Wednesday, June 27, 2007

This Too Shall Pass

Nationals, Nationals, Nationals. Why must you test us so? 13-0? Already twice this month we have listed reasons to be positive after two disheartening losses. It almost looks like you were responding to specific points from those earlier lists of optimism, in that you refuted them with tonight's game.

We accept the challenge. We will spin this until we are stupid dizzy and we will find the reason(s) to not fall into despair. While sympathizing with natural and understandable reactions, we realize that we must be ever-positive. So even though you took away go-to 'Tism points such as Dmitri Young getting a hit and not being shut out (you even demoted Brandon Watson), we will, as always, defend you and remain your loyal fans.

It happens to everyone. The Yankees have had three five-game losing streaks this season. And they have a payroll of $3.7 trillion. Yes, losing 9 out of 12 hurts, but it might simply be that time of the season for the Nats to temporarily take a dunk in the toilet. They're bound to get out of it, one way or another.

A more experienced, perhaps more expensive team, one that is less ravaged by injury, might be able to ride it out for an extra win or two. These Nats, however, are balancing on a razor-thin edge to begin with. They can only take so much. To paraphrase The Simpsons, this season started on a wing and a prayer, but now the wing is on fire, and the prayer has been Satan. The four out of five starting pitchers injured was bad. Maybe the Guzman injury just pushed them over the edge, for now.

A team such as the afformentioned Yankees, with their $6.2 trillion payroll, cannot afford to use injury as an excuse for poor performance. We at DCO submit that a team such as the Nationals, universally derided as awful when completely healthy and with a miniscule payroll, absolutely can use injury as a completely legitimate excuse for (temporarily) poor play. When your starters are supposed to be wretched, surely you must be excused if, even after your subs have played remarkably for a month and a half, you encounter a rough spot such as this. Thus, these recent losses, unlike the great post-May 10 string of success, can be written off as fluky aberrations.

It can't, and won't, last much longer. As hard as it might be for some to admit, the Nationals are better than that.

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