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.