Patience and Prudence were a sister act in the 1950s who had two hit records: “Tonight You Belong to Me,” and “Gonna Get Along Without You Now.” Patience and prudence are also two virtues that sometimes seem in rather short supply around NatsTown.
While sitting in my new postgame radio perch at Nationals Park on Sunday - we’re right down the leftfield line under the 106.7 The Fan canopy, so please stop and participate when you can - I had brief conversations with a dozen or so fans off the air who seemed perplexed by some fairly basic baseball tenets.
For instance, one guy questioned why Chad Gaudin was on the team since he clearly “can’t get anybody out.” Obviously, Chad would have preferred to get the first hitter on Saturday out rather than give up a home run, but that’s what happened. He surrendered more base hits on Sunday, but it’s still a pretty small sample. The same goes for Rule 5 pickup Brian Broderick, whose debut didn’t inspire a lot of confidence.
This isn’t fantasy baseball where you routinely make changes like that. Last year in his first Nats’ appearance, Matt Capps faced seven hitters in one inning, walking two and allowing a hit and an unearned run, yet someone called the postgame show that day and said it was “obvious” he couldn’t throw strikes, and the club should release him immediately.
That guy never called back.
There were a number of questions about Roger Bernadina’s demotion to Syracuse and Wilson Ramos’ ascension to the number one catcher. Roger’s future with the Nationals is quite secure, I believe. They simply think that he’s better off - at the moment - playing everyday, getting those four plate appearances somewhere,so when he does return, he can do the same in the NL. Ramos was acquired due to his high ceiling as a big league receiver, and Pudge Rodriquez is on board with mentoring him anyway he can.
This game, with its long season, requires management to be patient, and to makes moves that seem prudent for the long term. Do I believe the bullpen will stay as it is for six months? Not in the the slightest. But blowing it up after a single three-game series makes no sense at all, and would likely create more problems than it might temporarily solve.
Oh, and come by the postgame show before you exit the ballpark. We’ll have a microphone set up for your contributions.