Co-Expert Ron Juckett:
Watching the last two days has been an interesting experience.
The Nats started the week with a rather unusual case of bravado. Have all the pieces to score Sale and McCutchen? Of course, do not be silly, my friend.
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Sale held his introductory press conference with the Red Sox and McCutchen probably holds his autograph session at the Pittsburgh Pirates Fan Fest on Saturday.
The whole setup reeked of Rex Ryan promising victories over the New England Patriots before getting pummeled 24-0. Anyone who works inside a sports team knows there is no such thing as a guaranteed victory.
Yet, you cannot say Mike Rizzo and the Nats did not try.
They thought they had a deal for Sale. The Nats and Pirates were close last week for McCutchen until Pittsburgh asked for a bit more.
With the longest pennant drought now in baseball, other team’s sense a bit of desperation for Washington to win now. Both Sale and McCutchen were not free-agents-in-waiting. The Bucs and ChiSox are within reason asking for a king’s ransom.
Still, what plays out most of the year in private now us as much of a spectator sport as the actual game. For any team, this level of distraction causes mistakes. With Washington, it causes disappointments.
No one wants to watch sausage made, but everyone eats it.
For everyone involved, they need to remember this week is about sausage making. The results are unknown until next November.