Even though major-league general managers are grown men with facial hair, ugly shirts, and mistresses, we've always imagined them secretly behaving like a handful of high-school cliques. Anytime one commits a faux-pas—Chuck LaMar, late of the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays, used to be the master of the outrageous trade demand—the others must whisper about him and wonder whether he's actually had all the sex he says he had. They like Brian Sabean because he buys everyone beer. They used to laugh at Brian Cashman because of his overprotective parents, but then his pops kicked the bucket, and he threw some wicked ragers. Dan Duquette got held back a year, so he aced the finals in a class he had no business acing. Everyone's more or less cool with each other. Except Mike Rizzo. Mike fucking Rizzo. Mike Rizzo bumped into the bully from the school across town, who wanted his lunch money. Mike Rizzo said he'd give him his lunch money if Mean Scott didn't hurt him, so Scott laid off. But now Scott's gonna come back, every day, to beat up all the other kids. Because he can.
Tired of the analogy? USA Today's Bob Nightengale explains:
"If we don't win the World Series, I don't care who does," one general manager told USA TODAY Sports, "as long as it's not those guys.
"They don't deserve to win it. Not after what they did."
Said a National League GM: "I hope they go down in flames. I hope it takes another 79 years before they get back to the playoffs. That's how strongly I feel about it."
The Nationals, baseball executives say, brought this on themselves. They were the defiant ones. They were the ones telling the world they were smarter than everyone else, shutting down ace Stephen Strasburg after 159 1/3 innings, believing they were protecting their prized asset for a lot of playoff games in their future.
Psh. Everyone's rooting for Billy Beane anyway. He'll have all the pretty girls at his party if his shit finally works in the playoffs.