You don’t win the World Series without Max Scherzer, but what about Howie Kendrick?

Howie Kendrick underneath Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX; Photo by Paul Kim

World Series winning teams need a full team effort in order to win. Without Juan Soto‘s heroics with two outs in the 8th inning of the Wild Card, there is no NLDS, NCLS, and World Series for the Washington Nationals. In the NLDS, where would the team be if Anthony Rendon does not homer off of Clayton Kershaw in Game 5? Without the heroics of Anibal Sanchez in Game 1 of the NLCS, who knows what happens with momentum. In the World Series, what happens if Stephen Strasburg was off of his game? It took an entire team to win these games. We could go through even the most obscure plays and contributions from players like Andrew Stevenson scoring the tying run in the Wild Card to a home run by Michael Taylor to a key strikeout by Tanner Rainey out of the bullpen. While Howie Kendrick was the NLCS MVP and Stephen Strasburg was the World Series MVP, you do not win without the key players who were integral to the success.

Two days ago I responded to Scott Boras who spoke at the GM Meetings. Yesterday, Boras was on the Casey Stern show on MLB Network Radio and responded to my tweet and repeated what he said about Max Scherzer but then gave Howie Kendrick credit as part of the World Series success then he went into what Boras called “veteranism” which is not a word recognized in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, but was a word used over and over during the Boras interview of how veteran role players are now forgotten about because they cost more than a player on a rookie salary.

“We have to get one-third of our league out of hibernation,“ Boras said of tanking teams. “I’m giving [the owner] a barometer for championship calibration. This is not running a business — this is where [an owner] is going to have to take some risk. To win a championship, you’re going to have to go over budget, you’re going to have to a risk, you’re going to have to sign a player and give him the extra year because the competition is there to do it. That’s why when they talked about TED LERNER — Ted Lerner went out and signed Max Scherzer and gave him a record contract, record years, and he was annihilated for it! They told him that was a mistake. That was an overpay!”

“Those types of owners that do that and base it on a reasoned thought. But really it’s the will. It’s like a player who has a will to perform, to win, to do things. They talk about Howie Kendrick. … By the way I don’t represent Howie Kendrick. But I’m just talking about examples of players who have grand impact on that win barometer.”

There you have it. Howie Kendrick had a grand impact on that win barometer. If he does not hit the two-run home run in Game 7 in the seventh inning as the game-winning RBIs, do the Nationals find a way to win that game? On the biggest stage, it sometimes takes a player like Kendrick to make baseball work its magic. A split second later on the swing of the bat and it is a foul ball. The ball clanked off the foul pole only a few feet above the outfield padding.

On FanGraphs’ Roster Resource, they list Howie Kendrick’s value for a one-year deal at $7 million. The Nationals could use a player like Kendrick on their roster, and with a openings at third base, second base, and first base, he would fit right in along with his potent bat that can come off the bench for a key pinch-hitting opportunity.

Do you believe it Howie Kendrick! Watch his highlight reel and relieve the magic of his entire postseason.

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