Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Flores, Blah Blah Blah

Svrluga has his record 498th thread on Flores/Schneider, putting him just 2 shy of the prestigious 500 mark.

A few interesting points in there, including an extended quote from Dmitri Young (which shows why so many writers love him; he's good in a pinch).

What caught my interest was this quote from Bodes:
"He certainly has the ability to back up, platoon and play every day," Bowden said. "But what the timing is, I don't know." And that leads into the quote I used in the $.35 edition today [see how much stuff doesn't make the paper?]: "I consider Brian Schneider the best game-caller in baseball. To develop the young pitchers the way we have this year could not have happened had Brian Schneider not been the catcher. I don't want to take anything away from Brian. But as far as Jesus, does he have the ability to compete and win the job at some point? Yeah, he does."

"Brian's our catcher. That's the way it is. He's our guy, and certainly he's disappointed in what he's done offensively. He knows those numbers have got to come up. But his game-calling ... we couldn't get there faster with another catcher. You can't develop the Hanrahans and these young pitchers without Brian Schneider as your catcher."

My comment there, which I'll reproduce here is:

"To develop the young pitchers the way we have this year could not have happened had Brian Schneider not been the catcher"

What young pitchers developed this year?

Chico's been so-so. But nothing special. Did he 'develop'?

Bergmann had a nice stretch mid-season. But was that because of Schneider? Or was that because St. Claire worked with him to change his motion/delivery of his breaking pitches?

Hill has been solid, but he was solid in previous years. He just hasn't been healthy.

What about Simontacchi? Bacsik? Speigner? Hanrahan? None of them developed. Does Schneider, if he's getting credit for the success, deserve some of the blame for their failures?

And what makes good "pitch-calling" anyway? How do we recognize it. It seems like it's a pretty solid BS dump to try to explain things nobody really understands.

If Schneider were batting .260 would they be falling all over themselves praising his calling abilities?

I glossed over it the first time I read Bodes' quote, but it's interesting that he points to Hanrahan, a pitcher with a 5.14 ERA and who walks the park, as someone who's developed. If that's a 'success', I'd hate to see failure.

There's also an extended quote from him praising Davey Johnson for 'finding' Jesus Flores. I'm glad that Davey targeted him last year, but the overhyping of praise sometimes gets to me. Bowden seems to me to be the kind of person who goes out of his way to praise the team, not so much because he wants to share the glory, but because it reflects well on him: "Look at this first-class team I've assembled." That they're his long-time friends (or to be less diplomatic, his cronies) makes me lean even more in that direction.


  • I'm guessing Bodes' reference to Hanrahan was illustrative rather than literal. Hanrahan is an example, perhaps one of many, that Schneider would be useful in developing, not whom Schneider had already developed.

    At any rate, Schneider has only caught Hanrahan in three of seven starts, so to some degree Flores is already being entrusted with young guys like Hanrahan. Incidentally, Flores caught both the Colorado disaster game and Hanrahan's far-and-away best start so far (the last one).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/05/2007 11:49 AM  

  • Also, I think the wrong word was used. I think that develop should be handled. I believe that Schneider has handled the pitching staff with aplomb.

    I think that the development of the pitchers falls more to the coaching staff, St. Clair and Acta.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/05/2007 12:46 PM  

  • I like Bowden's comments. Good management in any organization involves some building up and elements of confidence infusion. I always cringe when I see leaders, managers or executives in sports, business, politics or anyplace else publicly criticize their employees, troops or subordinates.

    Criticism and negative comments should be made in private.

    Or by those of us on the outside.

    Bowden's not blind, but he also knows that trashing Schneider, or damning him with faint praise helps no one.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/05/2007 1:06 PM  

  • Chris,

    Interesting thought about the Post writer. I saw it in the paper too, but I had to go looking for it. Anyone else a little pissed that the Nats winning streak (in dramatic fashion) doesn't even rate for the front of the Post Sports section? WTF.

    Also, if my math is correct, the Nats need just one more win to ensure a non-100-loss season. Reason for celebration in my book.


    PS. Thanks for still posting. Have you noticed how most of the Nats blogs that made the big WP article have basically gone dark since the article? I read every day. Keep the faith.

    By Blogger Keithcu, at 9/05/2007 4:11 PM  

  • That's why I wasn't in the Post article! I was avoiding the old "Washington Post Feature Sports Article Curse"!

    By Blogger Harper, at 9/05/2007 4:41 PM  

  • I second Keith on his comment Chris. I always need my Capitol Punishment fix for the day. Thanks for producing the best Nats blog out there.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/05/2007 4:52 PM  

  • If Bodes wants a catcher who can't hit a lick to do most of the catching, then there isn't much we can do about it. I have been saying on this blog all season long that Flores should be playing more. Flores hit a ton in Viera, then the team came north and Acta let him rot on the bench for the first half of the season. If the Nats were really focusing on the future, Flores would be getting a lot more playing time.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/05/2007 5:01 PM  

  • Don't be so hard on Barry and the WaPo. What would you do as a beat writer given the job of covering a team with one of the worst w-l records in baseball?

    Long quotes from the mediocre general manager commenting on the mediocre players he has assembled with a $30 million payroll budget may be about all there is.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/05/2007 6:55 PM  

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