Washington Nationals Strengths: The Nationals can only go in one direction: Up. They added some key pieces in OF Jayson Werth and 1B Adam LaRoche. Rookie sensation SP Stephen Strasburg hopes to pitch before the end of the season after undergoing surgery last year. If he’s half as good as he is hyped to be, the Nationals have a number-one pitcher for years to come. 3B Ryan Zimmerman will also be a key player in 2011.
Weaknesses: Losing 1B Adam Dunn doesn’t hurt so bad when you pick up Jayson Werth, but his presence will be missed. The pitching staff is scary to look at, in a bad way. SP Livan Hernandez and SP Jason Marquis are way past their prime, and the rest of their pitching options are young guys with little experience.
Analysis: It’s hard to predict good things for a team with no pitching. They made some big off-season moves, acquiring Werth and LaRoche, but the offense they provide isn’t going to be enough to turn this team around. Manager Jim Riggleman is going to have to work a miracle to save this team from itself.
Sometimes, the hype for an upcoming event, debut, what have you, is so high, there’s just no way to live up to the expectations. And then there’s the debut of Stephen Strasburg. Not only did he meet expectations, the Washington Nationals phenom probably exceeded them. If not, he came pretty damn close. What else would you call a first game ever stat line like this?
The words “awesome,” “savior,” and “ridiculous” come to mind.
See? Even baseball fans are getting football fever. What we have is the Washington Nationals’ presidential mascots and the tradition of racing food item mascots from Pittsburgh. Normally, you’d expect a band of history’s finest would be able to best food from Pennsylvania, but when they are in the form of oversized mascot costumes, all bets are off — especially when larger-than-life pierogies are making flying tackles that knock Teddy Roosevelt on his behind.
That’s a little much for a mascot race, no? The newly-discovered (to me, anyway) Let Teddy Win blog, a site dedicated to the very subject of presidential mascot races and the Washington Nationals, has much, much more.
In other news, has there ever been a more appropriately named blog to cover such a topic? H/t to The700Level for introducing me to Let Teddy Win.
The Washington Nationals opened their new ballpark last night with a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves. On hand to kick off the Nationals Park festivities was President George Bush (the Second) and the Nationals crowd made sure they discussed his approval rating the best way they new how: by booing him.
Judging by their reaction and by his impressive booth appearance (well, it was better than his press conferences on, say, Iraq), maybe he should have stayed in the baseball business.