Monday, April 04, 2005

Opening Day

No two words are more full of promise, even if you already know that your expectation should just be to enjoy some baseball as opposed to making playoff plans.

Unfortunately, I will be in an airport for the first half of the game today and on a plane for the second, but I will be certainly rooting for our Nats in spirit, especially since the one Nat on my fantasy baseball team, Livan Hernandez, is pitching today (my two Phillies, Jim Thome and Jimmy Rollins will have to be as productive as possible without casting a cloud over the day).

I'm a big fan of believing that the pre-season is irrelevant especially since it is typically the good teams that do poorly since they rest their stars testing out their minor leaguers and such as opposed to the bad teams who are having actual competitions for jobs. That being said, what is both relevant and troubling from this pre-season is the complete lack of offense for the Nats.

You have heard the three of us that run this blog complain ad nauseum about Jim Bowden's complete lack of GM skills, and pre-acquisitions, we posted that the worst thing he could do was sign guys like Vinny Castilla as well as Christian Guzman. I'm not sure I ever thought they'd be quite this bad though. As of a couple fo days ago, Guzman was hitting a single to break an 0-for-3 million slump and Vinny wasn't just not hitting his weight, he wasn't hitting Jose Canseco's IQ--obviously saying a lot.

Given the lack of power in this lineup, reports that balls may carry in this stadium making it far more offensive than originally thought, are also troubling.

All of this makes me think that Livan needs to have a close to Ben Sheets-like season and at least one or two other picthers need to be a real pleasant surprise for the Nats to end up in the .500 range, which I think would be a huge success and make for a very enjoyable season. Here's hoping he starts the season off with all his stuff clicking.


At 12:28 PM, Blogger DM said...

I too am concerned about the offense, but nothing that happened yesterday tells us anything about how RFK will play. The wind was all over the place. I think it is still a pitcher's park, predominantly, mostly due to the ample foul ground. And with Brian Schneider chasing down those foul balls, that will help.

At 3:09 PM, Blogger tmk67 said...

The foul territory is a big deal, possibly robbing an out every game (there was a story at BP on reduction of foul territory in Dodger Stadium as possibly having a big effect). There is also the comparison effect -- RFK is tremendously more pitching-friendly than our 2004 venues!

Wilkerson starting in CF and leading off -- and he singles! Fitting that the "last Expo" becomes the "first Nat", though I really wish they had continued with the Nick Johnson leadoff idea.


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