Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Fouled-Off Bunts: Grecian Formula Edition

The V-E Day euphoria's starting to wear off finally! So here's everything else that I missed today while I was jigging around the office.

  • No deal. Yet.
    "It's very, very close to the finish line," said one source familiar with the negotiations who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    C'mon Mr. Fisher! By now, you should know you can't trust Jim Williams!

  • Even without the Is crossed and the Ts dotted, they have the contigency over-the-air broadcasting plan in place:
    More than 70 Washington Nationals games would be broadcast this season on two Fox-owned television stations, WTTG-5 (the Fox affiliate) and WDCA-20 (the UPN affiliate), sources said. The sources indicated that some games will be shown on WTTG and the rest on WDCA

    I'll reserve my snarky comments about how they call anything with a reporter on scene 'breaking news' for another time. (Did you know that what I just did is called a paralipsis? Neither did I!)

  • Jim Bowden ends his guest columnist stint at Floriday Today with a look at the reasoning behind the Endy Chavez demotion, Barry Bonds, and his future as an NCAA prognositcator.

  • The Army is looking at a sponsorship deal with RFK (the stadium, not the former attorney general). There are a few jokes there. I trust in your creativity to make them yourself.

  • The Lompoc Record takes a look at hometown hero, Ryan Church, on the news of his promotion to the majors. I'm such a sucker for these local newspapers!

  • I'll point out this DCist blurb not so much for self-congratulations, but just to point out the oddity of our predicted standings. Check out the predicted records for the first few blogs listed here. We all did this independently. That's kinda weird!

  • The last word on Endy Chavez, for now. This Baseball Primer thread highlights something I didn't communicate in what I hacked out on the keyboard yesterday, but is something that's really important.

    The problem isn't that Endy Chavez failed as a lead-off hitter. It's that the team asked him to be a lead-off hitter despite every possible scrap of evidence indicating that he couldn't be one. Good teams look at what a player CAN do, and they find a role for him that uses him to his strength. Bad teams focus on what the player CAN'T do and they try and mold and adapt that player to the skills they want.

    Endy Chavez should not have been asked to be a lead-off hitter. He was doomed to fail. That's not so much a failure of Endy as a player, but of the Nationals. Talking with another blogger, he pointed out, rightly, that Earl Weaver would have found the perfect role for Endy. And that definitely would not involved an 8 next to his name on the scorecard every day.


  • That last point from Primer is a key one. Did they really think that Endy would all of a sudden, at the age of 27, learn plate discipline? He has his uses (pinch runner, defensive replacement), but the team was insistent on turning him into something he's not.

    What worries me (sort of) is the philosophy behind it -- what if Endy had had a fluky good 30 AB this spring, hitting .320 with a .360 OBP? Would they had declared him cured? I'm glad they decided not to let him start, but what did they expect the results of their experiment would be? Did they really think that if he had hit this spring he would be a good player?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/30/2005 3:31 PM  

  • what if Endy had had a fluky good 30 AB this spring, hitting .320 with a .360 OBP?

    Great point, Anon.

    A neat little mini-Ichiro fluke season was the best-case and worst-case scenario for Endy, I wrote before. Best case in that he'd actually contribute; worst case in that teams always conflate flukes with established level of performance, and all of a sudden we've got an entrenched, progressively more expensive millstone up there.

    And I'm just wondering how easy Boz thinks it is to add 4% (or whatever it actually is) to your OBP. He can reduce it down to a bunt single here, a walk there, a HBP way over there, but---if it's so simple, why can't tons of guys do it? Endy's just not a big-league regular quality player, least of all a lead-off guy.

    By Blogger Basil, at 3/30/2005 4:28 PM  

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