Posts Tagged ‘Davey Johnson’

Don’t Hate the Game, Hate the Player…Wait…

October 11, 2012

So first Mike was like “Oh my god, we’re totally done.”

And then Stephen was like “Oh, HELL no, Mike.”

And then Mike and Davey teamed up and were like “Dude, you…are…DONE.”

And then Stephen was like “Fine. Ass…

And now some other guy is like “WTF MIKE! YOU’RE AN IDIOT. I HATE YOU FOREVER. BURN IN HELL!”

And I’m like “SHUT UPPPPPPP!”

Did you get all that? If not, it’s okay. I purposely made it as cryptic as possible. You have to closely monitor the shut down of Stephen Strasburg to understand all the drama surrounding the decision. It hasn’t stopped. Ever.

This is what broke today.

And I’m here to tell you why it’s absolutely ridiculous of Mr. Anonymous GM to root against the Nationals simply for an executive decision based on the health of the franchise’s long-term future.

You might want to sit down for this. First of all, there is a 100 percent chance that Mr. Anonymous GM has no right to hate because he is not nearly as good at his job as Rizzo.

I can guarantee that because nobody is better than Rizzo. In only three full seasons at the helm, Rizzo has turned a 69-93, last-place team in 2010 to a 98-64, best record in the Major Leagues, NL-East division-winning team this year.

He hired Davey Johnson to oversee the team, one of the best managers in the game and front-runner for Manager of the Year in 2012. It was a perfect hire for the type of team he had built.

Speaking of building teams, he helped draft Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Drew Storen, Danny Espinosa…the list of impact players on the current team goes on and on. He also used some of his best prospects to pull a few trades. No matter the cost, getting Gio Gonzalez (MLB leader in wins, by the way) this off-season was sheer artistry.

Now that I’ve appropriately pimped Rizzo’s resumé, let’s examine two more reasons why Mr. Anonymous GM is trippin’. Fool.

I can understand disagreeing with fellow executives’ decisions. That probably happens on a daily basis. I could throw a rock at the Winter Meetings and hit two or three GM’s who sat at home and laughed their butts off when Ned Colletti of the Dodgers dropped over $200 million on trades at the deadline this year.

But it’s one thing to question a decision and another to actively root against a team simply because of a decision made. Not to mention that it’s a question of health. In this day and age, we see on a weekly basis what bad mechanics or throwing too hard or too often can do to a pitcher’s arm.

Considering the Nats are paying Strasburg a boatload of money and the hopes and dreams of their future rotation rests on his right arm, I believe the boss man has the final say on how he is used. Strasburg is one of the better pitchers in baseball, but the Nationals are built to contend for the next half decade, if not longer. And they need him to stay healthy if they expect to continue down that path.

I get it – I really do. When Strasburg is on the hill, the Nationals have a very good chance to win. When he’s not on it…wait. What’s that? They STILL have a very good chance to win. 

The man who replaced Strasburg in the playoff rotation is Ross Detwiler, who had a good season in his own right. Aside from him, you have your choice of Gonzalez or Jordan Zimmermann, who are Cy Young candidates. That is why the Nationals had the best team ERA in the Majors. They have DEPTH.

And then there’s the lock down bullpen and opportunistic offense. Yes, the Nats lost a key piece by shutting down Strasburg. They also guaranteed that they have their star pitcher for another run at the playoffs in 2013, regardless of how this season turns out. They are also still the team to beat in the playoffs.

Straight from the article itself:

“If we don’t win the World Series, I don’t care who does,” one general manager told USA TODAY Sports, “as long as it’s not those guys.

“They don’t deserve to win it. Not after what they did.”

Said a National League GM: “I hope they go down in flames. I hope it takes another 79 years before they get back to the playoffs. That’s how strongly I feel about it.”

Wait, wait, wait. I’d argue that the Nationals don’t really have a natural rival in the National League. So who is so pissed off that they made the Strasburg decision that the Nats “don’t deserve to win?” Is it because they already won so many games in the regular season? They’ve reached their limit?

Because I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed the resurgence of the Nationals in 2012. It was one of the best stories in baseball and truly remarkable that they made such a large turnaround in just two seasons. They don’t have any players that most would consider to be “thugs” or something similar.

