Tony Plush fail

2010 May 23
by Don Hammack

I’ve paid attention to the Washington Nationals. I adopted them a few years back when they moved from Montreal after years of baseball apathy. I quit following the Braves when I got sick of the bandwagon fans who couldn’t pick Mike Lum out of a lineup of a guy in an old-school Atlanta uniform, Margaret Mitchell, Gen. Sherman and Ted Turner.

Then, the Nats imposed their own special brand of apathy on me for a couple of years. A couple of 59-win seasons. Last year, in particular, was a disaster. The Nats changed out their entire pitching staff over the course of a season. I believe the only place that works is T-ball.

Anyway, the Nats have been surprisingly good this season. Not to say they are good, or that the modicum of success they achieved was sustainable, but they are improved. And also lucky.

From that point five games above .500, the wheels have fallen off. Thanks to a rain-out in Colorado, they started a seven-loss week by losing a doubleheader. Eight games later, they were sub-.500 for the first time in 34 games. (Considering they finished 51 games under in 2009, I’ll take it.)

And Nyjer Morgan’s been particularly bad of late. He’s .200/.310/.220 over his last 15 games, but more memorably he’s been the nexus of two inside-the-park home runs in the last four days. The first one by Angel Pagan was acceptable. The one given Saturday to Adam Jones might be termed unforgivable.

Certainly, it was bush league. And immature. The second is the real problem. I’d say Morgan’s a bit of a head case. But in this case, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. I don’t get to watch much other than highlights, but I think he’s just trying way too hard. I’ll bet Jim Riggleman has a fairly intense father-son chat with him and throws him back out there.

Beware, Natinals. I’ve already proven to swoon easily into apathy.

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