually are.

Just ask yourself this question: which of the Nots relief pitchers can you honestly see pitching quality innings for the teams that will play in the postseason this year? Tyler Clippard maybe, though it's telling that the Yankees dumped him for the equivalent of a box of baseballs and a pine tar rag. It's a hell of a lot easier to pitch when the hitters are swinging freely and don't much care if they make an out so long as the game moves along quickly.

Also ask yourself this: just how does a relief pitcher with an ERA of 2.40 end up with a record of 0-7 in 56.1 innings spread out over 68 games (Mr. Sunderland, meet Mr. Sean Burnett)? No way does that guy deserve the appelation of "stellar." At bottom, it's all about the wins and losses, and he has none of the former and far too many of the latter.

Blame it on bad luck if you will, but as Casey Stengel pointed out, bad players have bad luck all their lives.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 22, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

The troll is a joke. This is the guy who is planning a parade in his basement cuz his Oriles may -- may!! -- finish the year with more wins than the team who spent the last two seasons in 30th place in Major League Baseball. What does that say?
Your obsession with the Nationals is bordering on restraining-order worthy. Take your Oriles crap elsewhere. We don't care.

Posted by: mjhoya12 | September 22, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Riggs has most definitely contributed to the Nats poor showing this year.

His mis-managment of our middle infield was perhaps his worst offense. He was too concerened about keeping players "happy" than he was about keeping players productive. When Guzman was traded and the middle infield for 7 weeks was Desmond and Kennedy alsmost every day, both of them improved their defense (and their offense).

His inability or unwillingness to correct mistakes. Nyjer's base running and throwing to the wrong bases are the best exampl of this. Players screw up, nothing happens, and they go out and screw up again.

Riggs also clearly shows he doesn't really want the responsibility of leadership.
Paraphrsing - "I can't tell Nyjer when to run and when not to run". Are you kidding me?
And paraphrasing "When Nyjer was HBP in Florida, I asked some of our veteran guys if we should retaliate". Seriously?

Riggs is pathetic, and replacing him could bring significant return.
Bringing Riggs back will be the most disappointing transaction of the offseason.

Posted by: Sunderland | September 22, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Love your justification fairfax - don't believe the numbers because the hitters aren't trying because they are so far ahead. No doubt the bullpen was better with Capps but to say this bullpen isn't improved over last years, or that is it horrid, are statements I disagree with and the stats back that up.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 22, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

>>His schtick will wear out there like it did in NY and AZ.

Let's say as a worst case scenario, he reverts to history and that happens (which I hope it doesn't). Didn't those 2 teams mentioned go on to play in the World Series after Buck left. That's a pretty good legacy. I'll take that anyday. Both teams were losers when he took over and both were playoff teams during his tenure and World Series teams just after he left. That's pretty good.
Has Riggleman ever had one winning season?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 22, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Remember what happened to Quint Poopy

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 22, 2010 1:31 PM
----------

More importantly remember what happened to the shark (the Natinals, in my analogy)?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 22, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

So your point is after the manager left the teams play in the world series and that makes him a good manager? Sounds like the GM did a good job getting players.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 22, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

And poopy, the shark ate Quint, so using your theory they both got blown up, Quint just got eaten first

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 22, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Also CapPeterson, for your survey from yesterday let me say, I have/never had a problem with the Natinals coming to DC. While I was living in the DC-Area I loved being able to see at least 3 extra O's games a year and always made it a point to go to a few O's/Natinal games at RFK.

No what soured me on the Natinals pretty much was the fan base. When the Natinals came to town and were the flavor-of-the-month, it seemed that it was basically expected for any/everyone living in the DC-Area to root for the Natinals.

These self-serving, ignorant, naive, and arrogant fans who expected every Tom, Dick, and Harry to just start rooting for the Natinals didn't seem to take into consideration the fact that generations of fans already had a "local" team.

The arrogance is what turned me off to the Natinals.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 22, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Fairfax6 -

I'm just responding to your statement "The bullpen has been horrid all year long."

They've really not been anything close to horrid. They've had moments of course. But horrid all year? Seriously?

Burnett's W/L Record has nothing to do with nothing. W/L records are meaningless with relief pitchers.

Burnett's got a 2.40 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP, a .233 BAA and averages a strikeout per inning.

He's held right handed hitters to a .194 BAA and a 1.05 WHIP.