There are no Nyjer Morgan’s (anymore) or Alex Rodriguez’s on the Nationals. No Vicente Padilla’s or Jose Valverde’s. So, I just don’t get it. It’s a likable, impressive team that deserves to win games.

The Nationals deserve to be rooted for. But no matter who you are, don’t hate on a decision that was made to benefit the team long-term by the best GM in baseball. That is like telling the Parent of the Year that his decision to make his son wait until he’s 17 to take a driver’s test is so wrong that you hope he dies and shrivels in the pits of hell (yes, that’s the equivalent feeling to not winning for 79 years…just ask the Cubs).

Stephen Strasburg will not pitch in the playoffs. Mike Rizzo is totally fine with it. You should be too, because it’s the right move. Mr. Anonymous GM is probably watching this game from his couch, eating Ruffles and drinking a martini. So there’s that.

Unfortunately, the doubt will only end if the Nationals win the World Series. Guess they better do that, then.

Bryce Gets a Timeout

May 11, 2012

If you don’t knowwww, now ya know! That Bryce Harper is still a little punk bitch.

Have ya heard? Harper smashed his own face with a bat! Seriously? And to think I had started to like the kid.

I had gotten past the fact that he pulled his helmet off while running to 2nd base against the Dodgers. Yes, like a middle school girl does in softball.

And I had even learned to live with Harper openly rooting for the Yankees, Lakers, Cowboys and Duke. Or that he says his jersey number isn’t actually 34, it’s 3 + 4 = 7, “like Mickey Mantle.” Douche.

It was easy enough to ignore such shortcomings because he had been relatively, quietly humble so far in the Majors. And his talent is way too much to ignore.

But this is just pathetic. I don’t think Harper realizes how many times some players (I’m looking at you, Adam Dunn) have gone 0-for-5 with 3 strikeouts. Get over it, kid. Shit happens. No need to bust your own face over it.

That’s a sure sign of startling immaturity from Harper. I know he’s young, but I didn’t stab a No. 2 pencil through my eye every time I failed a test when I was 19.

Manager Davey Johnson needs to reel Harper in now, because it’s a slippery slope with guys who have bad attitudes. Exhibit A: Milton Bradley.

The Nationals have a golden opportunity to shock the baseball world in 2012, but they will need the kid to chill out and hit baseballs instead of his own ugly face.

At least Harper’s teammates are having fun with the whole incident. Apparently, shortstop Ian Desmond has bestowed the nickname “Bam Bam” upon the hot headed rookie.

Ah, yes. Bryce Harper. The rookie who hazes himself!

Thanks for reading another edition of Jam Shots and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman! Until tomorrow, watch out for that wall.

National Treasure

March 1, 2012

I hate myself for that title. Cool movie, but anything with Nicolas Cage in it is going to piss me off. Anyway, it has nothing to do with the actual film. This is more a matter of sports, as a post of mine should be. If you missed it, I’ve already locked in my predictions for the 2012 Major League Baseball season. This isn’t what I think will happen, this IS what will happen. Wait and see.

My boldest prediction is that the annual N.L. East doormats in D.C. are going to win the division this year, after getting healthy and stacking their rotation with the likes of Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson this winter. Call me crazy, but they are the overall most talented team in the division. Yes, better than the new-look Miami Marlins, the powerhouse Phillies and the consistent Atlanta Braves.

You’ve got to love this offense – young guys at shortstop, second base and catcher that can absolutely rake. They’ve got Michael Morse and Ryan Zimmerman to beef up the middle of the order, and potential game-changing guys in AAA in Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon. And if Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche or Rick Ankiel put it together for a full season…watch out.

So the news today is this: Nationals manager Davey Johnson says ‘Fire me’ if Washington misses the playoffs. And I love it.

Swag is a good thing. You want your players to have confidence on the diamond, why not the guy directing them? And why not say it? First of all, Davey Johnson isn’t getting fired no matter what happens. So it’s an empty offer. But secondly, this team has a legitimate chance to contend.

The fact that these young Nationals are so set on making the playoffs and their manager is so confident in their abilities is setting the table for a special season in the nation’s capital, methinks. Looking at the National League, I see nine serious contenders: Arizona, San Francisco, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Philly, Miami, Atlanta and Washington.

