Friday, March 24, 2006

Fouled-Off Bunts: Pay No Attention To The Bats Behind The Curtain Edition

Ramon Ortiz finally pitched like a major league pitcher. His six shutout innings helped the Nationals to a 1-0 victory. The particulars? Five hits, zippo walks, and two strikeouts -- it's that last number that's not particularly encouraging. Shutting out a team is nice, but it's the lack of any sort of dominance that's worrying. Still, it's an improvement over the all-line-drive pitching approach he had been using to this point.

While the focus is on his pitching, and the fact that the Nats managed to make it through a game without an error, it hides the fact that the offense did nothing. Four singles hardly counts. Even more than last year, the Nationals are going to be a team that's going to need to string a few hits together to score runs. When those hits aren't coming, we'll see those familiar dead innings. But on the bright side, their offensive approach makes the games go by quicker!

  • The team made more cuts. NFA has the boring details. Of note, Mike Difelice, the backup catcher who once assaulted a girl and burned her, was reassigned, and is likely to take his pathetic aging carcass to soil another team's uniform.

  • Have no fear. Soriano's only hitting leadoff now because of a need to get him ABs, since he missed so much time with the WBC.

    In the same article, Ken Wright demonstrates why I'd never hire him to manage my baseball team: "So that's begs the question: Who is going to lead off this season for the Nationals? With shortstop Cristian Guzman likely opening the season on the disabled list, veteran shortstop Royce Clayton seemed a likely answer."

    Clayton's career OBP? .313.

    Thankfully Frank is a bit smarter than that: "Anybody can be the leadoff hitter if you put them up there, but no, I don't see Royce as the leadoff," Robinson said.

    Phew! Wait... Frank? Why are you still talking? "I would see Royce, if he's going to hit in the top somewhere, as a number 2-type hitter."

    Noooo!

  • Tim Kurk....Jian reports that the Nats (and by that, I mean the tools-obsessed GM) were interested in Tigers outfielder Nook Logan (STATS).
    5 reasons why trading for Nuke Logan is a bad idea:
    1) He's an outfielder. We have enough of them!
    2) He makes Brandon Watson look like a Ruthian slugger.
    3) Even the Tigers are having a hard time finding a place for him.
    4) He's like Ichiro -- without the batting average or charisma.
    5) A wacky name does not a good ballplayer make. (See also: Dawkins, Gookie)

  • Tonight's game is on UPN-20 (or whatever the hell they're calling themselves this week) at 7. There's nothing else on tonight of interest to the local sports fan, right?

  • DC's CFO did a study of the ballpark and concluded that it's going to be a cashcow for the new owners (and presumably a tax windfall for the city). The study says to expect over $200 million initially before leveling off at 'just' $190 million per season. That would place the Nats in the top-3 of revenue-generators.
    "Any kind of number north of $200 million that doesn't include TV [revenue] sounds astronomically high to me," Nationals President Tony Tavares said.

    In particular, Tavares and two people who formerly held business positions at Major League teams said the report's figures on ticket prices and revenue generated from tickets appear to be too high.

    The number certainly does seem high, but keep in mind that MLB has a long history of doing everything in its power to pretend that revenues are lower than they actually are. It's awfully hard to scream for public subsidies when you're diving into your money bin Scrooge McDuck style.

  • WaPo writes about the adjustments that A-Sor is going to have to make to play left. Some of the players interviewed think that it's going to be more difficult than people assuem.

  • Boswell chats at 11 today. Potential questions:
    --Now that he's moved to the outfield, will this affect Sorian's VORS (Value over replacement Swagger)?
    --Is WASH=Ing/TON the best baseball city or what?
    --When do we get a new owner? (as if he has any freakin' clue!)

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