Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Thursday, July 30, 2015


The Tigers have given up, and that could be good news for the Nationals. They might be convinced to disgorge a Cuban for us.

I wanted Aroldis Chapman, but we got Jonathan Papelbon. That's fine, really. But while Papelbon solves one of the problems I wanted, I still have a hankering for:
  • Outfield help
  • A Cuban with an inexplicable first name
Well looky here - the Tigers just put Yoenis Cespedes on the block.

This has even less of a chance of happening than the Chapman thing. I mean, you can't disrespect a veteran like Jayson by acquiring someone who plays his position but way better than he does. It's not about winning the World Series; it's about respect.

Speaking of respect, Drew Storen is all pissed off because he's not closer anymore.

I'm not going to make fun of him. Of course he's angry. I would be too, were I in his position. No one blames Storen for wanting to be the closer.

But look, human society is, like, a huge unwieldy pile of every individual's preferences, and they're not all going to fit together. All these things need to be balanced against one another. No one gets everything he wants; some desires, as reasonable as they may be, can't be fulfilled.

Drew Storen's problem doesn't matter to anyone but Drew Storen. It is impossible to care.

Sorry, dude. Except that I'm not sorry. I can't even care that much. Just keep your head down and do your job and you'll get your eight million or whatever dollars next year.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Well look at that, the Nationals got Jonathan Papelbon. Ain't that something?

This doesn't matter even a little bit, but man do I wish it had been someone else. I've always disliked Papelbon. Remember when the hacks who get to call World Series were trying to convince us that when he got ready to throw a pitch, he looked intimidating? Every damn pitch, the camera would give us an unnecessarily close close up and Joe Buck would have to blather something about his terrifying stare. I mean, World Series broadcasters are basically conduits between Fox's corporate sponsors and you, the viewer, but this was shameless even for them. It would take a better shill than Buck to convince anyone that he looks like anything other than the kind of 12 year old who tortures insects.
Oh my goodness I am so intimidated. Who's a big scary man? Who's the big scary man? Is it you? Yes it is!
That said, he's definitely good at pitching. I thought the Nats were going to sit still, but they went out and fixed the third-biggest problem they had. I'm impressed. This transaction wasn't free either, and I'm not talking about the AA pitcher the Nats gave up. This is costing some Lerners some money. Thanks, guys!

It'll be interesting to see who actually closes. Wait, that's not true. Who cares? As long as they both keep their mouths shut - and that could be a problem with Papelbon - it doesn't matter. Especially if the manager has the experience and savvy to figure out the best matchups and . . . oh, right. We don't have one of those, and you can't really trade for one.

The narrative from this point is that all the problems are solved. We got a reliever on the same day Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman came back, so now we're perfect.

This outlook requires a rosier opinion of our ancient position players than I can muster, but I'll settle for one problem being solved.

[Mets] relief pitcher Jenrry [sic] Mejia has been suspended 162 games for a second positive performance-enhancing drug test, Major League Baseball announced Tuesday.
Hahahahahah get rekt you idiots! You should have known he was on drugs when he told you how to spell his first name.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Hey there, baseball fans. Doug Fister from your Washington Nationals here with an update on the Doug's Dingers program.

You know, there are a lot of charities out there, and they're not all equal. You've heard the stories about so-called charitable groups that keep all the money for themselves and don't get anything done. That's hard to forgive - I don't even think making The Score makes up for it!

You don't have to worry about that with Doug's Dingers, a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. Doug's Dingers gets results!

Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson were toiling in obscurity, which is to say Atlanta. Everyone had forgotten about Uribe, and people thought Johnson was a chick. I know I did!

But look what happened - two patented Doug's Dingers later, and suddenly both of my dudes get acquired by the Mets. Now they have something to play for, and that's what I call results.

People thought I was crazy to intentionally give up home runs to players who weren't very good. Or at least unethical. But when I see the faces of these Doug's Dudes when they get the good news that, thanks in part to me grooving a fastball right down the middle to them, they're back in the playoff hunt - well that, makes it all worth it.

