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Tuesday, October 18, 2011 Washington Nationals step it up in the leadership department

Some high quality sportswriting and editing going on here.

In a professional sport like baseball, where player talent and organizational characteristics are very comparable among the many teams, innovation can make the deciding difference. Tony LaRussa’s management of his bullpen, Charlie Phillips’ starting rotation decisions for Philadelphia, and Ray Washington’s lineup shifts for the Rangers demonstrate how agility can control the outcome.

Johnson’s version of this was to make savvy adjustments in the outfield and at first base, and to develop new strategies in the set-up and closer positions for the Nationals. La Russa, Washington, Leland, Phillips—they’re all accomplished leaders and managers. Yet even with his young team, Davey Johnson has earned the right to join this elite club. His players, like McGraw’s, played with the look of eagles.

Guapo Posted: October 18, 2011 at 11:26 PM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: amateur, cardinals, nationals, phillies, rangers

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: October 19, 2011 at 03:46 AM (#3967814)
Charlie Phillips? First time I assumed it was Manuel but that's a strange mistake to make twice. And what was either Manuel's or Phillips's brilliance with the rotation.

And I assume it's a mis-spelling of Leyland.

The eagle-looking Nats went 40-43 under Davey although they did go 17-10 in Sept, including a 4-game sweep of Philly and 2 of 3 from the Braves (sorry Braves fans).
   2. Esoteric Posted: October 19, 2011 at 03:55 AM (#3967818)
And you missed "Ray Washington," Walt.

Incidentally, it's worth pointing out that this is an op-ed, and not something written by any of the Post's regular sportswriting staff.
   3. Dan Evensen Posted: October 19, 2011 at 02:00 PM (#3967992)
Even more lulz in TFA:

An All-Star second baseman and well-respected manager, Davey Johnson has done outstanding work this season to mold the Nationals into a true team, whose dramatic third-place finish bodes well for their future as a playoff competitor in the National League.

How much information can we pack into one sentence? I'm also happy to hear that Davey Johnson has finally molded the Nats into a true team. I was getting kind of tired of that fake team last year (though it certainly fits well with the artificial ballpark, as well as all those signs promising future development in the vacant lots surrounding the ballpark).

Veteran sportswriter Dave Shearon examined this phenomenon with a 1986 statistical analysis of National League teams, and found that teams with optimistic explanatory styles performed better under pressure (defined as hitting with runners in scoring position during the last three innings).

Clutch hitting = positive attitudes. We all know, of course, that McGraw was such an optimist!

Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington’s straight shooting approach to his players created unusual incentives that drove their commitment to winning baseball games.

He got the name right here -- give him credit for that.

I'm on the other side of the planet right now. Please tell me this didn't make the print edition of the Post.
   4. Don Lock Posted: October 19, 2011 at 03:15 PM (#3968083)
Riggleman was 38-37 with the Nats and put Morse at first base.Johnson was 40-43 with the same guys. Seems a very weak case to say he was an elite manager in 2011.
   5. Bourbon Samurai Posted: October 19, 2011 at 03:29 PM (#3968105)
whose dramatic third-place finish bodes well for their future as a playoff competitor in the National League.

It was exceptionally dramatic! We were all on pins and needles here!
   6. Bote Man Posted: October 19, 2011 at 03:29 PM (#3968106)
Don't be too hard on Mark Tuohey. He was basically a salesman who glad-handed people into getting baseball back in D.C. Leaders don't need facts.

And look at the Nationals' inaugural season in our Nation's Crapital with Brooks Robinson at the helm! In sole possession of first place for 63 days! A 10-game winning streak! Their only .500 finish. Now that's leadership, baby!
   7. Guapo Posted: October 19, 2011 at 05:50 PM (#3968343)
They've now changed the next to last paragraph. "Charlie Phillips" is now "Charlie Manual".

He remains Phillips in the last paragraph.

I know this is just a fluff opinion piece, but the Washington Post is really falling to pieces.
   8. Grumbledook Posted: October 20, 2011 at 04:35 AM (#3969067)
For a minute, I thought it was ghostwritten by Jackie Harvey ("The Outside Scoop").
   9. Shock Posted: October 20, 2011 at 04:45 AM (#3969069)
La Russa, [Ray] Washington, Leland, Phillips

Is this some more of that knee-slappin' Jack Keefe comedy I've heard so much about?

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