Do the Nationals players feel entitled?

Danny Espinosa
Danny Espinosa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the Nationals told Danny Espinosa he was headed back to the minors, the struggling second baseman didn’t have to search hard for his feelings. “I was [ticked] off,” he said. It didn’t take long, though, for him to embrace the team’s decision. He says he knew something was wrong with his swing and suiting up for the Syracuse Chiefs would give him time to figure it out.

“I think this will be the biggest blessing in disguise of my life,” Espinosa said Tuesday.

– Rick Maese, Washington Post

Simple question: Why would a player with a .158 OBP and .272 SLG be [ticked] off to go to the minors?  Danny Espinosa was one of the worst regular players in Major League Baseball this season.  He had a negative 0.9 oWAR.  He had 47 strikeouts and 4 walks in 167 at bats.  Danny Espinosa was painful to watch.  He is one of the major reasons a World Series favorite is struggling to get to .500.

So, I ask again: why is he mad he was sent to the minors?  If anything, he should be mad the Nats didn’t send him sooner.

I get that players are competitive.  And they’re confident in their abilities.  But really dude?  You were awful.

Maybe Danny Espinosa is trying to save face (which is not as fun as eating face).  Maybe he knows he was seriously hurting his team by wildly swinging through average fastballs against mediocre MLB pitchers.  I mean, he couldn’t possibly be that clueless to think that he currently deserves a Major League starting job.

But his quote worries me that the Nationals players feel entitled.  There wasn’t a lot of competition in the Nats training camp this year.  With a division title banner hanging in the stadium, most players, Espinosa included, knew their 2013 roll well before Opening Day.  On top of that, Davey Johnson is a players manager, reluctant to bench players during slumps.

But players should be at least a little fearful of their jobs.  Fear motivates.  At a minimum, they shouldn’t be surprised when they’re sent to minors after they’ve clearly demonstrated they can’t compete at the big boy level.

Danny, you might have been [ticked] off to go to AAA, but I was [ticked] off watching you strike out.

Too harsh?

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8 thoughts on “Do the Nationals players feel entitled?”

  1. I wouldn’t do this even thuogh you need a 2B, Espinosa’s slump has really changed his value now, and freeman will contribute just as much pop and he will have a better average than espinosa, if espinosa gets back to his 1st half self, then you can try and make this trade if you desperately need a 2B but as of now i would keep freeman over espinosa regardless of the fact that you need a second basemen, hope this helps. -6Was this answer helpful?

  2. Not per organization, but it’s forzen at 160 across the minors. Most of the action is going to be in the tween leagues like the Appalachian and Pioneer league when an organization decides it wants to shift its efforts. A few years ago, the Pulaski affiliate went dark for a season when the Blue Jays pulled out, then the Mariners decided to fill out the league. Baltmore bailed on Bluefield this past offseason but the Blue Jays decided they wanted to come back.The decision to cap it at 160 as part of the 1990 NAPBL was done in part to create competition between teams for affiliated ball and get new facilities built. Ironically, the old facilities that were vacated helped create the environment for the independent leagues to set up shop and in some places (especially in the Atlantic League), they were able to leverage the excitement from the stadium boom of the 1990s to get *better* facilities.

  3. Taylor (a young, skittish SS) moves to CF & statrs to impress Organizational staff. That has a familiar ring to it Mantle (NYY 1950, converted in minors), Yount (MIL 1984, converted in 10th year in MLB), Desmond (WSH 2012?, 3rd year in MLB). It could turn a gaping hole since 2005 into a plus, both offensively & defensively. Espinosa could shift to his natural SS position, and Lombardozzi should be ready to step into the 2B slot by then (defensively, at least). Stepping down off soapbox now, end rant.

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