Thursday, June 08, 2006

Fouled-Off Bunts: Earl Weaver's Bastard Son Edition

The Nationals announced the hiring of former manager Davey Johnson as Special Consultant to the GM. Johnson and Bowden with each other in the past, where Davey Johnson somehow managed to finish in first place with a team constructed by Jim Bowden two times!? (One coming in the strike season)

Officially, Johnson's just helping them in preparation for the upcoming trading deadline, but it's probably safe to assume that he's the manager-in-waiting. Federal Baseball had today's must-read, looking at Johnson's and Bowden's history and what that likely does mean for Frank. (Meanwhile, Distinguished Senators reminds us of what Bill James thinks about Johnson)

With Frank Robinson, Bob Boone, and Davey Lopes, all former managers, in the fold, Davey Johnson increases the number of successful major league managers on the team to 1. I'd love if Johnson took over. He has a long track record of success, and really knows hot to put his players into the best possible position to succeed, in part, because he has a really keen eye for talent.

  • We keep licking, but we're still not close to the creamy center of the draft.

    --Jim Bowden's Examiner column explains why scouting is so essential; they were able to steal a few picks because of poor performance because of minor injuries or crappy mechanics, both things which should get better.
    --Todd Jacobson continues to blow away the bigger papers with his draft coverage. First, he interviewed second-round pick Sean Black and gets him to indicate that his commitment to Seton Hill could be bought out, which is a slightly different story than was reported yesterday. Jacobson also scores an interview with Scouting Director Dana Brown. There's not any earth-shattering info in it, but Brown's enthusiasm and excitement with his draft is obvious.
    --MLB.com's overview notes that the Nats drafted hitting coach Mitchell Page's son, and Eddie Rodriguez' kid. There's a long tradition of nepotism in baseball, so this isn't anything to get worked up over.
    --NFA rounds up some other draft articles, notably Friend of Distinguished Senators, Dayn Perry's colum for Fox Sports, saying that the Nats had the third-best draft. The consensus seems to be that the Nats did wonderfully. Now get those jerks signed!

  • John Patterson had his first rehab start yesterday, and NFA provides a first-hand report. The MLB.com intern, who has undoutedly been told that I'm scum of the earth, reports, too.

    The key for Patterson is his curve and slider. The breaking pitches are the ones that'll put strain on his forearm, hurting his elbow. From both accounts, he threw a number, but had much more feel for his curve. It's a good sign, but there still needs to be a bit of caution. He supposedly has just one more rehab start left, but if he's not feeling his slider, I don't see the point in rushing him.

  • Our new Lerner overlords refuse to pony up the money to bury the parking garages that are an unsightly blemish on the stadium.

    Worse, they've chewed through $2.9MM of the $8.5MM contingency funding they've set aside, thanks to some stray oil tanks. $3 million for oil tankes? It's taking them $56K per oil tank. Nice work if you can get it!

    Robert Tannenbaum, Lerner's son-in-law, has already learned the favorite Washington game, the disingenuous debate:
    Tanenbaum was forceful, saying the city has a contract with Major League Baseball to complete the stadium, with parking, by Opening Day 2008. If the stadium opens with parking lots that are not serviceable because underground lots are not finished, the city and team will be embarrassed and fans will be inconvenienced and sour on the ballpark experience, Tanenbaum said.

    So, 'fans' will be soured on the ballpark experience if the 1,400 parking spots for team officials and the most IP of the VIPs don't have their ritzy over-priced, public-subsidized parking spots? Whatever.

    The issue is that the Lerners don't want to pony up the money to sink the garages. Meanwhile, having these big structures is not only going to ruin the view from inside the stadium, it's going to chip away at one of the main reasons the stadium was put up in the first place: economic development. These garages will take a big chunk of prime development space away. It's a space that's sure to be heavily trafficked, because it's on the line from the Metro Station. People would naturally flow there, something they might not do if the bars, restaurants or stores are four blocks away. It's short-sighted, and it's cheap.

    Just what we want in an owner.

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