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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Boswell: Fight between Papelbon, Harper turns Nationals wake into a public viewing

If you’ve lost even Boz, you’ve lost.

Of course, the ruckus started in the Nats’ favorite inning for disasters involving relievers: the eighth. Why rewrite a polished script? The bullpen’s trashed everything else this year, why not fight the likely NL MVP? Fan Appreciation Day, indeed.

After the game, the Nats had their annual “Shirts Off Their Backs” promotion with each player handing his game-worn jersey to a contest-winning fan. The Nats should make sure two fans receive the first authenticated brawl-used jerseys ever.

An hour after the game, the outfield was filled with fans who took instruction in “Yoga in the Park.” Yes, to improve their serenity. No Nationals participated. ...

On Saturday, after elimination, Williams encountered a century-old ritual for every manager — face the music. What does it all mean, Matt? Now that it’s over, own up: share your analysis or feelings. Or just change expression.

“We have to win tomorrow,” said Williams.

No, you don’t. You’re mathematically dead. Would the captain of the Titanic say, “We have to put that iceberg behind us and get ready for tomorrow”?

Now the 2015 Nationals take their place in a dark D.C. corner with the 2000 Redskins, who boasted of their Super Bowl chances after signing future Hall of Famers Deion Sanders and Bruce Smith. Also in that dunce-cap row sit the 2009-10 Presidents’ Trophy-winning Capitals, who lost in the first round of the playoffs to the team with the 16th-best point total in the NHL in the regular season.

Williams has become the symbol of the season. But the Lerner family who own the team, General Manager Mike Rizzo and $168 million worth of players must bear most of the brunt.

If a team ever needed to look at its issues honestly, while not forgetting its strengths, it’s the Nats now. Organizational culture — whether one of accountability and candor or merely of best-face rationalization — has enormous cumulative impact that can last decades, as Dan Snyder’s NFL team has shown.

JEe (Jason) Posted: September 27, 2015 at 10:36 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: brawl, bryce harper, dumbass, jonathan papelbon, matt williams, nationals

 

 

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