Speaking of those Mets, they just picked up my old buddy Tyler Clippard. They're really going for it up there, huh? Makes me wish I could give up a homer to myself!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Untitled #674

From time to time, we've been joined here at Distinguished Senators by outside commentators. This isn't just a space for my lovable voice and insightful insights. We've been enlightened here by William Blake, who told us about Screech. By Origen, who possibly overrated Ryan Church a little bit. And even by Doug Fister, who's been kind enough to keep us up to date on his charity work.

Today we're joined by Steve Kilbey of the Church, who perfectly sums up the Nationals' current predicament.

The enemy seeks our dissolution
All he needs is a little push

The Mets are making that push. They're losing slightly less often than the Nats are. They made a move, acquiring Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson (both Doug's Dudes!). Uribe already won a game for them. They're not done, either: They're trying to get an outfielder - possibly an Upton.

The Nationals, meanwhile? Nah. We're fine, thanks.

Maybe you saw the rumor about Jonathon Papelbon. That's not going to happen. But if you heard about it, that means there's a possibility that you might think that they're not just standing pat. They are.

Nats GM Mike Rizzo did a radio interview last week and dropped some hints that he's not doing a damn thing. "We will certainly be looking but I don't know how active we'll be."

Don't just do something - stand there!

"There's no trade I could make that could be as good as the guys we're getting back [from the DL]."

He can't actually believe that, right? Yeah, getting Rendon back is good news, but are we still trying to convince ourselves that getting Werth and Zimmerman back changes anything other than the specific reasons that the lineup sucks?

The Nats aren't quite good enough, the man in charge of fixing that doesn't seem to realize it's true.

Where are they now? 
  • Steve Kilbey and the Church will be appearing at the Fillmore in Silver Spring along with the Psychedelic Furs on Sunday, August 9th. Tickets are available
  • Origen and William Blake are still dead. 
  • Doug Fister will probably have a blog post up tomorrow.

Friday, July 24, 2015


Here's an awkward question: Are we bad fans?

By "we," I mean "y'all." "All y'all," to be less specific. Not me - I'm definitely a bad fan. One of the worst. I only go to games when there's a Livan-related trinket available.

The evidence that Nats fans are bad at being Nats fans is mounting. Sure, it's all circumstantial, but we're not looking at whether the fan base is going to prison, only whether it has bragging rights over Cincinnati or Phoenix or wherever. The burden of proof on this one is light as a feather.

We call it the fan base to make it seem bigger, by the way. You don't want to call and say the fan is going to be there. We put "base" on the end of it.

Some blog intended to help the SEO of a site that's trying to sell you after-market tickets put together a hell of scientific study about fan base enthusiasm, factoring in attendance and ticket price and even diseases of the modern age like Facebook and Twitter engagement.

It's the .48 that gets me. You can't round up.
We're terrible at this stuff! Are you doing your part? Make sure to follow @Nationals on Twitter with both the real account with your name on it AND the one with the funny pseudonym you use to troll desperate semi-celebrities.

Then there was this story about TV ratings. Ratings for baseball are pretty great everywhere, and the good news is that around here they're well up from back when they were under nine thousaaaaaaaaand.

The bad news is, on a per capita ratings-type basis, we're getting outdrawn by damn near everyone. Even Baltimore! Have you seen what they're doing up there? Playing in an empty ballpark, Steve Pearce at second base, running out of Hawaiian shirts before I got there - it's been a complete debacle.

It looks a little better as a counting stat rather than a rate stat - 67,000 butts in their own seats per game - but still. We're 19th out of 30.

The attendance is actually pretty good. After a pretty rough start (2005: 8th out of 16) and rougher middle (2010: 14th out of 16), we're up to 4th. We're number four!

Based on the available facts, I conclude that Nats are not terrible at being Nats fans. Rather, they are rational actors who respond to incentives and whatever you call the opposite of incentives.

If you offer them Shake Shack and Livan bobblehead dolls, they go to the game. If you offer them Bob Carpenter, they switch over to Ancient Aliens.

PS Make sure to check this out, where Wm. Yurasko makes a pretty convincing case that Aroldis Chapman would be only the third-greatest Cuban in Nats history. He also has a line about Chapman's fastball vis-à-vis Jayson Werth's reckless and imprisonable disregard for all living things that I wish I'd thought of and which I now cannot rip off since I've made it clear that I know about it.

Thursday, July 23, 2015


That was a close one. We were a baby's head's breadth away from disaster.

