Thursday, August 16, 2007

Only Little Birdies Say Cheep!

Woohoo! Yes!

They definitely surprised me, that's for sure. I really didn't expect them to pony up the money, especially $1.8 million to get the deal done. So I thrashed, ranted, raved, foamed at the mouth. And in the end, I was left with high blood pressure, some crapped-in pants, and a poo-eating grin on my face. (To be technical, I s'pose it was this morning.)

The strategy and evolution of the whole event is fascinating. From death's door, to stop and go, to today's miracle of life, it's been a roller coaster of emotion. Yet they came through.

There's no doubt that the Nationals had the most successful draft of any of the 30 major league teams, and that's just on paper. When you look at what their picks have done ALREADY, just 2 months after the draft, they're well on their way to building something special.

I've always had faith -- never doubted -- the ability of the scouting department to identify these guys. The track records of Brown and Rizzo are among the best of any in baseball, and they have ultra-high reputations in the industry, as you can tell from reading others' praise of them.

I've just always been cynical about ownership's willingness to properly fund the process. But they did. And they deserve credit, too. They lived up to their promise -- indeed, the obligation -- and put their money where their mouth is. They haven't always done it, at least from how it appears on the outside, but for now, they did. And they deserve our thanks. (I suppose I should avoid the weasel word there, and say they deserve MY thanks. They do.)


    Now as far as you jerks (said lovingly!) and your comments in the last entry... yeah, you're right. I'm a cynical SOB who flies off the handle and makes inappropriate rants. But that's what this blog is. It's me being an overly emotional fanboy and reacting to things as they happen. Sure, I could wait til the end of the day, all the news is in, and provide a deep, probing, stimulating essay about how wonderful everything is, or you could just wait a day or two and pick up Tom Boswell's next column. (He's a much better writer than me anyway).

    But that's not what I do. I read. I react. I write. Then when I get proven wrong (repeatedly!), I revise. Yeah, I ripped the hell out of them once Svrulga reported that they were holding off because of internal politics. But, really, if that was the reason they hesitated, they deserved it. And there's likely not too many of you who weren't pissed off, just wanting them to get the damn thing done (as the bulk of the comments to that post attest).

    Would I be better off waiting til the full story was in? If I was a reporter or a columnist, sure. I'm not. I'm a fan with a keyboard and a job that's especially slow this week (Thanks, Congress!) who reads and reacts and rants with too many words.

    Do I say stupid things from time to time (read: every day). Yep. Am I apologetic for what I say? Sometimes; even I think I can cross the line from cynicism to causticity from time to time. But that's what you get here.

    Anyway... I've seen enough of my belly button now. (I think I need to get that mole checked out though).

  • Thanks, Stan!

    I hope you enjoy the fruit basket. You won't need to use an intern as a test taster this time!


    • It didn't look like it was going to get done. It got done. All praise to the Lernastens.

      And hey, at least you didn't report McGeary was headed to Stanford. (Yes, technically, McGeary is headed to Stanford.)

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/16/2007 9:20 AM  

    • It would have saved you much angst if you had just remembered what a wise man once said "It ain't over 'til its over".

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/16/2007 9:31 AM  

    • You're assuming I'm angst-filled. ;)

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 8/16/2007 9:32 AM  

    • Chris...

      It was late be honest...I was lit. My apologies for the snarky reaction. Not usually my style.

      By Blogger Jim H, at 8/16/2007 9:35 AM  

    • No need to apologize. I put myself out there in a position to get ripped; i can take it. Especially if there's some validity to it!

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 8/16/2007 9:39 AM  

    • Actually, this lemonade IS kinda sweet ...

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/16/2007 9:49 AM  

    • Congrats to JimBo and Co. for manning up and gettin 'er done.
      In the spirit of this blog, however, I really hope that this isn't just a temporary appeasal of those of us who were ready to burn, pillage, and loot. We better keep up the trend, and sign Mr. Hunter or Mr. Jones to hold down our CF spot, or I will be sorely pissed next spring.
      I still like the idea of overpaying a proven vet, rather than somebody who isn't guaranteed to ever contribute at the MLB level.
      And why can't Nook learn to call off his FECKIN wingmen?? Is it that hard to yell 'I got it'?? Don't they teach that shit in FECKIN tee ball??

      By Blogger Rob B, at 8/16/2007 10:46 AM  

    • You clearly have never been to a tee-ball game ... there are no pop flies to the OF!

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/16/2007 11:00 AM  

    • No need to explain, Chris- your ranting is always up to the minute, and greatly entertaining. It also allows for petty thoughts like this one to be aired:

      I thought that signing Smoker McGeary would be everything I would need to be totally satisfied, but I realize now that I would have been even happier if the Orioles had failed to sign Wieters.

      By Blogger Positively Half St., at 8/16/2007 11:13 AM  

    • Eh, I'm glad you keep us up to date all the time. The blog would be a tad bit boring I think if it included nothing but things you had pondered for hours. I said a few weeks ago that I would wait to pass too much judgment on the organization until we knew what would happen with Smoker and McGeary, but I was still pretty skeptical that McGeary would get signed, and I felt more than a bit let down about it given the context. In other words, I think Chris really did speak what a lot of us were thinking and feeling. He's just the one putting it out there.

      Anyways, this is great news. There's a pretty high amount of risk involved in all of these guys, so I hope that all of us are patient with the process going forward, and that this isn't a one time thing, but that they'll continue to take these kinds of risks in the future. But I think Chris said it best in a different entry near the trade deadline, you can't win the lottery without playing the lottery.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/16/2007 12:16 PM  

    • It's your blog, you are entitled to rant! I don't always agree with you, but was also getting concerned about the Lerners money spending ways. This gives them credibility with the players and, more importantly, you and me (aka the Fans).

