Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Fouled-Off Bunts: Conference Call Edition

Barry and Bill have the same articles today. I guess I missed the conference call. Seriously. You copy and paste those badboys into word, run the mostly useless autosummary, and have identical documents. Of course there are only so many ways to say that the Nats signed some crappy catchers....

Fick signed for $850,000. He's not a bad pickup, as he's versatile, and, as the articles note, content with playing the bench. Eischen ended up costing $1.3 million. I'm not Eischen's biggest fan, but considering the wacky pitching market, that's not a horrible deal.

As far as the crappy catchers, Nationals Farm Authority did a more thorough rundown than the one I had.

  • With Positiongate, the Nationals haven't yet addressed Soriano directly. The trade only became official today, after Wilkerson's physical. And the team wasn't technically allowed contact with Soriano. Whatever. Interestingly, Barry gets a player to say that he thinks the Soriano/Vidro logjam is going to be a big mess.

  • This subtly subversive paragraph by Barry says it all:
    The trade for Soriano did not address what Bowden considers the club's top need -- starting pitching. Asked to assess the team's chances of signing one of the remaining front-line pitchers, he said: "I'm not confident at all. We're trying, but it's a very, very difficult market," which means that Kevin Millwood and Jarrod Washburn are long shots. A team source said the club continues to pursue Brett Tomko and Shawn Estes.

    When pitching is your top priority and your choices are Brett Tomko and Shawn Estes (a player we passed on last year), it's safe to say you're not quite sure what the definition of priority is.

    That paragraph actually represents one of the things I enjoy about Barry's stories. He clearly has an opinion, but it's skillfully presented buried in the facts he uses, and the words he uses to describe those facts. He buries things like this in his stories pretty regularly. You just have to know to look for them.

  • Frank Robinson has been extended a contract offer for next season. St. Claire appears to have survived the chopping block, which wasn't unexpected. But so has Eddie Rodriguez, apparently. He of the L/R/L obsession will spend another season of sleepless nights working out all the permutations for handedness in the Nationals roster. The only question remaining is: Soriano/Johnson/Guillen or Guillen/Johnson/Soriano?

  • In monopolistic scumbag news, MLB has said that they will no longer accept a stadium at RFK -- this on the heels of their announcement two weeks ago that an RFK site would be ok. Tomorrow, expect MLB to demand the blood of a virgin.

  • Meanwhile the DC Council had a hearing that dragged on for several centuries. The Council is deadlocked 5-5 with three undecideds. Two of the three will have to be swayed to the yes side.

    Just A Nats Fan, a masochist if there ever was one, watched the pathetic spectacle. If you're a masochist, she did a yeo-chick's work and has an exhaustive summary.

    What I found most interesting, and this should tell you how much I care about these dog and pony shows, is this picture Miss Chatter pulled off the ol' tube. It shows the esteemed former mayor wearing a Nats cap to show his support for baseball in DC. First, give it up. We know you oppose it. Second, it's a COUNTERFEIT HAT! Not only is it unlicensed trademark infringement, it's the kind typically seen at the impromptu street corner sales tables that don't pay taxes -- the taxes that would go to fund the stadium. Instead that's money that's coming from libraries and schools (or so he'd have us believe...and not that that's the first time he's evaded paying taxes!)

    Get yourself a real hat, Mr. Barry. Oh, and April 14 is fast approaching. You might want to get your papers ready for the H&R Block guy.