If it weren't for Michael A. Taylor, a man with the body of a man and the head of a baby's head, driving in a couple runs in the 8th and then stealing second and scoring another one, we'd be in real trouble: headed to Pittsburgh to face a superior team while only one game ahead of the damn Mets, who refuse to acknowledge the Nationals as their betters and stop trying.
Note how his hand is too big for his head. Because it is a baby's head. The head of a baby.
Thanks to Taylor, we're living in some kind of Elysian Shangri-La-Ass Utopia: headed to Pittsburgh to face a superior team while two games ahead of the damn Mets.

So things could be better, and my prescription hasn't changed. We need some offense. We need Aroldis Chapman. We need to set up a GoKickMe so we can afford Aroldis Chapman.

We'll see what happens. I'm just going to sit here pushing myself back into the sofa cushions as I watch my nightmares come true.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Charoldis Fund

On Monday I laid out a mathematical case that the Nationals should acquire Reds closer Aroldis Chapman. The math included numbers such as "101," "103," and even "106." Those numbers are irrefutable.

The counter-argument contains some much larger numbers, such as "176 million" and "210 million." This argument consists of the Nationals payroll and the money promised to Max Scherzer to induce him to throw his no-hitters for Washington.

The counter-argument is not being made publicly, but unfortunately it's being made by the only people whose opinion matters - the pack of Lerners that signs the checks.

It was revealed last month that the Lerners think they've spent quite enough on this team, and any mid-season improvements are going to have be more or less free, which means they more or less aren't going to happen.
The Nationals’ owners, despite being among the wealthiest in the sport, are reluctant to add payroll in the middle of a season, according to major-league sources.
So that's that.

Or is it?

We're living in the future, and while we don't have flying cars or colonies on Mars or double ties, we do have crowdfunding. If you can get a whole bunch of people to pitch in a few bucks apiece, pretty soon you have Chapman money.

This futuristic method of fleecing suckers has already accomplished so much. Among other things, a whole bunch of people pitching in a few dollars apiece have:

1. Saved the Icelandic goats, evidently the stars of an episode of Game of Thrones, from non-dragon-related extinction.
2. Sent apparent musician Amanda Palmer a million dollars so she could make a record and pay musicians in hugs.
3. Allowed Who's Your Caddy? executive producer Chris Roberts to escape his high-flying Hollywood career so he could follow his dream of making Wing Commander again but this time spending $80 million dollars to do it.
These are the winners in the new crowd-funded economy. One of them throws a hundred miles an hour, one of them is a goat, and the other two robbed drama club kids and nerds.
I'm very nearly serious about this. What if the Nationals made it known that, gee, we almost have a trade worked out for a high impact player who can put us over the top, but we need just a little more money. Click here to donate and make it happen!

Are there rules against this? I'm sure they aren't allowed to mention the specifics of what you'd be paying for. They probably couldn't even do something crafty like using pseudonyms - you know, "Charoldis Apman" or whatever.

That, however, can be solved very neatly by leaking information to friendly writers. "Sources say the Nats are close to acquring a reliever whose name rhymes with 'Chardolis Apman'" - that's the whole reason Ken Rosenthal exists.

It's not like shame would hold them back. They're willing to charge damn near 300 dollars (American!) for an Ian Desmond jersey. Setting up a GoKickMe or whatever to raise bullpen money is far less objectionable.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Even Bolsinger

The Nationals lost two of three to the Dodgers over the weekend, and it has me worried.

I saw about half of those three games on Saturday. There's nothing I love more than a single admission one-and-a-half-header, so after the lights went out on Friday I made sure to get myself a seat in the very hottest part of the stadium, rendering me a deep mahogany color. Blog game George Hamilton.

The narrative seems to be that the Nats ran into a "gauntlet of aces," so who can blame them for losing? The Dodgers threw reigning MVP Clayton Kershaw, unpleasant weirdo Zack Greinke, and even Mike Bolsinger at us - we should be happy we won one of them!

Which, I mean, yeah, it's tough to hit Kershaw and Greinke, just as it's tough to watch Kershaw's Subway commercial or (I'm guessing) have a conversation with Greinke.
I. Like. To. Eat. A. Sandwich. With. A. Steady. Diet. Of. Fastballs. Oh God I'm so lonely
But what do we think is going to happen when we get to the playoffs? Hitting tough pitchers is how you win a World Series, dammit. The opposition isn't going to be running Jerome Williams out there in October.

