Off days suck! So with nothing better to do with our time, let's answer the latest edition of the Nationals.com mailbag! As usual, keep those e-mails coming to Nationals.com, and we'll keep copying and pasting them over here and giving our half-assed answers! Here we go:
Is John Lannan the real deal?
-- S.M., New York, N.Y.
Let's talk in a month or two, give or take a year, before we go on record on this one. There's a lot to like. Lannan has managed to work his way out of some tricky situations his last couple of starts; but he's also gotten himself into said situations. Lots of walks. But dammit all if he doesn't seem unfazed by it all. So to answer your question: Yes! Absolutely!
How long can the Nationals keep Austin Kearns in the lineup? I'm tired of management saying how hard he's working and great he is. That is nice, but the bottom line is, he has not produced. In 1 1/2 seasons, I can't remember him getting a big hit. His production definitely doesn't warrant batting fifth or sixth in the order.
-- J. R., Fairfax, Va.
Kearns probably would've been replaced by Elijah Dukes by now if ED hadn't faked his hammy injury so he could go clean zoo cages down in Florida. But Kearns remains in the lineup for a good reason: He's in possession of naked pictures of Jim Bowden on his Segway.
The last few years, RFK's dimensions were blamed for the Nationals' lack of hitting. What's the excuse this year?
-- P. R., Oakton, Va.
Long lines for Ben's Chili Bowl? Metro? Lenny Harris? All of the above? This much I know: it doesn't have much to do with Dmitri Young.
I'm noticing that some of the quotes of recently hit-hard pitchers (Matt Chico, Jason Bergmann, etc.) such as, "I lost confidence in my breaking ball" or, "I just didn't have it out there." Would you agree that catcher Brian Schneider is missed as a steady hand and an encouraging voice?
-- M. L., Washington
Disagree. Next question.
The Nats are playing losing baseball, yet Acta seems so patient. How does he stay so composed when sometimes there is obviously poor defense and offense, along with some careless mistakes?
-- K. L., Rockville, Md.
Valium. Next question.
If Church had made the same mistakes as Lastings Milledge, he would have been demoted or benched. What do you think?
-- B. M., Alexandria, Va.
I *think* you need to let Church go. I *think* I'm glad Church is gone so every Mailbag we don't have to answer questions about Ryan Church get disrespected by the organization, etc. etc. Yes, Milledge is a work in progress, and an adventure in center and on the base paths...but...but...I'll take him over Ryan Church for no better reason than that Ryan Church backers like you are a bunch of whiners.
What has Frank Robinson been up to lately?
-- Brian K., Carle Place, N.Y.