You think no other playoff contending team could use him?

Joel Peralta, in 3 months, a 2.06 ERA, a WHIP of 0.83 and a BAA of .173. Right handed hitters? A WHIP of 0.64 and a BAA of .155. Also about a strikeout an inning.

There's no playoff contending teams that could use that?

Posted by: Sunderland | September 22, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Well Quint is Angelos and Brody is Showalter.

Hooper (depending on whether we're going off the book or the movie) can be played by, oh let's say Andy MacPhail or Terry Crowley.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 22, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Has Riggleman ever had one winning season?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 22, 2010 1:41 PM

Yes

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CHC/1998.shtml

Posted by: Kev29 | September 22, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

>>So your point is after the manager left the teams play in the world series and that makes him a good manager? Posted by: SCNatsFan

Are you really this dumb? Should I talk really slow?
Listen carefully and try not to hurt yourself. Don't play with anything sharp while I'm speaking.

Buck in 4 years with the Yanks: 313-268 and the Yankees won the AL wild card in '95, participating in the playoffs for the first time since 1981. Oh BTW the Yanks wer 71-91 when he took over.

With Arizona: 250-236. (65-97 first year, 100-62 2nd year.)
That's pretty good managing in anyone's book.
Wanna give me some Riggleman stats?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 22, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Are you really this dumb? Should I talk really slow?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 22, 2010 1:58 PM

Please shut the f up and go away

Posted by: Kev29 | September 22, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Skins Fan, they just don't get it. Or they do get it and they're jealous and it really sticks in the craw that the Orioles have a GREAT manager while the Natinals haven't had anyone worthy of anything since Frank.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 22, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

By skins_fan_22's logic, the O's ought to fire Showalter immediately in order to make it to the World Series sooner.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 22, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Jim DoubleSwitch Riggleman:
Padres: 112-179
Cubs 374-419
Seattle 36-54
Nats 96-130 (approximately)
His highest winnning percentage is .472.
Buck, just to remind you, had a winning percentage with every team he managed. And those teams he took over each had a losing percentage when he took over.

So the best you can hope for with Riggleman is .472. although his means is about .400.
But by all means please continue this experiment. Rizzo and DoubleSwitch deserve each other.

Unfortunately Nats fans deserve better!!

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 22, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"[T]o say this bullpen isn't improved over last years, or that is it horrid, are statements I disagree with and the stats back that up."

You remind me of the guy I encountered yesterday who claimed Danny Espinosa was a ML-ready player because his OPS was .734, which was (IIRC) 24 points above the average for a ML player. His rapidly falling batting average (.226 at the time and that's prior to last night's 0 for 4, which cost him about 30 points on his OPS, BTW) was irrelevant.

Do you believe the football QB rating stats that say Dave Kreig was a better quaterback than Johnny Unitas? Do you actually think 3rd down conversion stats have any meaning whatsoever? To get back to baseball, was John Franco a better relief pitcher than Rollie Fingers because he had more saves, and a winning record?

Statistics can be very useful, but also extremely misleading. Burnett's numbers look great, until you consider that record. How can you say a relief pitcher with no wins and 7 losses is doing a good job? You can't.

Just look at the Nots record. That tells you everything you need to know. A team that bad is generally lousy at every level. The Nots are rotten from top to bottom.

Again, just name one Nots relief pitcher you think would help a contending ballclub, or explain why no such club has shown any apparent interest in any of those same pitchers. Contending teams are almost always eager to grab extra hurlers at this time of year and losing teams just as eager to get prospects. Yet no one seems to have any interest in Clippard, Batista, or Burnett.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 22, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Sunderland:

"Burnett's got a 2.40 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP, a .233 BAA and averages a strikeout per inning."

And he's 0-7. That's the only stat that counts, and no contending ballclub would go near him.

For a more detailed analysis, and an explanation of why stats are the opium of people who have little or no understanding of the games they follow, see my previous comment.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 22, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

"We don't have any specific role for anybody."--Riggleman after last night's loss.

Seriously does no one have a problem with this statement??!!

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 22, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey did you Natinal fans see that Bog posting by Steinberg about Harper?

