clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Wire Taps: Baseball world enjoying the Washington Nationals' struggles

New, comments

Don't get the wrong idea of my opinion of the internet when reading what follows. I think everyone out there is totally professional and endlessly witty. And the joy they are taking in the Washington Nationals' "fall" is completely justified...

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Not feeling bad enough after the Washington Nationals got swept in their four-game set with the San Francisco Giants in AT&T Park, dropped their sixth straight game overall and fell below .500?

Well the internet is here to make you feel even worse about what's going on with the defending NL East Champions this season.

The Nationals' struggles gave writers across the country the opportunity to trot out hilarious and unique phrases like "hot mess" and "dumpster fire." I'm shocked no one made a "Natinals" joke. Those are never not funny.

"We are in the hunt," Williams said, "So we have to look at it that way every day and move forward. That's what we do." -Matt Williams on where the Nationals stand

Where do they come up with these completely original and evocative phrases? No seriously, you folks should copyright that stuff before they catch on and get completely overused.

Some took a serious look at the numbers that explain the Nationals' "fall", while some simply took time to enjoy and bask in the "arrogant", "entitled", "Where's my ring?"-spouting team's comeuppance.

Sure, Nats' skipper Matt Williams got a vote of confidence from GM Mike Rizzo on Sunday, and sure Williams told reporters after the 5-0 loss to the Giants that the 58-59 Nationals (who are 4.5 games back in the NL East) were still in the hunt for a postseason berth, but seriously, it's over.

"We are in the hunt," Williams said, "So we have to look at it that way every day and move forward. That's what we do."

But, c'mon! He has to say that. Just like Rizzo has to say that Williams has his support.

That's just what they're selling to the media, but read between the lines... man. They don't really mean it. Or they do.

Anyway, while you're holding out hope that the Nationals can beat the Rockies tonight and get back on track, check out all the fun stuff that was written about Washington's baseball team on Monday...

Schadenfreude and hot messes:

• "No, this is more like the type reserved for the bully jock in an '80s movie: People don't like the unwarranted arrogance, don't like the hype, and can't wait for the comeuppance." - "The Nationals are sinking and the schadenfreude is real" - Jason Foster, Sporting News

• "Have you seen the Nationals lately? They're a mess." - "The Washington Nationals are a hot mess right now" - Mike Vorkunov, NJ.com

• "Of course, every team would look worse if you took away their best player, but the degree to which Harper has carried a sad sack of underachievers cannot be understated." - "The Collapse of the Nationals" - Dave Cameron, FanGraphs Baseball

Stupid Papelbon trade!!:

• "The working theory is that Storen is so mentally fraught from losing his ninth-inning role that he's completely unraveled." - "5 things Nationals need to do to overtake Mets" - Anthony Castrovince, MLB.com

MW talk:

• "So never mind hope; what the Mets should fear is Rizzo reaching into his past and bringing in an instant-energy manager whose style might jolt the Nationals to life for the final six weeks of the season. Yep, Wally Backman." - "Nationals could mess up Mets with Wally Backman hire" - John Harper, NY Daily News

• "Williams has been steadfast in his resolve to look ahead to the next game and refuse to publicly dwell on losses." - "Max Scherzer on Nationals' struggles: 'There’s no magical pill'" - Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY Sports

Even the Braves are enjoying the Nationals' "fall":

• "The Atlanta Braves, who have spent the past 10 1/2 months trying to get good in the not-so-distant future, are five games behind the Washington Nationals, who were supposed to rule the National League East and all of baseball in the here and now." - "The fall of the Nats gives the Braves a different benchmark" - Mark Bradley, AJC.com

• "The story of their season is basically 'take practically everything that's good about the team, and throw it into a running garbage disposal.'" - "The Nationals might be screwed for next season, too" - Grant Brisbee, SBNation.com

Boz on MW's experience:

• "A manager with no previous (extensive minor-league) managerial experience seldom has the skill set to do much motivational work on the group's psyche." - "Ask Boswell: Redskins, Nationals and Washington sports" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

Here are a few non-Nats-bashing articles to send you off on a good note:

• "Since Papelbon joined the Nationals, Storen has a 10.38 ERA, bringing his season number to 3.40, almost double where it was when he was the closer." - "Closer Rankings: Drew Storen's up-and-down career" - Daniel Kelley, Fake Teams

Um, okay, maybe that one belongs somewhere in the links above. But these ones:

• "To the average fan, Harris is another faceless executive with a long job title: assistant general manager & vice president, player development & pro scouting." - "Doug Harris, the assistant GM praised by fellow Nationals, might soon get a GM job" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "Despite having begun the year as MLB.com's top pitching prospect, the 21-year-old Giolito has been solid but not spectacular most of the season." - "Minor League Pitchers of the Week ending Aug. 16" - John Parker, MiLB.com