Once again, it’s time to check off some items on my “TIDU List” — Things I Don’t Understand:
• Why the Nationals haven’t swept a series.
It’s hard to complain when the team is 26-18 and has spent most of the season in first place. But the Nats haven’t been finishers. In seven series in which they were a combined 16-0 entering the finale, they’re 0-7 in the finale. Philly and Cincinnati twice have staved off sweeps.
The Nats are doing fine, but they’re killing broom sales in D.C.
• How mandatory knee and thigh pads are bad.
NFL players voiced their disapproval when the league increased padding as of 2013. Players said it would slow them down and really wouldn’t prevent injuries. Several said they won’t wear the extra pads, while the union said working conditions must be collectively bargained.
That’s OK. I imagine NFL players in 1943 objected to mandatory helmets, too.
• Why the Magic love dysfunction.
Orlando couldn’t botch matters any worse. First, officials let Dwight Howard wreak havoc with his indecisiveness. Now, two weeks after losing in the playoffs, coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith are out. The delay doesn’t disguise the blatant suck-up move.
This circus would have added a third ring if Shaq landed the GM job.
• How Henry Rodriguez can be trusted much longer.
Manager Davey Johnson’s confidence is admirable. It’s paying off for second baseman Danny Espinosa, with a .300/.378/.550 slash line in his past 12 games. But Rodriguez has imploded, losing his closer’s job and regularly throwing pitches to the backstop.
There’s still hope; the Phillies won a pennant with reliever Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams.
• Why Randy Wittman is the Wizards’ interim coach.