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Mike Rizzo says the Nationals are better than the Braves

Apr 14, 2014, 8:56 AM EST

Mike Rizzo Getty Images

I have no idea what the Nationals’ obsession is with saying they’re better than the Braves while getting their butts handed to them in mid-April series, but they’ve gone and done it again.

Last year the Braves swept the Nats in a three-game series that took place April 12-14. In between games two and three of that series, Danny Espinosa and Stephen Strasburg both said that they weren’t impressed with Atlanta and that, in their opinion, the Nats are better than the Braves.

Flash forward exactly one year, between games two and three of a Nats-Braves series and here’s Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo:

So of course the Braves won yesterday to sweep the Nats once again.

Over the past two seasons Atlanta is 18-7 against the Nationals and won the division over them by ten games last year. One would think that, eventually, someone on that club might at least be open to the possibility that they’re not quite as superior as they fancy themselves.

  1. shyts7 - Apr 14, 2014 at 7:44 PM

    This is exactly the problem with the Nats. I’ve been saying this for the last 3 years. Nobody beats the drum harder than them when it comes to saying how talented their team is without any real proof. Two years ago, they acted like they were going to be making the playoffs every single year when they sat Strasburg down. Last year going into the season, their fans and them were just about proclaiming themselves World Series champs. It starts with Rizzo, moves on to their players, back to their announcers, and right down to the fans. They are delusional. Just listen to the announcers during one of their games. They are without a doubt the worst in baseball. When you sit back and look at this team, it really is $140 million of overrated players. Harper is the poster boy for it. While I think he’s going to be very good, he hasn’t taken that next step yet. Zimmerman has power but is horrible in the field. LaRoche is an average 1B. Rendon has potential but he is still young. Ramos and Span hasn’t done a whole lot. Werth is still good but he is starting to get old. I like Strasburg and Zimmermann. They has bright careers ahead of them. Fister was good but we haven’t seen him this year yet. Gio while great 2 years ago, wasn’t as good last season or the start of this season. The bullpen isn’t very good. All that equals a team that thinks they are better than what they are. To paraphrase Dennis Green, “They are who we thought they are.” Are they a good team? Absolutely. I think they can compete for a wild card spot. But in no way shape or form are they as good as they, their front office, their announcers, and their fan base think they are. I may be biased because I’m a Braves fan, but I’m more worried about the Dodgers, Cardinals, Giants, and Pirates than the Nats.

    • jckdgr - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:41 AM

      I’m a Nats fan and you are absolutely right in every word. This is an average team with a slightly above average pitching staff a below average bull pen and an average starting lineup. I agree the Cards, LA, Giants and Pittsburg are real contenders in the NL. As to the Braves, do I like them? No, but I do respect them. They go out and win and they don’t go out saying they are better than everyone.

  2. lukedunphysscienceproject - Apr 15, 2014 at 12:04 AM

    I don’t know if it something in the water or what, but I lived in DC for eight years and I have never been in another place where the various leadership of all of the organizations seem to feel the irrational need to continually spout off about their teams and set expectations super high. And the fans eat it up

    Cue all the “what do you expect them to say” comments, but trust me, it’s different down there. I mean, Caps fans are like zombies. With their team on the brink of elimination from playoff contention, I swear half of them think they are one break away from being cup contenders. All you need to do is saunter over to PFT for 5 minutes to know all you need to know about skins fans. And Nats fans? Whoo boy. All you had to do to get into a bar brawl two summers ago was SUGGEST that it might be POSSIBLE that Rizzo was making a mistake shutting down Strasburg.

    DC is my favorite city in the world and I love going to sporting events when I go back to visit, but there is a smidgen of irrationality down there, and it definitely seems to start at the top.

  3. gobraves1 - Apr 15, 2014 at 6:45 AM

    Mike is like everyone who lives in DC – living in a fantasy land. A land where there’s an endless supply of taxpayers money, where you never have to work a real job – just suckle off the other poor American taxpayers and oh yeah take your ass whippings from the Braves every season. I’d tell you what’s wrong with your team but I don’t want togive Mike any info he might use. I would tell him to take off those rose colored glasses. Go Braves !

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