If you can't score runs off good pitchers, you lose. My evidence for this is the 2014 postseason, in which the Nationals couldn't even score runs off the remains of Tim Hudson and Jake Peavy, and they lost.

So this series loss is not something to brush off as bad starting rotation timing. The playoffs are nothing but bad timing. They don't let the Bolsingers pitch in October; you have to hit the good ones.

This winds up being a happy corollary to my Aroldis Chapman longings. As I baked in the right field sun, I was musing on how odd it was that the Nats were starting Clint Robinson against Kershaw. I don't mean to pick on Robinson, really. He's a great story! And he's producing, which is more than you can say for some of the jockjaws on this team. Of all the people who have ever played baseball, he's definitely one of the twenty best who are currently on Washington's active roster. He's a glittering gem of a baseball professional.

But you have to think that any manager - even Matt Williams! - would rather not play Robinson, who is a marginal major leaguer who bats left-handed, against Kershaw, who is the best left-handed pitcher, no matter how dry and clinical his Subway commercials come off.

I can't even blame Williams for this one, though. The only other option in left was Matt den Dekker, who also bats lefty. Personally, I would have given den Dekker the start in the second game on Saturday, since about 40 minutes previously he'd won the first game of the day by den Dekking one into the upper den Dekk, but whatever. Williams had no choice but to pencil in a marginal lefty hitter against Kershaw.

The Reds aren't selling only pitchers. Remember Marlon Byrd? He hits right-handed, he's making more money than the Reds want to spend, and he was a National as recently as 2006. All of that screams "throw-in in a Chapman trade" to me.

Ten years ago, he saved us from starting Endy Chavez every day. He can save us again.

Seriously, a Robinson/Byrd platoon in left field every day goes a long way toward solving Priority Number One for the low cost of about three million dollars. It ain't my money.
Artist's conception of what it would look like if Marlon Byrd played for the Nats again. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

"Chapman" Means "Peddler." "Aroldis" Doesn't Mean Anything.

The Reds have given up, and that could be good news for the Nationals. It won't them from stop beating the hell out of the Nats all the time, but they might be convinced to disgorge a Cuban for us.

They've made it clear that they wish to be done paying Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake, but we don't need either of them. We got so many starters. Joe Ross isn't in AAA if he's in an organization that needs starters.

What we need is Cincinnati's slow-walking, smooth-talking, triple-digit-fastball-throwing closer, Mr. Aroldis Chapman.
The important thing here is the numbers on the left. They all start with a 1 and have three digits.
I know what you're saying - We have a closer! Drew Storen isn't the kind of guy you trust to close a game you really, really care about, but he's a proven closer.

I'm totally with you on that. The bullpen is, in my opinion and why would I have anything other than my opinion on this here blog, this team's third-highest priority.

Priority number one is offensive production from left field/first base. We're hamstrung here because Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman are 1. Going to come back sooner or later and 2. Have too much seniority to replace.

Do you remember when they called up Zimmerman and made him play shortstop because they didn't want to insult Vinny Fricking Castilla? It's been ten years, and I'm still holding a grudge. It's not the same people making the decisions these days, but some of the ideas linger. They're not going to make Werth park his jailbird ass on the bench just because they have someone who can hit to play left. Therefore, what point is there in acquiring someone who can hit to play left?

Priority number two won't be addressed because it would be really weird to fire a manager at this point in the season, even if he's Matt Williams. I think even I might be against it. Tony La Russa isn't walking through that door.

So that leaves us with priority number three: the bullpen, and that's why I want Aroldis Chapman to become the second-greatest Cuban in the history of the Washington Nationals.

You can work around having two closers. Let them take turns. Get the platoon advantage. Tell Storen to deal with it because the other guy is way better. Just do it. I don't care what it costs.

I ask the Nationals: Do you want a World Series, or do you want us to think you want a World Series?
Wouldn't it be nice to see this at Nationals Park? Feed your bullpen. Feed it.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Two Tens

It's been pretty negative around lately, especially considering that I'm talking about a team on pace to win 90 games.

