Is Gio Byron Kerr’s pick in a must-win playoff game?
With the Nats first playoff apperance since the franchise came back to DC nearly here, the Red Porch Report guys thought it’d be cool to sit down with Byron Kerr, who covers the Nats for MASN and MASN.com, and get his thoughts on a couple topics.
Here’s how it went:
RPR: What player has stepped up most as the leader in the clubhouse? With the team having a good mix of younger and older guys, who’s really the straw that stirs the drink?
BK: Adam LaRoche has been a big leader in the clubhouse but there are a few others: Jayson Werth, Chad Tracy, Mark DeRosa, Ian Desmond, and Gio Gonzalez as well. It is hard to say who is more vocal but when anyone of these guys speak up, the other players listen.
It’s a good group. But it is LaRoche, hands down, for both veterans and rookies.
RPR: Though their supposed “argument” a couple weeks ago was never an issue, what is the day-to-day relationship between Davey and Mike Rizzo like? What kind of role does Rizzo play in the clubhouse? Also, is there anybody else in the front office with a voice that carries any weight?
BK: I believe there is mutual respect between them and they both are so competitive that disagreements will rise because they both want this so bad. Their two baseball minds together have made this team what it is today and that says a lot right there.
The Lerners certainly have a say, but the baseball side is squarely on the shoulders of Rizzo and Johnson.
RPR: Of all the nice surprises so far this season, which one in particular stands out the most to you? Is there anything that’s gone on that you still can’t believe?
BK: I think it’s the consistency and emergence of Ross Detwiler. He has been hands-down the biggest surprise to me because of where he has come from injury and throwing across his body to now getting to a point where he has won 10 games in a season.
Jayson Werth rebounding from last year and Bryce Harper remaining consistent, plus Desmond’s amazing 20/20 offensive season have also been very pleasant surprises.
RPR: Though you can tell the entire team has confidence, is there one player or coach that maybe believes more than the others that this is a championship ballclub?
BK: Nobody ever really calls it a championship ball club per say, but Rizzo has been adamant from the beginning he felt they had first place talent and Desmond has said he realized last year this team could win it all if they put all the pieces together.
RPR: I purposely tried not to mention the shutdown heard round the baseball world, but I will ask you this- must win playoff game and everybody on the roster (besides 37 of course) is available- who gets the ball for you?
BK: Gio Gonzalez.
Easy enough. And I bet most Nats fans would agree.
Special thanks of course to Byron and make sure to follow him on twitter @masnKerr