Thursday night, the Washington Nationals achieved the century mark by gaining their 100 loss of the season. Surprisingly the team was in the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers until late. It was back and forth with the Dodgers taking a 1 or 2 run lead and then within an inning or two, the Nationals fight back to one run down. They even tied it all up at 6. But the loss would come, unlike Wednesday night when they won against the same Dodger team.
More importantly than the one game, the 100th loss marks the second season in a row the team goes over a century. Not good when you open a publicly funded stadium and reward the city and fans with 2 sub-subpar seasons.
GM Mike Rizzo thought it best to relieve Manny Acta of his managing duties midway through the season, which didn't solve much. Jim Riggleman might be considered for the position permanently, but it's likely the team will go outside the organization to find the new manager. The interesting part is they never gave Acta, nor Riggleman in relief, much of a chance. The team was built by former GM Jim Bowden in terrible fashion, by acquiring has been, never was, or unwanted players of other teams. Player development went by the wayside and those that made it got shipped off in those trades.
In the end, no matter who manages the team, the Nationals need strong players to be selfless and play as a team well. They lack a true field leader. Maybe Ryan Zimmerman can fulfill that role, but he'll have to step up. The pitching core is both busted and inexperienced. Another season under their belts, the young arms should gain momentum in 2010. Is it enough? Maybe not for 2010, but we can shoot for a smaller goal than pennants. Let's see if we can go 99 or less.