Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fouled-Off Bunts: Dmitri Young, Vegetarian Edition

The Nats' Clubhouse culture of healthy foods and grains is catching on, even with Dmitri Young. Somehow, he's become a symbol for vegetarianism (I know I'm opening myself up to 10 anonymous comments referencing veggie dogs).

Meanwhile, the team is now 17-25 since the Food Nazis, Brian "Jack LaLame" Schneider and John "Anemia and Thrombophilia" Patterson, took away the Skittles. Way to go, jerks.

Schneider got drilled in the arm yesterday, and had to leave the game. Ordinarily, a player would console himself with a beer or some junk food, so HA! I hope he enjoyed his wheat germ. It doesn't seem like it's anything serious, which is not good news for the Nats' offense.

Just thinking out loud... MASN seems to come up with a stat o' the day to laud Schneider. He certainly deserves a lot of credit for the pitching improvements this year, but what I wonder, is if he deserves credit this year, doesn't he deserve some of the blame for what happened last year? Or is that all Frank's fault?

  • Manny Acta has decided to screw the CF platoon, giving Logan a few starts based off a laughably small sample of 11 or 12 ABs. He responded last night by going 0-28 -- at least it seemed that way from the stands.

    Here's what I'm thinking... they're giving Logan one last chance to show what he can do. With Alex Escobar on the horizon -- and Manny's repeated insistence that Kearns, Church, Escobar will be his outfield -- Logan is likely the odd man out. The Nats, unless they dumped Batista (which might not be a terrible idea), would need to clear some room. If Logan starts doing what they want, Batista goes. If he continues to flounder, maybe it's his keister that's on the line?

  • Shawn Hill had a bullpen session with little pain, but he didn't throw any breaking pitches. Nick Johnson had a cortisone injection in his hip. It doesn't appear to be anything tooo worrisome, likely just a balance issue related to his gait.

  • NFA has some updates on the Smoker and McGeary signings. There's good news on the Smoker front, but a setback (of sorts) on the McGreary angle.

  • Here's 20 paragraphs on how much D'Angelo Jiminez sucks. Tomorrow, expect a story on Tony Batista.

  • The papers went gaga over Barry Larkin's visit to the Nats, to work with the hitters. (Hey, why're you looking over your shoulder, Lenny?) I enjoyed this quote: "Let's be real, I wasn't a guy that tore it up offensively. I was good. I got the runner over because I had confidence that the guy behind me could knock him in."

    That's some mighty good revisionist history! Barry Larkin is a HOF SS, who had a number of terrific offensive seasons. He didn't hit homers, but he cranked extra-base hits, stole a bunch of bases, and hit for a good average. By OPS+, he had 8 seasons that would qualify him as the Nats best non-Dmitri hitter. While that could be damning with faint praise, it's not. His 1996 season is probably one of the greatest seasons any SS has ever had. And it wasn't because he moved the runner over.

  • There was one distressing note. He complained about the lack of a consistent hitting philosophy, and that each level has its own method: "There needs to be one clear direction on how these guys are supposed to approach hitting," Larkin said. "I think we have some good knowledgeable baseball people here. There are some inconsistencies from what people are teaching from one level to the other. I think that kind of frustrates players."

    Shouldn't this have been done by now? Isn't this one of the first things that a regime should put into place, especially one that's as committed to the minors as this one claims they are? I thought the strength of the Braves system was that there was uniformity and consistency? Why hasn't this been implemented here? Is this a function of the musical chairs they've played with farm directors?

  • Two weeks 'til the trade deadline, and Jim Bowden's iPhone probably needs to be hosed off. (I'll let you supply the reason why) Cordero, Rauch, Young, Belliard are the likely targets, but you knew that. I'll be interested to see what will happen.

    Lame prognostication: Ruach goes. Cordero and Young stay. Belliard gets traded in August.

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