There is a great quote in the movie Call Me by Your Name given by a father to his heartbroken son..
“We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new.”
If this doesn’t resonate with a Nationals’ fan, or a DC sports fan in general, I’m not sure what will. Another year of high expectations for the Nats held by the entire baseball community. That is, except for their fans. We’ve been beaten down by 1st round playoff KOs time and again, with no real reason to think this year will be any different. Our team is virtually identical to our last year roster, minus the addition/subtraction of a role player here and there (see Adam Lind/Matt Adams). The biggest change was the firing of our beloved 2016-17, 95 and 97-game winning manager (respectively) for a guy that’s never managed a Major League Baseball team in his life. Tempering my expectations..
We should also see a lot more Adam Eaton this year, however, Michael A. Taylor played so well in his place last year, that’s basically a wash. With Jayson Werth out of site and out of mind, I’d love to see the lineup as follows:
- LF – Adam Eaton
- SS – Trea Turner
- RF – Bryce Harper
- 1B – Ryan Zimmerman
- 2B – Daniel Murphy
- 3B – Anthony Rendon
- CF – Michael A. Taylor
- C – Matt Wieters
I love that lineup. Based on much of the bitching from last year against Dusty Baker, many will think Anthony Rendon is too low in this lineup. To that I say ‘Go F yourself’. Rendon is my favorite player, and I love seeing him up with ducks on the pond. The guy is an RBI machine, and he’ll rack them up in the 6-hole.
With players like Wilmer Difo, Matt Adams, and Brian Goodwin, I love our bench. I’ll assume Victor Robles will be in Syracuse to get his ABs until someone in our OF gets hurt, in which he’ll be the next man up (God I wish he could play catcher).
Our two-headed SP monster of Scherzer and Strasburg is going to be lights out again this year. The rest of the rotation makes me a little nervous. I find it hard to believe Gio is going to duplicate the sub-3.00 ERA he held last year. Roark seems to pitch well in even years, so maybe he’ll have a shot, but who the fuck knows. The 5th spot in the rotation is completely up in the air with Joe Ross still recovering. Am I seriously going to have to count on AJ Cole for something other than a spot-start? That makes me cranky..
Our bullpen (when we get quality starts) should remain dynamite with Kintzler–Madson–Doolittle. The return of Koda Glover and that nasty little slider is a much needed boost with the loss of Fat Albers, I mean Matt Albers.
I’m sure we’ll win the NL East, and after that I’m going to remain hopeful. I’m going to remain optimistic, and go in with full expectations of making a run. Why? Sure, I’ve had my soul crushed by this team before. It’d be easy to just numb myself to it all come October. “But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything – what a waste..”