It's not that I'm wrong (never!) (please don't look in the archives thanks). It's a matter of emphasis - the Nats are good, but I want them to be better. I hate because I love.

It's good to take a step back and think about how much things have improved. I mean, not everything Nationals' management does is ideal or even sensical, but that's nothing compared to the Bowden years.

What made me think of this was Padres general manager A.J. Preller getting completely put on blast by Rany Jazayerli at Grantland.

Jazayerli makes a convincing case that Preller has taken less than a year to destroy the Padres root and branch and sow Petco Park with salt. It's a fun read, and that's even before you to the part where we benefit personally from Preller's 300 days of fire.
For the privilege of acquiring Wil Myers, the Padres surrendered five players, among them Joe Ross (Tyson’s brother) and the “player to be named later” — whose name everyone knew at the time: shortstop Trea Turner, the Padres’ first-round pick last year. Ross, the 96th-ranked prospect before the season per Baseball America, pitched his way to the majors after just nine starts in Double-A this year, and in three starts for the Nationals he has walked two batters and struck out 23... 
The Padres got a good look at what they gave up in Turner, Baseball America’s no. 65 prospect before the season, when he hit .322/.385/.471 for their Double-A team while waiting for the one-year anniversary of his signing to pass so he could formally be given to the Nationals. He’s in Triple-A now, still raking. On Baseball America’s midseason list of baseball’s top prospects, published last week, Turner ranks no. 9 and Ross ranks no. 31.
That trade looked great at the time, and time has only improved it. The Nats gave up Steven Souza, whom they didn't need and who's been decent enough with the Rays, but not so much that you miss him a whole lot. Also included was minor league pitcher Travis Ott, who is now 20 years old and in a couple of years has a real good chance to be 22.

In return the Nats got two guys who could well make up 2/9 of the starting lineup every fifth day next year, and who will be playing for the major league equivalent of free.

Please note that both Ross and Turner are better prospects now than when Mike Rizzo grabbed them. It's like he knew!

What's the catch? The Nats didn't eat any salary. Turner didn't show up to Harrisburg with a wooden leg. Maybe Jazayerli answered that question - the catch is that Preller's an idiot, and Rizzo conned him out of his stuff.

It's like Rizzo asked Preller to trade two tens for a five, and Preller forked it over.

So, in conclusion, I'm going to spend a lot of whatever blog posts are made out of complaining about the management of the Washington Nationals from this point up until the trade deadlines (both the fake one and then the real one no one understands). But no matter how annoyed I get, I will always remember this occasion when our team pantsed another team.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Special All Star Message

Hi, folks. Doug Fister here, from your Washington Nationals.

I hope you're enjoying the All Star Break! I tell ya, it's the most exciting time of the year, assuming you don't like to watch baseball games.

I'm certainly enjoying the time off. Oh, they wanted me there. My phone was blowing up with texts from Bochy. "cn u pich 4 nl pls?!" Sorry, Bruce. I was honored, but I didn't want to detract from what Harp and Sherz  were doing over there. Let's get that spotlight off Doug for a few days, huh?

Seriously, though, folks, I think it's important to take a moment to think about all the guys who aren't All Stars, the fellas who missed out on all the festivities in Cincinnati not because they're too busy with charity work but because they just aren't very good.

Some call them scrubs or jobbers or enhancement talent. I call them . . . Doug's Dudes.

All season long, I've been doing my part to help out underappreciated ballplayers by letting them hit homers off me. I mean, anyone can give up a long one to Todd Frazier or Giancarlo Stanton. You really have to groove one to let Kolten Wong get his name in the paper.

I'm proud of what the Doug's Dingers program has achieved this year - eight home runs, and not one of them hit by an All Star.

There was Wong and Matt Carpenter, who really got the whole thing going. Joey Butler got one. Who's Joey Butler, you ask?


I hooked up Juan Uribe and A.J. Pierzynski, and they're so old they played for the White Sox the last time they won a World Series. I just skimmed Baseball Reference, and that was in 1917!

Derek Norris, Kelly Johnson, Cory Spangenberg - these are the dudes I do it for. They're Doug's Dudes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


It's the All Star Break, so I guess it's incumbent on me to follow journalistic (or at least fact-checking) convention and sum up the Nationals at this moment.

