Caught Napping

Wow! The Nats finally released John Patterson. Maybe they are serious.

Patterson had an outstanding 2005, but, if you remember, that was an odd year. The Nats in their new Washington home were hotly competitive, at least until Atlanta, in that final dynastic breath, handed Screech his bird butt. Since then Patterson has embodied the Nats misfortunes, starting as an ace every year until revealing himself to be a joker.

No huge knock on Patterson, per se. He is a middling middle-to-late starter on a middling team. But he came to represent something lackadaisical about the Nats, that attitude that they were going to lose anyway so it didn’t really matter. As The Prince of New York notes in his 2008 Baseball Guide, that isn’t the attitude manager Manny Acta is instilling in his team as evidenced by Washington playing like they were still in contention late last year versus the supposed to be in contention Mets. I suspect his release was meant to be a wakeup call to any other sleepy heads in D.C.

Keep an eye on this team. They are on the way up.


  1. PAUL

    Did you get the book, Michael? I’ve been meaning to ask those that ordered it if everything was copacetic with delivery. Contrary to what some may believe: I have not paid Michael one penny for his endorsement!
    As for Patterson, I think he was released as both a wakeup call and because his velocity was said to be down to the low to mid-eighties. Jim Bowden isn’t as interested in attitude as Acta is, as is evidenced by his acquisitions of the likes of Elijah Dukes, Lastings Milledge, Paul Lo Duca, Odalis Perez and Johnny Estrada. He certainly trusts Acta’s strong, guiding hand and, after the way the team played their guts out at the end of last year, why not?

  2. SomeBallyard

    I did get the book, faster than expected, and am quite pleased with it. I’ve only read the O’s and Nats sections, but you are dead on in your analysis. I have enough trouble keeping up with the two teams here in the Mid-Atlantic. I have no idea how you keep up with the entire league. I was satisfied to see you noticed the Nats play at the end of the year–so different from the end of the season during Frank Robinson’s reign.

    I’ll confirm your statement: I give my endorsement of my own free volition.

    The attitude problems you noted were a little different than the one I’m talking about. I’m referring more to guys who are complacent with losing. Patterson just never seemed to have that fire in his belly.


    The good Lord knows you’ve got the experience for it. Nobody gets the kind of stash I’ve watched you haul in.

  3. PAUL

    I wish I could take credit for noticing the Nats play at the end of the year for research purposes, but I only noticed it because they kicked the **** out of the Mets and (along with the Marlins) knocked them out of the playoffs.

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