Friday, February 11, 2005

Chat Round-Up

It's unanimous. We love Barry. He revealed that he's going to be starting a WP-sanctioned Nats Blog. Distinguished Senators and I have already started deputizing fellow bloggers. This is gonna be one helluva turf war!

Much of the chat focused on the Chavez problem. Now, if it was Eric we had, it wouldn't be much of a problem. But, we're stuck with Endy. (Which I think is the shortened form of his nickname, "Inning-ender.")

The Nationals would love to have Endy Chavez win the job in center field -- where he stated last year -- and would love to have new shortstop Cristian Guzman prove he can bat second. But the key, in both cases, is their on-base percentage. Chavez's was a miserable .291 from the leadoff spot last season. Guzman's is .303 for his career. If they can't get on base regularly, expect to see Brad Wilkerson back at the top of the order -- despite the fact that he hit 32 homers last year. If Chavez can hold onto the leadoff spot, then Wilkerson can hit fifth, a spot from which he'd certainly drive in more than the 67 runs he did last year.

Lots of people seemed peeved off because of the ticketing problems. I guess my call for peace in the world went unheeded.

Another questioner complained about the team's nickname--or at least the shortened version of it:
By the way, can we drop the Nats nickname? Sounds too much like gnat. It should be the Nashes. There’s no hard T in National.

Candy is certainly pretty dandy, but the Nashes idea sucks hard.

In a question about small ball *GAG* (sorry, that's a reflex), Barry tries to bring sense to the masses:
It's hard to play small ball with guys who don't get on base. The pressure, it seems to me, is on Chavez, Guzman and Jose Vidro[Huh? Vidro DOES get on, but his overall point's right!].

Barry gets a question about Wilkerson in centerfield and the team's offensive problems from an obviously well-informed, if not downright handsome source:
Alexandria, Va.: How is Wilkerson's defense in centerfield? Could he handle it without having the team lead the league in doubles allowed?

Offensively, the team is going to need to squeeze every advantage it needs, and having Sledge, Wilkerson and Nick Johnson in the lineup at the same time, at the expense of Chavez, would be a great start.

Barry Svrluga: Yet another reason why they would love for Chavez to seize the job unquestionably. Wilkerson isn't a butcher, but he can't cover the same amount of territory Chavez can. You're right about Sledge, though. Frank Robinson likes his potential as a hitter. But I think Bowden thinks of Sledge as the team's most valuable, tradable commodity. Don't be surprised if Trader Jim surveys the team in spring training and pulls off a trade sometime in March.

He also tries to provide some perspective on one of Trader Jim's trades:
That's the great thing about offseason deals -- they're debatable. If Guillen behaves poorly, it'll absolutely look like a bad deal. If he hits .300 with 30 homers, no one'll miss Juan Rivera.

That's enough cribbing for now. Give the thing a quick read. Barry's a good read--and he even teaches you how to pronounce his own name!


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