Tuesday, September 05, 2006

If Ifs and Buts Were Candy and Nuts...

I really, really wish I'd made it out to the ballpark today. Ramon Ortiz took a no-hitter into the ninth and hit his first major league dinger. The Nats won their fifth straight. It must have been a blast at the ballyard.

Instead I took my dog hiking at Great Falls and it rained. Meh. Otis and I had a good time anyway.

Awhile back I wrote an informal survival guide to being a fan of a last place team. In that post, I wrote:

In a baseball season like this, you have to learn to cherish the individual moments of greatness over the net result of the season. The Nats are bad, and they're probably going to get a lot worse later this summer after Bowden and Kasten close down the RFK version of Filene's Basement.
Well, Bowden's Bargain Basement is still open, but the Nats have gotten much worse since that post. Still, Ortiz's performance today was one of those great individual moments that fans can savor even in a lost year. I mean, you just gotta be happy for the guy, right?

Check out this picture...Bowden is so happy that he's pouring some of that precious bottled lightning all over Ortiz's head!

I know he's been up and down, but I've slowly become an Ortiz fan this season. He hasn't been dominant (except for today) but he's been fairly reliable and is usually able to make his way deep into games. That's something this team desperately needs in the absence of Livan Hernandez.

Speaking of Hernandez, I'm hoping the Nats use some of the money they're saving on him to bring Ortiz back for another one-year deal. A 2007 starting rotation of Patterson, Lawrence, Ortiz, O'Connor and Winter Free Agent Acquiree wouldn't be so bad, would it? Bolster that with this year's offense and a better bullpen and you're looking at a team that can respectably tread water until our alleged 2008 breakout year. We'll see.

Photo of Bowden and Ortiz: AP