Thursday, November 09, 2006

Fouled-Off Bunts: Major Jammage Edition

Tom Paciorek is out as Nats TV PBPer. (Color guy! What the hell was I thinking?)

Paciorek seems like he's genuinely heartbroken over the decision, as does his partner Bob Carpenter. They had excellent chemistry together. Apparently it wasn't fake.

Apparently the Nats want someone who's more knowledgeable about pitching and catching. Paciorek's insights were mainly focused on the mechanics of hitting, an approach that's unusual for many broadcasts. (Does anyone really want to see Ramon Ortiz' hanging slider broken down anyway?)

MLB's report paints a picture of dysfunction as Stan Kasten and MASN bounce the ball o' responsibility from side to side. That same report mentions two names. The Silver Fox, Buck Martinez, current MASN employee and Orioles broadcaster, gets a mention. He's boringly non-offensive, despite his nasally, whining voice, and the tendency to start each sentence with a "wehullll" delivered as if he were a boiler blowing off some steam.

The other name is that of former Cubs announcer, Steve Stone. Stone is highly regarded (and seems eager for the job). He was let go by the Cubs a few years back when he started announcing what he saw (an underachieving, sloppy team). Rather than blaming the manager or GM for putting the mess together, the Tribune company fired the messenger. From what I've heard of Stone on ESPN, he's a pretty good announcer, even if he has that nasally wine like Bucko (sans the baritone).

  • The other big news is Nats hired a slew of scouts. This, during MLB's tenure, was one of the most neglected portions of the team. When done well, it's also one of the most critical. The most familiar name on the list is that of failed TB GM Chuck Lamar. But he seems like a personification of the Peter Principle; he was well regarded as a member of Atlanta's scouting operation.

    NFA has a big rundown. The interesting question is from the comments. How many do they have now (23), but I wonder how that compares to the rest of the league.

  • Injury updates: Nick Johnson, recovering from his broken leg, had minor surgery to remove some scar tissue. Nothing to worry about there.

    Mike O'Connor, meanwhile, had some cartilage removed from his elbow. He should be ready for spring training.

  • WaPo runs down the managerial search. They get this gem of a quote from Kasten:
    "During this search we have interviewed people who would be across the full salary spectrum, from very large contract to very small," Kasten said in an e-mail, "and we are prepared to hire the best fit, irrespective of which it is.

    "Having said that, I should also tell you that I have encountered some people during this process who have a very different [read: higher] view of an appropriate contract for themselves than do I. In such cases, I typically give more weight to my view."

    Manny Acta's still optimistic.

  • Soriano Watch:
    Tigers? Philly. The Cubs' #1 Target.


    • We'll never get to know how Paciorek would have broken down Guzman's swing -- heartbreaking.

      By Blogger WFY, at 11/09/2006 11:42 AM  

    • What the f---??? I guess the Nats are now TRYING to drive away fans? Christ! Wimpy was the only reason I tuned in to that crappy brand of ball they played down the stretch.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/09/2006 6:00 PM  

    • Paciorek knew about baseball and I thought he was kind of fun to listen at first. But listening to him for the entire season was excruciating. He always used exactly the same phrases day after day, told exactly the same stories, and used the same bad jokes (like imitating Ray Romano). His goofiness became incredibly irritating after a while. Maybe the folks who didn't get MASN for most the year and didn't get to watch a lot of games can tolerate him more.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/09/2006 6:34 PM  

    • Paciorek's family lived round the corner from my father's home on Dubois in Hamtramck. I'm sorry to hear of his departure, because I've always felt a sort of neighbourly connexion to him, even when he was a player. I occasionally saw him via, and he wasn't so bad.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/10/2006 7:33 AM  

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