Tuesday, July 31, 2012

By Comparison

Great rotations rarely stay together for a long time.  Before you can say Smoltz, Maddox  and Glavine, the greatest long-term trio of all time, let me share the only two I have actually watched on a regular basis:

Roy Halladay has won 192 games in fifteen years
Cole Hamels has won 85 games in 7 years
Cliff Lee has won 120 games in 11 years.
By comparison....
Dave McNally won 184 games in 14 years (13 with Orioles)
Mike Cuellar won 185 games in 15 years (8 years with O's all in the second half of his career except the final year)
Jim Palmer won 268 games in 19 years (entire career with O's)
Pat Dobson won 122 games (and lost 129) (2 years with O's) in eleven years but was part of the foursome for the O's in 1971 that won 20 games or more each. 
The O's had a great rotation that was together for eight years.  The Phils trio hasn't been together very long and doesn't appear likely to stay together much longer (they couldn be broken up by 4PM today!).

It's pretty hard to do in the Free Agency era, which is why the O's trio stayed together as long as it did.  Indeed, in the end the Braves' trio broke up largely because of free agency.

* * * * * * * *

You know the old joke, "First in war, first in peace and last in the American League."  Well, the NL version of the Nats have been in first place a long time this season and don't look like they will fade any time soon.  So, do the good folks of the nation's capital care?  Washington currently ranks 14th in MLB attendance.  

So much for a fan base starved for success.  The numbers do not lie:  Washington isn't a great baseball town even in good times.  Too many residents would rather be sitting on the beach in Bethany or Rehoboth, DE, reading their Kindles or acquiring a tan, to spend time in a muggy stadium along the Anaconda River.

Maybe the Nats' alleged brain trust, which went very public in its efforts to discourage hordes of Phillies' fans from filling their park for head-to-head games, ought to reconsider that strategy.