Sunday, April 5, 2009

Lineup Against the Wall: Washington Nationals

Not gonna waste any more of your precious time here. You know how to jump in the get-down.

Once upon a time, Washington D.C. was host to a baseball team named the Senators. Or were they" From the Administrator's favorite source:

One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Washington, D.C. in 1901 as the Washington Senators. That was a carryover nickname from a previous, unrelated club in the National League. In 1905 the team changed its official name to the Washington Nationals.[1] The name "Nationals" would appear on the uniforms for only 2 seasons, and would then be replaced with the "W" logo for the next 52 years. The media often shortened the nickname to "Nats". Many fans and newspapers (especially out-of-town papers) persisted in using the "Senators" nickname. Over time, "Nationals" faded as a nickname, and "Senators" became dominant. Baseball guides would list the club's nickname as "Nationals or Senators", acknowledging the unique dual-nickname situation.

Whatever. "Senators" is a great name for a squad. They boasted more than a few famous players, too: Walter "Big Train" Johnson, most notably, but also slightly lesser lights like Sam Rice, Joe Cronin and Harmon "The Killer" Killebrew. They never won anything, with the exception of 1924--when Calvin Coolidge was president and my father was born, yes, my parents were/are much older than average--and they took home a series victory vs. the favored Giants of John McGraw. Other than that, the gag about Washington was: first in war, first in peace, last in the American League.

And then left and turned into the Minnesota Twins. Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Greg Gagne, World Series wins, Lonnie Smith fucking up on the basepaths, craziness.

Anyway, the team that's in D.C. now has not a scrap of history, or anything else, going for it in any way, shape or form. The lineup:

Catcher -- Jesus Flores
First Base -- Nick Johnson
Second Base -- Ronnie Belliard
Third Base -- Ryan Zimmerman
Shortstop -- Cristian Guzman
Left Field -- Adam Dunn
Center Field -- Lastings Milledge
Right Field -- Austin Kearns

Starting Pitchers:

John Lannan (L)
Scott Olsen (L)
Daniel Cabrera (R)
Jordan Zimmermann (R)
Shairon Martis (R)

Relief Pitchers:

Saul Rivera (R)
Joe Beimel (L)
Steven Shell (R)
Julian Tavarez (R)
Wil Ledezma (L)


Joel Hanrahan (R)

Bottom Line: Ugh. There's individual talent--Elijah Dukes is even lurking somewhere on this roster--but man, I'm about to eat dinner and I want to keep my appetite. Their best starter is John Lannan, who wouldn't be bad as a #3. Lastings Milledge is the starting centerfielder. Adam Dunn is...well, around. Fail. Massive, humiliating Fail.

Projected Finish: 5th in the NL East.