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.