Wednesday, August 15, 2007

He's Alive!!!

Tom Boswell has discovered that there is, in fact, a baseball season going on in the city of the paper he's been writing for since back when he was actually insightful. This is his first Nats-focused column, indeed, the Washington Post's first Nats-focused column in a month.

Of course having read it -- other than his admirable use of extensive quotations, which too many columnists in distant, far-away lands, are afraid (read: lazy) to obtain -- it's the same sort of "golly, these boys are great" column I remember him writing last time. That's refreshing, in a way, I suppose, in that it marks probably the second time since mid-June of '05 that he hasn't contradicted himself in subsequent columns. Such are the advantages of ignoring a major league team for a month.

"It's an amazing story that's surprised everybody in baseball. We need 17 more wins to equal the 71 we had last season. Who in their right mind would have thought that could happen?" said principal owner Mark Lerner, who assumed at least one disastrous season might be the price the franchise would pay to free $50 million to $60 million in payroll for future free agents.

Question: Is the $50-60 million an assumption of Lerner's (Ha! I s'pose I know the answer to THAT one!) or of Boz? And if it's Boz, why hasn't he looked at the payroll outlays and seen that they've only got about $20 million to spend next year if they go up to the $70 million range?

Once, it was assumed that hot prospects Collin Balester and No. 6 overall draft pick Ross Detwiler would have to be hurried to RFK in September, partly out of necessity. Now, all that's changed. "Why rush them?" said Kasten, grinning.

I'm assuming that Boz' editors trimmed the sentence there. It originally read: "Why rush them?" said Kasten, grinning, while rubbing his hands together malevolently knowing full well that the longer he keeps the kids in the minors the less he has to pay them. (Yeah, yeah, yeah... here comes the barrage of commenters telling me I'm too cynical. whatever)

"We're messing up our number one pick," Mark Lerner said. "But that's okay. We'd rather win."

I'm assuming that Boz' editors trimmed the sentence there. It originally read: "We're messing up our number one pick," Mark Lerner said. "But that's okay. We'd rather win and not have to pay the premium price the 1st overall pick demands, so good job by Stan and Jim to make us just mediocre enough to slide into the middle of the round to save $3-4 million!"

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