SportsCrack Blog

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hitting Jesus + Pitching Jesus = same old Nationals

After all of the drama, the Nationals signed Bryce Harper to a 5 year, $9.9 million dollar contract. Congratulations Nats! Let's focus on reality. Strasburg has shown himself to be a very good pitcher, but still beatable and Harper has all the tools to be an amazing hitter, but can you count on 1 pitcher and 1 hitter to revive a franchise? The Phillies couldn't, the Yankees couldn't, the Braves couldn't, the Red Sox couldn't, why would the Nationals?

Unlike tennis, baseball is a team sport. No crap right?!? Strasburg pitches 1 out of every 5 starts. To be successful, a team needs a 1 - 2 punch, at a minimum, with at least a decent bullpen to back them up. The Nats have a 1 - ?. The bullpen has looked good with Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen, who has ridiculous potential by the way, but over the course of a season, you can not count on 2 bullpen arms to get you through.

In a line-up, there are 9 hitters. Someone has to get on base, someone has to drive them in. There are power hitters, there are role players, and there are clutch hitters. Ryan Zimmerman is an excellent hitter, fielder, and leader, but if the Nationals lose Dunn, who else is going to hit on the team? A line up with Dunn, Zimmerman, and Harper would look good, but outside of those three, who scares you as a pitcher? Who are the role players? Who is going to get on base?

While Strasburg and Harper are true one of a kind talents with an almost limitless amount of potential, the Nationals still need to understand the team concept and focus on building a foundation of players that can win as a team, not creating a scenario where they are just likely to win every fifth day and likely to get at least 2 hits a game from Harper. I commend them for starting somewhere, but you don't rest the hope of your entire franchise on 1 player. Just ask the Cleveland fans about Lebron. If the King himself can't win a championship on a team of five, how will a possible prince carry a team of 9 to the holy land?

While I wish these guys all the best and am thrilled to know that the Nationals are working hard on turning around a franchise that hasn't been good since the Andre Dawson days, it's going to take more than 2 kids to consistently win in a division that is getting better and better as a whole.

Regardless, congratulations Mr. Harper. I look forward to seeing your career and watching the Bravos beat up on the Nationals regularly for the foreseeable future. Yea, I'm biased, I know.

On another note, congratulations to one of GA's own, Kaleb Cowart out of Adel, GA. Kaleb signed last night at the last hour with the Los Angeles Angels. The 18th overall pick in this year's draft and the 2009 - 2010 Gatorade National Player of the Year award winner signed as a pitcher and has been clocked as high as 97 MPH in high school. I know your family is proud and I wish you all of the best.

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