Thomas Boswell opened his chat with this interesting take on the Nats:
…And I think just figured it out last night at midnight. Don’t know why I didn’t see it sooner. Sitting here with Barry at Congressional, and he saiud something like, “Yeah, that’s it.” So here’s the midnight musing.
Blow up the Nats.
They’re no good together. So why not take them apart?
All season everybody has said that they’ve seldom seen a team that is so much less than the sum of its parts. Why? Jim Bowden and Stand Kasten built an incoherent team. It had no ‘theme’ __except ‘develop young starting pitching’ and make any opportunistic trade that seemed to ‘add value.’ Beyond that, it was a mess. This week’s trade and demotion of Dukes is a first step. More, much more to come, I suspect. The Nats have no bullpen. They have no defense at any position now that Zimmerman seems to be catching a dreaded throwing disease that will, for now, remain nameless here. They had no offensive speed (now they’ve added Morgan). They have no situational hitters. They have no leaders. One of the reason that Acta appears completely unable to manage __even though he seemed to handle a game perfectly well in ’07__ is that he has no Team. He has a monstrosity, a random collection of pieces that don’t interconnect and can’t, in any normal sense of the word, be ‘managed.’ The Nats are live driving a car with two steering wheels, three engines, four sets of breaks and NO WHEELS. “Why doesn’t it go anywhere?” B-e-c-a-u-s-e i-t i-s n-o-t a c-a-r.
So, keep the starting pitchers, including those in AAA like Balester, Mock and Martis and, for heraven sake, sign Strasburg. Keep Zimmerman, Flores and Dunn, unless you get a huge offer from an A.L. team who wants a DH. And look for ways to trade Nick Johnson, Cristian Guzman, Joe Beimel, Willie Harris and anybody else with value to close out. There will need to be some releases, too, at a later date after you see what you get back in trade.
I’m starting to think the Nats may be ahead of me on this and that the ‘breakup’ is already on the way. You may see a column on this.
It just sounds too simple and easy — pitching and defense that helps the young pitchers, right? He is not the first to suggest that they may be doing this either, but who has time to find all the blog posts suggesting this very thing?
Given how bad the Nats are right now, this plan seems sound.