When the Nationals faced the Giants in the playoffs last season, San Francisco pitcher Tim Hudson commented on Washington's talent level in relation to the team's perceived lack of toughness.
“Obviously, they have a talented group over there, there’s no question,” Hudson told reporters.”They have some great pitching. But, come playoff time, talent can take you a long ways, but what do you have between your legs?”
Now, a year later after the Nationals have missed the postseason, and in the wake of an incident where Jonathan Papelbon tried to choke teammate Bryce Harper in the dugout, Thom Loverro of The Washington Times is once again looking at the collective crotches of the team in search of some answers.
That is the reputation of the Nationals throughout baseball — they aren’t very tough. The prevailing thought is there is not a lot of fire there, not a lot of nerve in that clubhouse — and that was certainly on display this season during the team’s failure to catch the New York Mets in the final weeks of the season.
That is the problem for this franchise moving forward. It’s not the front office, and however poorly manager Matt Williams handled a bad bullpen, he’s not the problem either.
It’s the players, and, like Hudson said, what is between their legs.
This is part of a piece attempting to defend Papelbon's actions, at least to a certain extent. But there's already way too much testosterone involved in the sports media world as it is, so we'd probably all be better off if analogies like these were to completely disappear.
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[via Dan Steinberg]