Can Cal Ripken Jr Save the Nats?
The Washington Nationals were far and away the MLB's biggest disappointment this season.
And at the time, who could blame them?
That's the thing about spring training. Everything looks good if that's what you're trying to find.
Washington seemed to be loaded:
- They added 2013 AL CY Young Award winner Max Scherzer to their already stacked pitching staff.
- They have one of the best young players in baseball in Bryce Harper.
- They have talented veterans in Jason Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond.
- They also had the reigning NL Manager of the Year -- Matt Williams -- who did a great job in replacing the legendary Davey Johnson.
- Plus, they get to player the lowly Braves and Phillies 36 times during the season.
How could this team possibly fail?
The answers appeared as the season wore on:
- A number of injuries to key players;
- Disappointing results from their supposed star pitching rotation;
- An award-winning Matt Williams appearing lost as a manager; and
- Mike Rizzo’s decision to trade for clubhouse cancer Jonathon Papelbon
There's also the fact that the Mets simply outplayed the Nats in the last two months of the season.
Now that Williams has been canned, the question in DC is, who can save this team?
And that man is Iron Man, aka Cal Ripken Jr:
During an interview, Ripken expressed his interest in the job, saying that he would “answer the phone” if Rizzo called him.
The Nats have said they'd prefer a manager with experience, but that fact doesn’t deter the Hall of Famer. Dude cited his numerous years spent within the game as his biggest asset, as well as the fact that he is yet to be given the chance to manage.
The Iron Man may just have what it takes to turn the Nats around. Whereas Johnson and Williams represented the extremes of being either too player friendly or too strict, Ripken may be able to find the perfect balance between the two.
There's no denying that experience is a key for any job, especially in regards to a manager, but sometimes you need to be willing to take a risk. And Ripken may just be the man to turn this disappointment of a team into a World Series contender.
Plus, Cal has made it known that he would consider wearing a suit as a manager.
For that reason alone, I say the Nats should give Cal the old college try. Even if it isn't college.