I sometimes have people come up to me and ask what I am going to do when this all ends. What happens when the blog and the revolution are all over?
I tell them the truth: I will retire and disappear into the wilderness of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where I will live near one of the Great Lakes and simply watch the large freighter ships go by and record all their names, dates and times that I see them in a notebook while listening to Gordon Lightfoot all day. This is “it” for me. This is what I strive for. This is what I am going to do one day other than watching Nationals baseball.
Fortunately, that day is not today. I still have a long way to go before I take that final walk back to the blogout so I do something else currently that gives me similar pleasure to dreaming about watching big ships: I keep my eyes out for newly called-up Nationals.
Now. some writers, blogs and media have following the farm system down to a science. Statistics are their sodium chloride and Fangraphs is their periodic chart. Me, I’m more the type of guy who gets word a prospect is being called up to the big team and I frantically run home as fast as I can, giggling all the way. I run up the stairs into my room, lock the door, throw myself on my bed with the player’s profile, a phone and a piece of paper to constantly draw hearts on and I ring all my baseball friends to spread gossip. Just ask my wife. I did it with Cole Kimball.
Kimball is my favorite type of Nationals prospect. Totally homegrown, a babyface built like an ox, possessing a hunger and aggressive streak not yet tainted by the harsh realities of being a full member of the Nationals. I’m a true fanatic in the sense that at times I don’t like to pollute myself with the stats, I just go by what I see. I saw Kimball in spring training and I liked what I saw. I was heartbroken he didn’t break camp with the team. Oh, well. Six weeks later, I had excitement even if the Nationals have started to become a little unexciting.
With the absolutely horrible news of Adam LaRoche being put on the disabled list and suffering from a possible season-ending torn labrum and rotator cuff, I’m ready for some more giddy excitement. I’m ready to watch a player pass on through to the top level of the organization and I’m ready to put his name, date and time down as well. I know the Nationals are pretty determined to work with Michael Morse at first base, but I am for giving Syracuse a ringy-ding-ding and getting 22-year old Chris Marrero a shot at the adult table.
I don’t base this on stats, even though I know them. I have seen Marrero at Single-A Potomac and in a couple of spring trainings. I have followed his career since being drafted as their number one in 2006. I want to see Marrero because my gut tells me it is the right thing to do right now.
Stat sages, I am sure, are rolling their eyes right not. Plenty will point out Marrero’s numbers, how he has fallen off every prospect list and raise questions about if he can be an everyday major league player. Give him a chance and lets put those questions to bed. Why not now? The Nationals are down and out of solid options at first base. Their offense needs something, anything right now. This season has quickly spiraled into one of those where you think baseball ends by June. Seriously, do people think Marrero could do any worse than a .240? A .217? .A 172? How about an .097? All those are current Nationals’ averages. Do we really think he could do possibly worse than those?
In one last ditch effort to stump for Marrero, let me use the words of general manager Mike Rizzo, who in a recent article was talking about the young prospects already on the team in Espinosa, Ramos and Desmond. He said, “We still feel very good with our young core of players. They’re getting valuable experience now in the big leagues and we’re going to be better for it.”
Time to give some new blood some experience, Nats. It is time to pull my mind out of the Michigan wilderness and back to watching this team. Don’t just use the numbers, use a little gut.
I’ve got one big enough for both of us if you need help.
Drew Kinback blogs about the Nats at Nationals Inquisition, and has given his take this week as part of MASNsports.com’s season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our little corner of cyberspace. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.