The Washington Nationals have been in a hitting slump nearly all season.
Entering play on Thursday, the team ranked next-to-last in the National League in runs scored (306) and third-to-last in batting average (.237).
As one might imagine, frustration has clearly set in for a club that boasted the best record in the major leagues in 2012. However, manager Davey Johnson used some humor before Thursday's game against the Milwaukee Brewers to deal with the team's offensive woes.
"I am going crazy," Johnson said.
"I don't have the answers. I mean, I still love this ballclub. I still like the talent. I like the makeup. My Ouija board is just, I'm having a problem with it. It seems like when we hit, we all hit, and when we don't, we don't hit. ... We've been in that cycle for a long time."
"I've thought about just throwing a bunch of names in a hat and picking them out," he added. "I ain't to that point yet."
The Nationals offense appeared to be back on track on Sunday and Monday when they scored a combined 23 runs. But then they scored just one combined run on Monday and Tuesday. So, Johnson is looking for any possible way to spark some life into the bats. This includes swapping Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth in the batting order for Thursday's matinee. Naturally, he was asked for a reason.
"I don't know. Because I'm supposed to do something. I had an epiphany last night about 9:30 and I called Desi, and I said, `Desi, I'm changing something."
"I didn't even explain it to Werth," Johnson said. "He'll figure it out -- that I'm an idiot."
Johnson was also sporting the red, white and blue necklace given to all Nationals players and staff in celebration of Independence Day to which the veteran skipper said, "It's my hit machine."