Um, they're pretty good. Remember how awful they were in April? It really was astounding, but they've recovered from that.

It's awfully cool to have the presumptive Cy Young and the presumptive MVP playing on the same team. As long as that keeps happening ("that" having a two-part definition, the first part being that they're both playing, and the second part being that they're still good enough to win all the awards), there's a floor to how bad it can get. The Nats are lucky that under that floor is a crawlspace in which dwells the rest of the NL East.

So I'm trying to be positive - there's plenty of reason to be. But I can't shake the feeling that the Nats aren't quite good enough to win the whole thing, and that they're not going to get any better. The combination of best-in-the-league performances from two guys and surprising contributions from scrubs isn't sustainable.

I'm as pleased about Clint Robinson as anyone, but do we think his OPS+ is still going to be 112 at the end of the year? We do not.

I myself saw with my own eyes (otherwise I wouldn't have believed it) Tyler Moore win a game for us by hitting an RBI double.

It is possible, but it's not probable. Don't think it'll happen again.

The real problem here is that Nationals' management has every reason to stand pat. There's no reason to think they won't win 90 games and win the division. We've already heard about how they think they've spent quite enough money this year, and an unwillingness to load up on salary is going to make it difficult to upgrade in a significant way.

So expect to hear a lot about how all these dudes coming off the DL is just like updgrading the team via trading. Jayson Werth coming back - why, that's like trading for a brand new outfielder! Who hits .200!

That's not all, either. It's not out of the question that we could "reacquire" Anthony Rendon two or three more times this year. Just think what a difference that'll make.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Right. Richtig. Correctamundo.

Being right is so much fun that I'm surprised I don't do it more often.

At the end of May, when we found out that Jayson Werth was going back to prison or the disabled list or whatever, I suggested that the Nationals would do best to acquire a major league hitter.

I actually felt pretty silly writing that post, since it was such an obvious take. Who could disagree? I was in one of those moods where I just want to churn out content even if it's pointless. It happens a couple times a decade.

The very same day, Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider actually did disagree, for which I will always be grateful. Suddenly that post suddenly wasn't so pointless. Only that one, though.

Now I'm feeling more pointful than ever, because Zuckerman has subscribed to the Distinguished Senators School of What the Nationals Should Do, as pioneered by me at the end of May.

"Do the Nats need to acquire another bat?" Zuckerman wonders. It's like he stepped into some kinda pain in the ass spacetime vortex that bumped him back six weeks. Don't tell him what happens in June. He wants to be surprised.

His answer is yes, by the way. The Nationals do need to acquire another bat. Zuckerman has - without admitting it, I'm sorry to report - recanted his earlier foolishness and - also without admitting it - conceded that I was correct the whole time.

The fact that he was unaware of my correctness is no defense.

One other note from that Nats Insider piece:
Denard Span? He’s in Dallas today visiting a back specialist and quite worried he has a more serious ailment than everyone has believed since he first began experiencing back spasms a month ago.
"Everyone" can be forgiven for getting this one wrong, aside from the (presumably) trained medical professionals the team keeps around to handle exactly this kind of issue.

Have those guys gotten anything right this year?

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Are We Worked Up

I went on vacation, but I didn't miss anything.

The Nats are winning enough to keep their crappy rivals at bay. The lineup has more holes than Blackburn, Lancashire, and no outside help is forthcoming. Stephen Strasburg is hurt, and the Nats can't beat the Reds.

Nothing has changed! It's like I stepped into some kinda pain in the ass spacetime vortex that bumps you back six weeks. Don't tell me what happens in June. I want to be surprised.

Other than that, I don't know - are we worked up about our dudes not making the All Star team? Scherzer's in there, but he probably won't pitch. Harper helped MLB and its sponsorship partners set a major league data-mining record by getting more votes than anyone ever.

But that's all we got, at least until the first wave of replacements comes in. All Star rosters are getting to be like the NBA playoffs - it's not an accomplishment to make it; it's a failure if you don't make it.

I am looking forward to the All Star break, but it's nothing to do with the game. This team is in dire need of four days off. It brings us four days closer to Jayson Werth coming back, but there is an upside. We also have some good players who will benefit from the time off.