|"This is Doug Fister reminding you on behalf of my good friends at PepsiCo to stay hydrated this season. Together, we can pitch a shutout against thirst!|
What? No, I don't know whose hand that is."
Steve Lombardozzi isn't really a major league player, but people loved him. He played all the positions, and you could call him "Lombo" - maybe that's all it takes to develop a cult following. He was well on his way to becoming our own Super Joe McEwing, and the fact that the Nats thought as little of him as he was worth is a good sign.
The Tigers were roundly mocked at the time for giving up Fister for so little. Hell, they only held on to one of those dudes, and it wasn't even the good one. It turns out that one of the main things that determines that I'm going to really like a ballplayer is if my team ripped another team to get him, and that's certainly the case here.
The Nats got one really good year out of Fister, and then I got a really good year out of Fister, and then they let him go to Houston because he couldn't pitch any more.
And that's how you run a ball club. Neither end of Fister's tenure with the Nationals was a franchise-altering masterstroke, but the whole episode evinces a reassuring competence.