Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Fouled-Off Bunts: Catching Up Edition

I had an emergency last week that required me to go out of town over the weekend. It's certainly hard to tear myself away from the fast-paced action of being a Nats fan, what with the constant rumor, signings, personal appearances, etc, etc. But those are the sacrifices one must make for family. Time to catch up.

The biggest news is that SBF from Nats 320 took off his pajamas, put on some workin' man's clothes and scored an interview with Stan Kasten. The first part's here. While there aren't any particular revelations, it's good that he's on the record with a number of things, including a contention that every dollar of revenue is being plowed back into the team this year. You'll have to read the whole thing for that.

The interview does highlight my biggest frustration with Kasten. I believe that he's an honest broker. He's not the sort who's going to lie to your face. He'll tell you the way things are -- within reason; nobody really expects him to say, "Yeah, we're punting '07". But in doing so, some of his sentences are so precise, so loaded with clauses and conditionals, that a casual reading can leave someone with an incorrect impression.

Here's the example that stuck out in my mind this time: "[I]f I thought there was a player that was reasonable and would fit into here, and did not set back the development of younger pitchers, and who, himself, had a role to play in the long term, we would certaintly [sic] consider that, and have."

A completely reasonable position, right? Who could argue with that? But count the "ands." I lost track at about 32. He's narrowing the definition down so much that his phrasing has the net effect of the opposite of what he's actually saying.

I'll come over tomorrow after work and wash the dishes of anyone who emails me. So long as there aren't too many dishes, and you're using Dove liquid soap, and there aren't any pots that I have to scrub, oh, and I refuse to wash anything saucy, etc, etc. Sure, it's an offer, but it doesn't really have much value.

The point of this isn't to rehash the "to sign, or not to sign" debate, but to just point out the frustration of his phrasing.

On one hand, he's an honest broker, but when you parse him, you're left with what? A 100-loss team, some overpriced brisket, and the chance to buy tickets at a stadium that's 16 months from opening.

  • The Nats have officially broken ties with Frank Robinson. Other than Frank Day when the Os are in town, he won't be on the field or in the front office.

  • Former Ass. GM Tony Siegle caught on with San Francisco.

  • Late last week, the Nats announced that they had offered contracts to 5 pitchers: Tony Armas, Ramon Ortiz, Jerome Williams, Jorge Sosa and Stevie Trashcan. My one-word comments, in order: Jesus, Christ, Hey!, Meh, @#$@#$@.

    For a more substantive discussion, try Nats Triple Play, Banks of the Anacostia or Federal Baseball. While you're at the Fed, check out his continuing series on why pitchers need to pitch innings... or something like that. At any rate, he throws up charts and junk to show that we need innings.

    Oh, and Ryan Franklin's kicking around, too. (I think he might be #2 behind Williams on my list of crappy pitchers the Nats have been associated with.)

  • NFA has been whipping out the good stuff. First comes his updated list of the Top 30 Nats Prospects. He also points to Baseball America's -- the bible of prospectdom -- top 10 Nats. They see Chris Marrero as the only All-Star-potential player in the system. But, of course, things change. NFA interviewed one of the Baseball America authors about the list and about the system in general. It's a good, informed outsider's perspective. NFA also traded questions with a different prospect hound who's high on Smiley Gonzalez.

  • Nationals.com and OMG remind us that Cristian Guzman is still kicking around with this profile and rant. (Don't you love how nationals.com seems to have only three photos of Guzman? There's that one that hides his face, the posed program one where he's holding the bat over his shoulders, and my personal favorite.

  • Hey, season tickets are on sale!!! Better hurry before they're sold out. Did you know that you'd have priority for next season?


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