Probably not. This kind of reminds me of last May. The Nats were playing pretty well, and surprised the hell out of me by staying not insignificantly above .500. But then they dropped two of three to the Blue Jays and got swept by Cincinnati, which prompted one of my all-time favorite jokes (because if I don't toot my horn, who will?):
The Nationals have often been described as "scrappy." This may be true, but the Reds just beat the "s" right out us.What happened next? The Nats dropped another series to the Cardinals and then won 14 of 16 to vault into first place. Remember how rad that was? It probably won't happen again this time, but my point is not to worry too much about a sweep to a traditionally unimpressive team. Even though this was four games. At home. And Jamey Carroll beat us.
Speaking of which, I noted last year that Jose Guillen beats the hell out of teams he used to play for, a stat that fits neatly with his public persona (continually offended maniac). The conclusion:
Guillen versus former teams:I'm not going to go through all his numbers this year, but he has hit half of his six homers against his former employers in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, and it's a real disadvantage for the Nats that they don't see the AL West this year.
.333/.410/.688, 9 HR, 16 RBI in 93 ABs
Guillen versus non-former teams:
.297/.346/.478, 15 HR, 54 RBI in 387 ABs
He hits homers almost twice as frequently against his former employers, doubles at a better rate, strikes out less often, and perhaps most interestingly, gets plunked at a higher rate.
But what of mild-mannered Jamey Carroll? He has only one former employer, and he just got through destroying them: 8 hits, 3 walks, and 7 runs in four games. He's hit one-third of his homers against the Nationals. Sample size be damned: I conclude that, underneath the mild, Godly exterior, Jamey Carroll is determined to regain his manhood by exerting his dominance over the team that sold -- not even traded -- him like a piece of virgin meat. DAMN that's hot.
And the theme of vengeance takes us into the weekend, as the Nats host the Yankees. Alfonso Soriano's career line against the Yanks? .358/.402/.593 with 4 doubles, 5 homers, 10 RBI and 15 runs in 81 at-bats. And I think I just did a better job of getting you all keyed up for this series than Major League Baseball itself is capable of, if an email I received from them today is any indication.
Round two of Interleague Play should fire up fans' memory banks.I remember when we didn't have to pretend that the Padres and Mariners were rivals.
The Orioles visit Shea Stadium, where Jerry Koosman, Jerry Grote, Ed Charles and the rest of the 1969 Mets performed their Miracle.I remember that! I was so excited I sent a telegram to William Howard Taft, but he was busy hunting dodos.
The Dodgers and A's face each other in a reprise of the '74 and '88 Series.Easily the highlight of my life until I was born.
And for those with really long memories, the Tigers and Cubs -- who played in the World Series 61 years ago -- meet again.I bet the Cubs lost! And everyone was white! MLB ignored the really cool precedent here: the last time the Yankees came to RFK, the fans ran onto the field and started a riot so bad that there wasn't another baseball game in Washington for 37 years. If the marketing geniuses at MLB suggested that kind of excitement was about to ensue, I might have some interest in attending. But as it is, I figure a 9-0 forfeit loss is a lot less likely than a 9-0 regular loss, so I guess I'll just mow the lawn.
UPDATE: Another email, this one just for Nats fans!
Get your tickets now as Nationals stars Alfonso Soriano and Nick Johnson battle their former teammates!In other words, "You're rooting for guys a great franchise didn't want anymore!" Way to rub it in, you bastards.