Harper says he's a fan of the Cowboys, Yankees, and Duke.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA. His d0uchey front-runner attitude perfectly matches his d0uchey faux-hawk. Seriously, a faux-hawk. That says it all.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 22, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

And fairfax I assume you are there with an office next to Rizzo fielding the calls about our reilevers so you know, for a fact, there was no interest in these guys. You say you can't look at stats, yet you use Burnetts' 0-7 as the reason why he can't be any good. Hmmm, that makes sense. When the numbers make your argument they are relevant, when they don't they are irrelevant.

Are you really this dumb? Should I talk really slow?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 22, 2010 1:58 PM

That's ok. I have a feeling you speak slow enough as it is right now.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 22, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

>>Please shut the f up and go away Posted by: Kev29

Kewi I feel your pain. But your anger is misdirected. I'm not the one making you pay major league prices for minor league entertainment. You can yell at the messenger all you want. The Lerners and Stankys and Rizzos and Rigglemans would love you to do that. It keeps the heat off of them so then they can continue this maddening charade.
However you and I and the rest of what's left of the Nats Nation deserve better!

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 22, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"And fairfax I assume you are there with an office next to Rizzo fielding the calls about our reilevers so you know, for a fact, there was no interest in these guys."

Tell you what, why don't you cite a few sources that prove there was interest in these pitchers? You know, rumors cited in newspapers, websites, sports talk radio, blogs, etc. If you follow sports, you'll encounter many such rumors without even trying to. The fact that they're still with the Nots, a team desperately in need of fresh, young talent, indicates there almost certainly wasn't an interest in them. Also, I never said "don't look at stats" I said, very clearly "[s]tatistics can be very useful, but also extremely misleading" (do try quoting people accurately, it will do wonders for your credibility). And yes, an 0-7 record does indicate a pitcher isn't doing his job, which is to help his team win. That's not a difficult concept to grasp.

I do offer my (sincere) congrats on a very snappy comeback to skins_fan_22 though. And I'll just throw out that if the Lerners were interested in winning sometime this century, they'd be exhausting themselves trying to get Bobby Valentine to take over this hideous mess of a franchise.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 22, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"These self-serving, ignorant, naive, and arrogant fans who expected every Tom, Dick, and Harry to just start rooting for the Natinals didn't seem to take into consideration the fact that generations of fans already had a "local" team. "

Are you kidding? Only someone looking for an excuse to be offended would make a statement like that. Classic "look what you made me do" thinking.


""Burnett's got a 2.40 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP, a .233 BAA and averages a strikeout per inning."

And he's 0-7. That's the only stat that counts, and no contending ballclub would go near him."

It's been pretty widely accepted for as long as I've followed baseball that W-L is exactly the wrong metric for bullpen pitchers(although using ERA is an even worse idea). Their presence in the game is too short and too much is out of control to rely heavily on it. You could almost say it's the kind of use of stats that's opium for people who have little or no understanding of the game, but that would be gratuitously nasty, don't you think?

Posted by: zimbar | September 22, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA. His d0uchey front-runner attitude perfectly matches his d0uchey faux-hawk. Seriously, a faux-hawk. That says it all."

So, PMcP, how many winning seasons do the O's have to their credit this century?

Even the Nots managed a .500 season in '05.

And while I agree that Buck Showalter is a terrific baseball mind, he failed in his most recent job with Texas (3 losing seasons out of 4, a .492 winning percentage), he gets fired pretty quickly, and his players are even happier to get rid of him than his bosses.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 22, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

How many winning seasons have the Natinals had since they came from Montreal?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 22, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Wow, it looks like even the other trolls hate the trolls here.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 22, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

zimbar:

"You could almost say it's the kind of use of stats that's opium for people who have little or no understanding of the game, but that would be gratuitously nasty, don't you think?"

If you actually quoted someone saying what you claim about both won-loss record and ERA being a bad metric to judge relief pitchers by, maybe it would be. Since you don't I'll just assume you're full of hot air, and that you think a pitcher who can't win a single ball game against 7 losses has been an asset to his team.

Or you could provide us all with a list of the many outstanding relief pitchers with a career ERA in excess of 3.50.

Upon posting of such a list, I will gladly hand you back the smirk I just ripped off your face. I'll have to think a while to decide what I want in return for handing your head back to you though.

We're all waiting for that list . . . :-)

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 22, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

So Fairfax6, you want to discount stats as part of your arguement, and conclude with challenging me to explain why Burnett is 0 - 7?

