Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Flotsam and Jetsam

The Nationals dumped a lot of roster deadwood yesterday, releasing crappy pitchers such as: Ryan Drese, Brian Lawrence, Joey Eischen, Pedro Astacio, Zach Day, and Felix Rodriguez. As some day it must happen, Bowden's got a little list. They'll none of them be missed.

This is more of a procedural move than anything. There's still talk of bringing Lawrence back next year -- tho the prospects of bringing back a mediocre pitcher who's coming off shoulder surgery ain't something to get too excited over.

  • With Florida's firing of Joe Girardi, he becomes the hot name with the Nats (although the vast NL-central conspiracy has him going to the Cubs). One question for all the Girardians: What evidence is there that he's a good manager?

    It strikes me that his tenure is the Frank Robinson problem all over. From a distance, the macro level, he looks great. Look at what he did with the kids (ie look at what Frank did with a moribund franchise). But when you look closer, he doesn't look as pretty. Girardi kept Josh Johnson (who led all rookies in ERA) in the bullpen for a long time, despite his 'baseball people' telling him to start him. He mouthed off to his owner, telling him to F off, which you don't do, even if Loria deserves to be kicked in the nuts. And, by all accounts, he's an arrogant SOB, insisting that he knows best because he 1) went to Northwestern, and 2) Was a Yankee. Big woop.

    He MIGHT be a great manager, but I don't see how anyone could draw that conclusion yet.

  • Soriano's money-grubbing agent is meeting with the Nats today. One of Ladson's stories last week mentioned a 5/$80 figure for Soriano, which would be ridiculous.

  • PT Bowden says that the team won't be a player in the FA market. He also says that they're scouring the "depths of the earth" to find starting pitching. I can't be the only one that interprets that in a way that'll find us watching Walter Johnson's reanimated corpse on the mound on Opening Day.

    Meanwhile Todd Jacobson hints that payroll could actually be lower next year. (I wonder if he'd hint at that if he hadn't heard whispers -- Svrluga's hinted at the same thing).

    If that's the case, my fears of a Pohlad-lite will intensify. The team ran an admitted $25 million profit last year (and god knows how much they actually made). DC's tax revenues are down slightly from last year, which is an indication that they're not making as much, but there's still profit. And when you factor in an improved radio deal, not to mention an increase in payments from MASN, there is NO EXCUSE to lower payroll, especially when the club won't even invest a few extra hundred K into the draft picks they select.

  • Preston Wilson needs to STFU. He rips the team for letting Frank go, and complains about the clubhouse last year.

    Recall that Wilson, who was completely superfluous, filling a need that didn't exist, came over and hit like crap, playing some of the worst centerfield defense this side of Bernie Williams. Then, with the season nearly over, Frank inserted his carcass time after time into the lineup for a vain attempt to get him 90 RBI, putting stupid personal statistics ahead of what was best for the team. No wonder Wilson is upset. Screw him.

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