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Na Mean

Okay so last week my article was sort of based around a Hip-Hop type theme, and I am going to expand on that just a little bit more in this week’s closers article.  In last week’s article I used the term na mean, which actually stands for: do you know what I mean.  I watched a really funny South African comedian by the name of Trevor Noah a couple weeks ago; I highly recommend checking him out. In Trevor Noah’s act he discussed various differences between how we as Americans talk, and how he speaks English.  One of the things that he loved was the term na mean, and he delivered various different ways of using that term which was hilarious.  So I am going to expand on some of the things he said without actually stealing his words.

If you think about it, we're using just two words here instead of a total of six words - na mean?  It’s grammatically incorrect but who cares, it’s amazing and fun to say.  Outside of your professional work settings, which would you rather say - na mean, or do you know what I mean?  Here is an example using both terms:  Alfonso Soriano is the hottest hitter on the planet right now, naaaa mean?  Or, Alfonso Soriano is the hottest hitter on the planet right now, do you know what I mean?  See it just flows really nice, and is simply better.

In relation to all relievers in the bullpen, closers with single inning roles are the na mean - while the other relievers are the do you know what I mean. Na mean?  Let's get to it.


Yeoman’s Work

Fernando Rodney:  Captain na mean with his hat all sideways and stuff.  How can a guy go from garbage to amazing and then back to garbage?  Must be the plantains!  Anyways you did not come here to hear me bash Rodney and I promise I am not hating.  Rodney suffered his 7th blown save on August 9th, increasing his era to 4.15 and whip 1.49 with 30 walks.  Those are not the type of numbers that you want to see from your closer.  But Joe Madden will probably pull a Buck Showalter and stick with him.  If Madden were to change his mind, then we have to take a look at his possible replacements.  Jesse Crain would be the guy, and will be the guy when he comes back from the disabled list, but until then we are looking at either Joel Peralta or Jake McGee as Rodney's handcuffs.  Neither of these pitchers excite me, so take your pick and good luck to ya.



Brad Ziegler:  As of now Ziegler is still closing for the Snakes, but I have to wonder when J.J. Putz will be given another chance.  Ziegler is not your prototypical closer, but Putz is - so I have to think the switch will be made soon.  I have been wrong so far but we shall see.

Kevin Gregg:  August is winding down with little rumors of Gregg being moved.  There are still two weeks left, so there is still a possibility he gets traded.  If he does switch teams then Pedro Strop is the guy to own, with Blake Parker being the fall back option.

Aroldis Chapman:  On Friday night, Chapman blew his 5th save of the season - but he has tons of job security so nothing to report here.

Rex Brothers:  As of now it looks as though Brothers may keep the closing gig when Rafael Betancourt returns from the disabled list.  I would keep this situation in mind, in case Walt Weiss changes his mind.

Kenley Jansen:  Still nailz and screwz.

LaTroy Hawkins:  There are currently 3 pitchers in this pen that could get saves until Bobby Parnell returns, and they are:  Hawkins, David Aardsma and Gonzalez Germen.  Pick one you say?  Gonzalez Germen is my sleeper, and only because it’s fun to say.

Rafael Soriano:  Soriano suffered his 5th blown save on Wednesday but will probably still keep his job.  Something to think about though is if the Nationals continue falling out of contention, then they may take a longer look at their younger players.  Keep an eye on the possibility of Drew Storen closing at some point.

Jim Johnson:  On August 14th Jim Johnson tossed his Major League leading 9th blown save.  As Johnson continues to struggle, Showalter continues to back him - until last Friday.  On Friday, Showalter announced that he would not commit to Johnson as his closer and that they have plenty of options.  Those options would be:  Tommy Hunter, Francisco Rodriguez and Darren O’Day.  Most people would pick K-Rod to be next in-line, but I am still leaning towards Tommy Hunter being the man.

Chia-Jen Lo:  I still believe that Lo is the guy to own in this Pigpen, but Josh Fields could see some save opportunities.

Dane De La Rosa:  Closer for the time being.  But if I was a betting man, and I am so it works out, then I would bet on Ernest Frieiri getting his job back relatively quickly.

Mariano Rivera:  Has blown 3 straight saves in a row, but I am not concerned.  If you are then grab David Robertson.

Danny Farquhar:  One mistake, one blown save, so we’ll give him a break.  Yup just grabbed another save, he's aight!

Joe Nathan:  Nathan is a free agent at the end of the season, but if you are thinking about next year already then think Joakim Soria. He will be closing for the Rangers next year.

Casey Janssen:  Last week Janssen was pitching really well, but this week is a totally different story.  Is his bulky shoulder starting to show signs of weakness?  Tough to say right now, but we at least have to look at the Blue Jays alternatives:  Sergio Santos and Brett Cecil would be the next options.  I have not watched either of them pitch that much this season, but I would still have to lean to the side of Santos because he is a righty and throws hard with a wicked slider.



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