If we've learned one thing from the series with the Marlins, it's that there's a difference between giving up on the season and completely whizzing all over it. I don't need to tell you that the Nats have had a rough second half. Guys got hurt, Bowden called up players Frank had no intention of using, everyone apparently hates Tony Tavares, Guillen and Wilkerson blamed each other for a series of yo la tengo-esque incidents (by which I mean miscommunication in the outfield, not ten minute squealing guitar solos), and we plummeted from first place to whatever you call the opposite of first place. Last, I guess.
But I'd rather be the Nationals than the Marlins. I thought Florida was going to win the NL East, and it wasn't like I was the only one. The team has a superb pitching staff, a couple legitimate superstars in the field, a solid cast of supporting players, and a cranky old manager who's definitely older and possibly crankier than ours. When it became clear that Atlanta's deal with the Devil hadn't yet expired, I was sure they would take the wild card. Instead, they're battling it out with us and the Mets for not-last while their team falls apart. In case you didn't feel like clicking those links, here's the digest version: Miguel Cabrera, tired of being given advice, says "fuck the veterans" (take that, Jeff Conine!); A.J. Burnett, on his way to what will no doubt be a very enjoyable period of free agency, says the team is playing like a bunch of scared little girls and is asked to leave; and the remains of Jack McKeon have probably decided to get while the getting's good. Oh, and they're running out of money and might have to trade Carlos Delgado.
The good news for Florida? Dontrelle Willis is on his way to the Cy Young! Or maybe not. It's tough on a CY candidacy to get your clock cleaned by a team butt-naked last in runs, homers, and OPS and playing September call-ups, especially considering how effortlessly Willis had handled Washington earlier in the season (21 innings and 4 earned runs in three previous efforts).
I'm not here to bag on the Marlins. I kind of like them. I rooted for them in 1997 and 2003, and Dontrelle Willis is one of my favorite players. When I say stuff like this about the Mets, it's out of pure malice, but this is different. I'm just trying to cheer everyone up. No matter how bad it's gotten, at least we're not Marlins fans.