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/16/2007 1:23 PM  

    • Anybody know what his bat is like? Baseball america said of stanford "Jack McGeary might have batted third and been the ace."

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/16/2007 2:41 PM  

    • viva los nacionales! here's one right in yer eye, budster!

      By Blogger DCPowerGator, at 8/16/2007 3:51 PM  

    • Why this post was almost...sweet. Touching, in fact. And hey Chris, I come here because of your rants: you write frequent, lengthy posts, which is exactly what I want out of a blog. I just wanted to see you give credit where credit was due to the Lernastens.

      It's a good day to be a Nats fan.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/16/2007 7:37 PM  

    • Did anyone just hear the McGeary interview on MASN? I'd like to see him in 2010.

      The MASN signal is noticeable worse than nearly other every MLB channel. YES is probably the best.

      Signing these draft picks feels very good.

      By Blogger RPS, at 8/16/2007 8:05 PM  

    • Basil...

      So sorry to see you go. Thank you.

      By Blogger Jim H, at 8/17/2007 2:41 AM  

    • Let me ditto what Jim said. I admire you guys for churning out this stuff. It takes up a lot of time.

      As to posting your immediate reactions to current news it suits me fine. You can caveat yourself to death because their will always be those who will come back afterwards and play gotcha games. It’s the old “see you were wrong and let me dredge up my old old post which was right” trick. The fact is that this should all be fun and no one is right 100% of the time not even the smartest GM in the world, Billy Beane. So if you’re wrong at times so what. I always tend to lean toward the aggressive side of agitating owners and FOs to take action to improve the team because, duh, winning is a whole lot more fun than losing. Who wants passivity from the FO? But there are also those who look at the team and FO a bit more seriously, to be worshiped rather than as fun, and they react to poking fun or criticizing the team/FO or the mention the O-----s like the Iranian mullahs reacted to Salman Rushdie and the Satanic Verses. You’re just not gonna make everyone happy.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/17/2007 8:29 AM  

    • Keep Ranting and holding the people in charge of Nats accountable to the fans. The MSM sure gives them a free pass, the same one Nook Logan is unable to fathom!

      By Blogger Mac G, at 8/17/2007 9:51 AM  

    • Just traded for Wily Mo! YAY! Maybe he'll be the reverse Kearns!

      By Blogger Abhinav, at 8/17/2007 2:41 PM  

    • Why would anyone be excited about a "slugging" outfielder with a .218 BA and .385 SLG % in a lineup with tons of protection. If Wily Mo can't hit in Fenway with that lineup, don't see him hitting here. Also, he looks like he spends way too much time at the post-game buffet.

      Sorry, but I have had enough of the ex-Reds. Don't see how this move helps.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/17/2007 4:06 PM  

    • Who's the PTBNL you reckon? And what's his contract worth?

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/17/2007 4:24 PM  

    • Tulsa Fan...

      Very cogent post. I find myself guilty at times of holding Chris' feet to the fire. I tend to be a bit more optimistic with a "let's judge them on results" kind of attitude. But I don't have enough time to spend on all the research done by these guys. I don't have the time to devote to continually put my "stuff" out there. It's easy for me to swiftly react with condemnation after the fact. (Although I hope I give credit where credit is due, as well.) But I'm reactive, which is easier than throwing my opinions on the fire before the fact.

      I would argue one point with you. Being optimistic and wanting to give the benefit of the doubt doesn't necessarily mean one takes things too seriously. And one with a more realistic or critical attitude is not necessarily simply "irreverent". I think Chris and the rest of Nats' Nation bloggers take things very seriously. And not.

      It's just a different point of view.

      Which is what keeps things interesting, no?

      But a great post.

      By Blogger Jim H, at 8/17/2007 6:17 PM  

    • Re: Wily Mo Pena - why not be excited? My guess is at his worst he'll be as good as whoever the PTNBL is and if he turns his season around than that'll be all the better.

      I'm assuming it's one of our OF's that goes and there's really no downside to that. Watson? Logan? Langerhans? They aren't long-term solutions. Maybe Wily Mo is, maybe not, but it can't hurt to try him out.

      (I hope it's not Langerhans. Maybe it's the name, but I like him.)

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/17/2007 6:25 PM  

    • I can't get the Nationals game on MASN Channel 79 on Comcast.

      Channel xx 'MASN 2W' needs authorization key.

      By Blogger RPS, at 8/17/2007 7:08 PM  

    • I found it on 215. Should have looked harder...I guess.

      I'm pleasantly excited about Wily Mo. I hope he plays against the Mets.

      By Blogger RPS, at 8/17/2007 7:10 PM  

    • Bill and Tulsa: Thanks very much for the kind words.

      As for Chris, the bum has skipped out on bond. I'm sure he's thrilled by Wily Mo.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/18/2007 11:33 AM  

    • Cogent?! I've been called many things but never cogent and with good reason. I'll optimistically give you the benefit of the doubt and take that as a good thing rather than cynically take it as sarcasm. It's all mostly molehills and everyone wants to see the team succeed.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/18/2007 2:06 PM  

    • Tulsa...

      Absolutely and non-cynically meant as a complement.

      By Blogger Jim H, at 8/18/2007 11:52 PM  

    • y'all scared him away.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/20/2007 1:06 PM  

    • You ok, Chris? Please don't let a few silly comments stop your blogging.

      Unless, of course, you're away on vacation because you are one and the same as The Vowelless One... but now he's back and you're not, so I guess he doesn't use this blog just to get his real thoughts out... hmm.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/21/2007 7:59 AM  

    • We won't be IGNORED Chris!

      Will someone go pour acid on the hood of his car?

      Actually I'm hoping everything is ok with him what with the sudden stop.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/22/2007 11:41 AM  

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