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Jason Marquis is an optimist

Feb 15, 2010, 3:20 PM EDT

When Jason Marquis signed with the Nats he had a lot to say about bringing a winning attitude to Washington and mentoring the youngins.  That apparently wasn’t just a function of post-deal euphoria, because he’s still bringing the rah-rah.  Asked whether the Nats’ many moves this offseason translate to, say, a .500 record, Marquis wasn’t having any of it:

“No, I don’t see why we can’t shoot for the stars. Why do you want to
limit yourself to 81 wins? Why do I want to limit myself to 15 wins? If
I am taking the ball 34 times, I should win 34 times. We step on the
field 162 times, we should win 162 times. You shouldn’t say ‘let’s win
81 games’ than you putting a number (on it) and you are satisfied with
81 wins. I don’t think you should ever be satisfied.”

I’m torn. On the one hand I hate it when ballplayers talk in those Bull-Durhamesque “I just want to help the ballclub” platitudes, but I also don’t like it when someone comes with the “defeat is not an option/victory is certain/give 110%” rebop either.

I’m not faulting Marquis here — I think he went with the better of the two tacks, and it’s nice to hear optimism in NatsLand, because their fans deserve some of it by now — but I think exchanges like these show the limits of what we can learn from people in the media talking to the guys who throw the baseball.

“Yes, Byron, I think we’ll win 86 games, but will fall out of the wild card race in September when Elijah Dukes develops plantar fasciitis on his plant foot.”

What else can he say?

  1. YX - Feb 15, 2010 at 3:28 PM

    I have no problem with the “defeat is not an option/victory is certain/give 110%” stuff when it’s the player / manager / FO saying it. They are the ones working for it, so who am I to say no.

  2. Jonny5 - Feb 15, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    He said it perfectly. No one want a “pre-defeated” player on their team.

  3. BC - Feb 15, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    I get trying to pump up your teammates, but this guy’s a buffoon. The Nats will be battling with my Mets to stay out of the cellar and he knows it. How about zipping your mouth and being a mentor to Strasberg and some of the other young players? These Nats are not the 2008 Devil Rays – that team had a load of talent, it was just a matter of time before they matured. Washington’s cupboard ain’t exactly that full yet.

  4. Dave - Feb 15, 2010 at 4:16 PM

    Fun fact: Jason Marquis’ team has made it to the playoffs in all 10 seasons that he’s played in the big leagues. When you’re crazy lucky like that, can’t fault him for being a blind optimist.

  5. Old Gator - Feb 15, 2010 at 5:48 PM

    Aw, I didn’t realize that Elijah Dukes was prone to plantar fasciitis. If I had been, I would have urged him to drink a 12-0z. bottle of acai juice every morning. Not only will his heel pane go away in about two weeks and stay away, but his gums will stop bleeding, his back spasms will disappear and his skin will clear up. Polyphenols are wonderful things. Good stuff, that little purple berry. Makes a great smoothie too.
    Then Jason Marquis will pass from silly to delusional without taking Elijah down with him. The poor guy wakes up with such a brutal hangover the morning after every Pesach as it is.

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