You must know that won loss records for relievers are meaningless. That plenty of times they appear they can not win the game, they can only lose it. That Clippard at 7 - 0 is just as much an anomaly as Burnett at 0 - 7. That stats like this are the opium of people with little understanding....

You say "The bullpen has been horrid all year long." And you back that up with what?

The bullpen's been good.

Posted by: Sunderland | September 22, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

>>Buck Showalter... failed in Texas (3 losing seasons out of 4, a .492 winning percentage).Posted by: Fairfax6

Failed in Texas? Let's not let the facts get in the way of a good slippery story ay?
Failed? Hardly.

Texas finished 72-90 in 2002, the year before Buck took over.
They were identical his first year in 03 of 71-91.
In 04 they improved to 89-73. Not bad. In 05 they came down to 79-83, still a huge improvement over the team he took over. And in his final year they finished just under .500 at 80-82.
So the team was obviously better off with him than without him. Oh and the year after he left, they dropped to 75-87.
So aside from his first year when he's always tryihg to learn the team, his worst season was just 4 games under .500. I'd take that with the Nats anyday. Wouldn't you?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 22, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Unless there happened to be just one troll using multiple personalities/screen names in an attempt to stir up some psychodrama and/or drive people off. You know, kind of like a sock puppet ensemble show. But for a person to take all the time and trouble to do something like that... Well, it would just be really, really sad. So I'm sure that's not the case here...

---

Wow, it looks like even the other trolls hate the trolls here.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 22, 2010 3:05 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 22, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-Well!!!....lots of discord here with the Gang. Not a problem-but I hope we can keep even the "snark" honorable.....kinda old fashioned as a concept, I guess - but no one wants to be personally attacked for honestly expressing their thoughts. It's tough to have an earnest debate-even hotly contested-if all we're looking to do is play "gotcha" or needle mercilessly our fellow Gang members. That said....for all the points of contention (even those at one another's necks) we seem to agree that the Slows have fallen woefully short of providing not just the fans but all involved (the players,the f.o., too...and I'd HATE to be a sales rep for this team! Just wait til.....well, just TRUST us! It's gonna get BETTER! Since worse is almost impossible, we hope)really almost ALL invested in this team a reason for believing in the future. From broadcasting to advertising to that Clint guy at the park to...well, what should be a cause for joy (a BASEBALL team, fer cryin' out loud) has instead become a pretty sour experience. Not saying the Slows are cheap, or tone deaf..or any OTHER thing. But even if you feel that they're model owners, the level of frustration alone should tell 'em that they're not going about this the right way. So.....I HOPE they get THAT, if nothing else. And, of course....
Go NATS!!!

Posted by: zendo | September 22, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"You must know that won loss records for relievers are meaningless."

No, I don't know that, and neither does anyone else with a lick of sense. It's not as important a stat as it is for starters, but it's still not irrelevant. It's actually about as important for middle relievers as it is for starters, less so for setup men, and even less so for closers. But a relief pitcher with no victories and 7 losses has failed to help his team win, and thus cannot be said to have done a good job. It means that he was responsible for losing 7 games in which his team was well positioned to win (i.e, they were either tied or ahead at some point during his appearance in the game). That's failure by any standard you care to name.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 22, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"Failed in Texas? Let's not let the facts get in the way of a good slippery story ay?
Failed? Hardly."

Now we're really in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

I'll just point out that 71-91 is not identical to 72-90, and let the rest of your post serve as rope by which you hang yourself.

And that if you think Showalter was a success in his stint in Texas, you must think current Texas manager Ron Washington is a genius on the level of Einstein.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 22, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"The bullpen's been good."

I'll grant it's been the least smelly patch of the metaphorical cattle pasture, but that's probably only because the manure has been there longer.

Whatever the reason, it still stinks.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 22, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

We are on our way (cough/hack) I say with a hopeful tone. I have had this hopeful tone before and will again, and again, and again until it rings true. Its bound to happen, isn't it??? One of these days, yeah, no doubt. GO NATS

Posted by: cokedispatch | September 22, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

#4 The significance of not losing 100

1 out of 4 ain't bad......
=============================

#1 another LAST PLACE finish (soon to be 5 out of 6 yrs in DC)

#2 River Ratz are soon to go BELOW .400 winning %%

#3 River Ratz are soon to be overtaken by the once WOEFUL Orioles in winning %%% column...

Posted by: GRIMReaper55 | September 22, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

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