Friday, December 16, 2005

Frank Robinson, More On, The Post, and The Times all get their crack at Mr. Robinson, adding a new spin with info presumably gleaned from a conference call while Mssrs Ladson, Svrluga, and Zuckerman stood in their apartments, on the phone while in their pajamas.

There are a few other details that I didn't get yesterday, either because they weren't in the original article, or because I'm a half-literate manchild.

Jack Voigt, whom people remember fondly only because he's not Ron Darling, got the axe too. Apparently Voigt's job was simply to chart pitches -- something the previous night's starting pitcher typically does on a normal team. He'll be replaced by a DVD player, essentially.

Although Eddie Rodriguez will return, one of the articles says it's likely that he won't be back as bench coach, but possibly as a third base coach. (Where he can subvert the sign-giving process and call hit-and-runs to his heart's content.)

Frank Robinson's contract is a one-year deal for $650,000. From my memory of past seasons the cat and mouse game with management over whether to return and for what salary is an annual tradition.

Our criticisms of Tom McCraw apparently had some validity to them. He screwed up Cristian Guzman, by overhauling his swing -- and Guzman didn't start having good ABs until Barry Larkin took him aside and worked with him. But the players didn't really like him either:
"He taught us to have a plan and I understand that, but sometimes, it's more than a plan because if you are missing pitches right down the middle, then there's something wrong with the mechanics of your swing," the player said.

Barry indicates that Mitchell Page is the presumed front-runner for McCraw's job -- something we had assumed, but it's nice to see confirmation of.

Bowden is, apparently, going to let Frank have input on the coaching decision, but it seems like that will consist of Frank being able to look at some names from a list that Bowden has prepared (Taubensee, Morris, Sabo, etc). In discussing that, Frank had an unintionally ironic quote:
"The main thing is to get people in here that are good baseball people, that are good teachers and that will be able to get along with players."
Tomo Ohka, Zach Day, and a host of others would agree Frank.


Tom Boswell also writes today, but not about the Nats -- other than the final two paragraphs presumably tacked on to the end of the piece when his editors said "Ummm... Tom. You realize we have a baseball team in DC now, right?" This one looks like it was written with a new book in mind, because who wouldn't want to pay $27.95 for a bound collection of the same columns we've groaned at for the last year and a half? I actually have a few of his earlier books, and they're quite good. But that was when Boswell was more inquisitive about baseball, instead of his current position where he knows he knows all, and is trying to enlighten the great unwashed of DC.


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