Heraclitus Would Have Loved This
My favorite pre-Socratic philosopher is Heraclitus, for two reasons: (1) he stirred things up; and (2) he was right. He went after the great Greek poets, Homer and Hesiod, who were always lamenting war and longing for peace. To this, Heraclitus said "SAVE IT!!!" Conflict is the stuff of life, he said. Look at this stick and string, he explained. Separate and "at peace", they are boring, inert. Now, tie the string to one end of the stick and bend the stick so you can tie the other, and you got something -- a bow. You can make music with it. You can fire an arrow into you enemy's butt with it. In conflict, these things are much more interesting, and actually create a harmony and unity that is much more useful. Of all the things I learned in college, this last bit is the one that has stayed with me and been proven true most often.
So it is with the Nats. We now have plenty of conflict. June was disquieting because the victories were too peaceful -- we got no information about what was really going on with this team. Now, in July, we've got Livan threatening a shutdown, Jose complaining about his teammates backing him up and about their work habits, Ryan Church getting dissed by his manager, and a 6-10 record against mediocre opponents. How the team reacts to this time will tell us much more about our future this season than the 20 wins in June. Houston comes to town having score 11, 6, 9, & 8 runs in the past 3 days. We haven't had a offensive streak like that in over 3 months. And next week we go to Atlanta. If we are not careful, we could be 5 games out of first by next Friday.
This conflict stuff is good. Let's find out what this team is really all about.