Seafood just does not agree with the Nationals. Pick your poison. Last night, a 1-0 10-inning loss capping a pitching duel. Tonight, a 16-10 slugfest featuring only slightly more hits than hit batters. Either way, the Marlins remain the team the Nats just can’t find a way to beat.
Speaking of beatings, I can’t understand why Nyjer Morgan seems determined to beat a path out of DC. Maybe the relationship was irrevocably damaged when the team put Morgan on the DL against his will. Maybe he can sense that he’s not part of the team’s long-term plans. Maybe all the losing is getting to him. We may never know for sure. What we do know is that for all the reasons FJB lays out, the time has come for Morgan to go.
Steven’s also right that this reflects badly on all involved. GM Mike Rizzo brought Morgan in and shipped Lastings Milledge out to “change the tone” of the clubhouse. I sincerely doubt that this is what he had in mind. Time to get that aura reader recalibrated, Mike. I initially assumed that the incident in Philly was just an overreaction to a misunderstanding, but everything that has happened since has inclined me to believe that Nyjer Morgan probably did chuck a ball at a fan.
For his part, Manager Jim Riggleman seems to have no relationship with Nyjer, and no control over his activities on the field. Leaving aside the question of whether Riggleman hung Morgan out to dry in the press, (he did) if you can’t convince your 170-lb centerfielder to stop impersonating a blocking fullback, major league baseball manager may not be your optimal gig. Even worse, the teammates who are forced to back Nyjer after these stunts come off looking like dopes.
And speaking of dopes… so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen and goodbye to Rob Dibble. Honestly, I could have forgiven the Strasburg he-man idiocy if Dibble wasn’t just plain bad at his job. Being a shameless homer because you have a deep, visceral, almost disturbing connection to the team is one thing. (Hi, SBF!) Being a homer because the team signs you paycheck is just embarrassing. The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said the everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. Too often Dibble’s version of reality was at odds with what was happening on the field (and in the strike zone.) I know there are fans who thought that Dibble’s antics were the only thing keeping the Nats watchable. To them I say, you are bad fans.
To sum up: subtract Morgan and Dibble; add Wilson Ramos and Danny Espinosa? Who knows, maybe morale will improve in spite of the beatings