March 15, 2006

What is Success?

And in the spirit of asking dumb questions, as the excitement over the stadium calms down and everyone has their comment out there...

Before the season starts, what do we consider success? What is a good year?

Last year, Watson, Nate and I came to the conclusion that we thought a good year would be .500. (And what the hell, we got it). We haven't even discussed it yet this year, but I thought I would throw out the question again.

What is a good season for us?

As I've mentioned before, I just love being at the ball park, so I think one of my gauges of success will be if I make it to 15 games, have a Chipwich at at least 7, and make it to Coyote Ugly once after a game. (Bonus points if they let me wear my jersey inside -- I've been turned away before. Apparently, 3 white/transparent guys in Nats Jerseys is potential gang-wear). I made it to 20 last year, so I'm being a little conservative. Success will also be beating the Orioles on Jun 24 at Camden Yards, since the NTP crew will be there, although I have to put this in optional.

But in the team sense, what will success mean? I think we're looking at a team that isn't as strong as last years -- that seems to be my impression, and while Nate can probably pull out numbers to support or deny this claim, that seems right to me. So based on that, .500 seems like it won't happen? Is a losing team success for us? Is it a reach for 79-81?

Is declaring an owner part of our success package? Will that make us happy? Does it have to be a particular owner, or just "any" owner at this point?

I've been trying to come up with my own answer, and I'm not sure. You don't want to go into a season saying "a less than 500 season is a winner" (because it's not), but I also don't want to set the bar so high as to be totally disappointed.

So I think I'm going to try something else. Rather than judge it by total wins/losses (which I think will just serve to depress me), I present....

Dave's (Personal) List of Success.

For the team....

1. During the season, at least one 6 game winning streak.
2. Not to be mathematically eliminated before Sept 5 (which does happen to be my birthday).
3. Nick Johnson to only be on the DL at total of 20 days or less.
4. Chad Cordero has 20 saves or more. Being conservative, but trying!
5. John Patterson has a record that includes 12 wins. Hoping for run support, this is more than last year
6. Guzmania delivers a Batting Average better than .260, and hits 30 dingers. I'm trying to recreate 2004 for him. If he hits Nate's predictions, so much the better.
7. Zimmerman delivers, and we see a solid ball player.

and for myself...

8. Attendance at 15 games.
9. Chipwich's at at least 5 games.
10. One entry into Coyote Ugly after a game
11. One night of total stupidity at the ball park, involving not driving and a lot of beer.
12. A win on Jun 24, just to have some personal gratification on beating the Orioles while at Camden Yards decked out in Nats gear.

Who else has something? Are we really looking at a depressing sub-.500 year (and thus should take comfort in little things like those above), or am I setting the bar too low?


Chris Needham said...

I'm with you on the Camden Yards thing. That entire weekend is going to be the high point of the season.

Basil said...

I don't know . . . Guzman with 30 dingers is a bit low. ;-)

This is a good list, Dave. I predicted 75 wins last season, and I think that's about in the range this season, depending on whether Florida is merely bad or abjectly miserable.

I do think the owner thing has to be part of the goals list.

Dave said...


It will be glorious. :) Which day are you going up there?


I didn't want to ask for too much from Gooz -- you know, Nate already has so many hopes pinned to him. :)

I might be clinging to 79-81 in the back of my mind, although I'm really trying not to. As for the ownership, I probably should add it to the list, but I was trying to focus more on 'on field' accomplishments rather than the rest of it. What is success for the team/players from a playing perspective. I think our list of success for off field would look somewhat different.

Chris Needham said...

I'll be there Saturday and Sunday. I'm debating about Friday, but there's only so much traffic/syphillis that I can handle.

I said 75 last year. I'll stick with that number this year (pending how the rotation shakes out!).

The offense should be improved over last year, the starters should be a wash, and the pen probably a step back.

Like Basil said, let's root for a completely sucky Marlins team! ;)

Nate said...

Frankly, the staff of the GUZMANIA 2006 project will be satisfied if Cristian recovers enough to prevent Royce Clayton from drawing a paycheck this season. The only thing worse than paying $4M for one bad shortstop? Paying $5M for two bad shortstops.

Watson said...

I'm not focusing so much on win totals as I am how the pieces fit together. If Soriano works out, Johnson stays healthy, Zimmerman, Livan, Cordero, and Patterson perform to expectations, Guzmania 2006 is a success and we get a respectable owner I think that's a great season.

That and we pound the O's.

Dave said...


We'll have to meet for a beer on the Saturday. :)

If I had to, I may just stick with my 79-81.

I think my list is about what I want it to be.


Yuda said...

Success for this season rests on one -- and only one -- thing: Jim Bowden making his triumphant return to Cold Pizza. The club can lose all 162 games as far as I'm concerned, as long as Bowden is no longer capable of making bad trades and signings.