Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Perception of the Nats

Ken Rosenthal sounds like he has some sour grapes over his premature exclamation in the Acta firing. That is fine, but he doesn't need to come out and rub it in everyone's face. Somewhat unprofessional. Truth be told, the Nats may have made the decision then, but maybe Rizzo or somebody stepped in and played an ultimatum that Acta should be given a month to work with a semi-functional bullpen and some young arms. He failed, and the powers that be got their wish.

Rosenthal really lays into the Nats, and whether in is brought on by his personal feelings, he makes several good points.

- The manager isn't going to look good if the players around him suck
- The front office has too many Chiefs, not enough Indians
- The lack of organizational integrity creates a void of trust

The first point is being worked upon, but the Nationals need to commit to their General Manager. The "interim" tag may be just for titling to MLB, but within the organization, they must allot Rizzo the comfort and stability of his peers. So far, Rizzo hasn't made a severe misstep, and most of his moves have been smart, well thought out, and represented immediate improvement. He should know that he is going to see this through. On the flip side, now Riggleman is "interim" status, and nobody in their right mind would commit to him without first testing the waters.

Next, given the way the Acta firing was handled, their were at least two strong opinions in the front office, maybe more, as to how and when it should be carried out. Contrary to what Rosenthal says, the firing was warranted at that time as much as any other time, and was handled as well as could have been. But given these differing opinions, apparently someone's toes got stepped on and embarrassingly a story gets leaked. The sort of crap probably happens around your office everyday. But in a field that is scrutinized by the media, blogged about by nerds such as myself, a higher level of professionalism is required. Somebody needs to swallow their pride and stop meddling in others' affairs.

The final point will be the hardest to sell. The Nats, since moving to DC, have shown little commitment to improving, winning more ballgames. Some of this can be heaped onto the deposed JB, but much of the responsibility now resides in the front office getting the players to "buy-in" and trust the scheme. However, when three weeks ago the team president is committing to a manager, then firing him, both the players and fans feel betrayed. Now each player know that the club's commitment may just be rhetoric to get a few weeks of inspired baseball before shipping them out for prospects.

For all the additional drama that surrounds the larger market teams, most of it stems from failure to meet expectations. Well, the Nats suck and the expectations are bedrock. It's time for the folks running the Nats to grow up a little and build a team. Be deliberate. If that requires trading Adam Dunn, do not tell the fans he is off the market only to have your hand forced at the deadline.

1 comment:

  1. welcome to the club.

    if you're interested in joining the DC chapter of the Internet Baseball Writers Association, email me at natsnewsnetwork@gmail.com.