By a mile, the Nats would be the biggest surprise team out of those nine to make the playoffs. But beating four of them should be very do-able for such a talented roster. Their pitching is as good or better than the D’Backs, Reds and Marlins. And their offense definitely matches up or dominates teams like the Giants, Phillies and Brewers.

All I’m saying is this team has the makings of something special in 2012. I think people underestimate how good their rotation will be with Stephen Strasburg, Gonzalez, Jackson, Jordan Zimmerman and John Lannan. It’s going to be young and they will have their struggles, but if the Nats aren’t at LEAST in Wild Card contention in the last week of the season, I will be shocked.

And apparently, so will Davey Johnson. Long live the dark horse!

And the Oscar Goes to…

February 27, 2012

…Angelina Jolie for her skeleton-in-a-dress outfit! Yay for jokes that are already old. But seriously, when did she go from being super hot to just kinda creepy-looking? Way to go, Brad.

I hate Mondays. We all do. While I was laying in bed this morning after being woken up by this glorious song (daily routine – try it, you’ll love it…money-back guarantee), I was brainstorming what to write for Jam Shots today. And by brainstorming, I mean my brain was starting like a car in the snow. Enough to keep me breathing, basically. And after I valiantly wrestled (and lost) with the idea of calling in sick to work due to exhaustion/Monday morning blues/nomotivation-itis, it dawned on me.

I can write an entertaining, sports-related blog that is timely because it is formatted after an awards show. And it will be fun and easy. Like I need Mondays to be. So, here goes:

Best Supporting Actor – LeBron James: I love the guy, and he’s the best athlete in the NBA, but let’s be real here. He’s not the go-to guy. Every player, coach and fan in the Miami Heat organization wants the ball in Dwyane Wade’s hands with the game on the line. I didn’t watch the NBA All-Star Game this weekend (nor the dunk contest…I was watching water boil instead. I found it much more exhilarating), but even Amish folk must have heard that LeBron passed up a game-winning shot with Kobe prodding him on.

Best Director – Davey Johnson: Okay, this is a completely unjustified selection. But so was Nick Nolte not winning best supporting actor for Warrior at the real Academy Awards. I don’t care that I haven’t seen the performances of the other four actors in that category. Good for that old dude for winning, but Nolte is old too. And he made me cry multiple times in that damn movie. Oh, right…Johnson. He’s the manager of the Washington Nationals. So this selection is based on my prediction that the Nats take home the N.L. East title this year. That’s an accomplishment that will undoubtedly win Johnson a Manager…er Director, of the Year award.

Best Actor – Kevin Durant: I’m just using simple logic here. The All-Star Game pits the best players in the game against each other. The MVP is the best player in a given league. If A + B = C, and B + C = A, then…oh, hell. I don’t know. But Durant took home the MVP honors in yesterday’s All-Star Game, therefore making him the best player in the NBA. It doesn’t exactly work like that, but he may be on track to lead the league’s best team to the NBA Finals. He’s going to be a front-runner for MVP and deservedly so. The Durantula is super fun to watch, and has an awesome nickname.

Best Picture – Moneyball Baseball: Yes, baseball in general. We’re fully into Spring Training. Which means we don’t have to pretend to care about the shortened NBA season or the Sharks lookin’ like a bunch of bums out on the ice. With the brief exception of March Madness, the next 8 months is all about the diamond. Fresh grass, sunflower seeds, incredibly uncomfortable jock protection, and fuzzy, green mascots. If we’re really talking films, take this into consideration. Some dude on Twitter last night during the Oscars had the balls to Tweet to Jermaine Dye that Moneyball was the best baseball movie ever made. I about fell out of my chair. I’m going to hunt that Tweeter down and shove a copy of The Natural (or The Sandlot. Or A League of Their Own. Or Field of Dreams. Or Bull Durham. Or The Rookie. Or Hardball, even. Get the point?) up his ass.

My version of the Oscars has four awards. Sorry I’m not sorry. And sorry it’s only men. I don’t know enough about women’s sports. But I presume Meryl Streep would be nominated in every category and I hope Octavia Spencer would win one of them, because her speech was awesome. Okay, bye now.


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