Saturday, January 12, 2008

Fouled-Off Bunts: Feels Like The First Time Edition

Chad Cordero comes back on a one-year, $6.2 million deal. He's got one year left of arbitration before becoming a Type-A free agent, and netting the Nats 2 picks when he signs with Texas (assuming Uncle Teddy doesn't sell him to Japan first).

How many teams have a closer as their highest-paid player? Brewers maybe?

  • Luis Ayala (file photo), as you undoubtedly know by now, was shot in a hunting accident, hurting his non-throwing arm. Rather than make the tired Dick Cheney joke that everyone made, I'll just point out that he's just trying to adjust to life in SE.

  • The latest mailbag fills us with informational goodness:
    --Dmitri Young (file photo) deserves to hit cleanup because of his 11 homers and 60 RBI in the slot last year. It's a travesty he didn't get any MVP votes with those kind of numbers.
    --Andre Dawson (file swimsuit photo) deserves to get in the HOF. (A position that I've come around to). Tim Raines (file powder blue photo) doesn't. (sigh... guess he struck out too much)

  • From the Department of Due Diligence comes news that Barry Larkin (file photo) had no idea who Elijah Dukes is. (And apparently from that photo, he doesn't know what an iron is either)

  • The link's behind a wall, but BPro had an interesting look at the defensive shift, with a special nod to the Nats and Ryan Zimmerman (nut-saving file photo).

    Last year, MLB 3B turned (not started) 33 double plays. Zimmerman had 7, the vast majority a product of the shift.

    How successful has the shift been? Since 2000, a 3B has turned a double play at second base 94 times. Zimmerman, despite only having played two full seasons, leads all the majors with nine turns in those eight seasons.

  • Despite what they indicated previously, the Nats are not having a FanFest this year, much to the chagrin of a number of their most loyal fans (file photo). While it's easy to point to this as yet another data point in the "Uncle Teddy Is Cheap!!!!" case file, especially given the putrid excuse proffered by the PR professionals (basically, "we just haven't had time" -- as if the PR staff were hanging drywall or writing press releases for all the new FA pitchers the team signed), the more likely reason is simple.

    It's a crappy team without any tradition. Bad teams like the Reds and Orioles pull these things off because they can point back to their glory days. (tasteful file photo 1. tasteful file photo 2)

    Who are they gonna dust off? OK, there's Frank Howard, and.... and... Nobody (other than the few manchildren who went into a catatonic state for 30-something years when the Rangers left town) wants to see crappy backup infielders on crappy teams who never one anything other than the year Ted Williams stumbled into some fluke performances. He might be a nice enough fellow, but not even his family wants to see Eddie Brinkman. None of us are going to remember Cristian Guzman fondly. Why would we do so with him? (look at his 1967!)

    Sure, some people would show, but it wouldn't be nearly the experience that people envision when they think of these things. As it is, they can barely get players from the current team to show. The list features such favored sons as Aaron Boone (GREATEST PLAYER EVER!1!!11!! -- FYI, here's a list of his wife's movies... hard to pick a fave, huh?) and Mike "would you like to supersize your meal?" Bacsik (a man who clearly has NO shame). Yawn. (File Photo)


    • Chris, this entry was link-tastic. some of your finest work. really. if reducing the frequency of your posts induces this type of quality, i say give us a post a week. i'm just being obnoxious though. nice work.

      by the way, Larkin's on a MLB payroll and doesn't know who Elijah Dukes is? WTF?!?

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/12/2008 2:01 PM  

    • You neglected to mention whether or not Aaron Boone's range is any greater than his wife's. According to your link, she seems only able to play "Herself". Haven't seen any of her movies myself, so I don't even know how good a job she does of that.

      As for why there is no FanFest, I suspect a big reason is because the team has decided it wouldn't be prudent to over-market itself this winter given the traffic/parking FUBAR that will be Nationals Park until the city gets its act together. (Hopefully sometime this decade, but then again this is the DC government we're talking about.) Parking near the stadium will be available for season ticket holders with parking passes only. All others must take Metro or shuttle in from RFK. STH parking info will go out on schedule this week, or so I hear, and the Nationals testified at a hearing yesterday that they will be implementing a huge publicity effort centered around taking Metro to the game. This has basically been forced upon them by the city's decision to build the stadium where they did and the city's failure to provide adequate parking/traffic infrastructure around it. In the face of this, it seems wise that the Nats not engage in a huge marketing blitz this offseason only to attract thousands of fans who will be immediately turned off by the difficulty of getting to the game and who may then never come back. Better to let attendance build slowly and gradually, I'd say. Build it (both the team and the stadium neighborhood) and they will come. At least that's how it's done in the movies, anyway. (Although not in Boone's wife's movies. There it's "take it off and they will come.")

      By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 1/12/2008 3:16 PM  

    • Welcome back. Your devoted readership missed your cynicism.

      By Blogger OleShu, at 1/12/2008 6:43 PM  

    • People want a Fan Fest because:

      1. People like the team and enjoy interacting with it outside of just attending a game.

      2. People like to take their kids. There aren't always great things to do on dreary winter weekend days, and these FanFests are something the whole family can do. Kids don't care which players are there.

      3. It's good for the team's image and popularity to produce these kinds of events. They build goodwill in the community.

      Of course, as usual, the concept of goodwill goes right over your head. Typically, you ignore the positive in your over-the-top, cynical rant. You are easily the team's most malevolent, spiteful "fan". You are the anti-Screech's Best Friend. Perhaps that's what spurs you on.

      You're a great blogger and a great writer, but when I read posts like this it makes me sad that the preeminent (based on page views) Nats blog spends so much time on below-the-belt shots at the team and its personalities. Why isn't it okay for you or anyone else to feel good about the team?

      By Blogger Brandon, at 1/12/2008 8:41 PM  

    • You seem to have a problem when I write from a point of view.

      When I write as a fanboy, you bitch because I'm unfair to the owner's business practices.

      When I write from more of a business perspective (as this) you bitch that I'm sucking the joy out of the team.

      I can't win with you. Oh well.

      You are easily the team's most malevolent, spiteful "fan"
      That's a good one! I might have to use that as a new tagline...

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 1/12/2008 8:51 PM  

    • Brandon, Chris didn't say it so i will: eat a dick. Are you one of those eternal optimists who worship at the altar of the Nationals Front Office from the Nats 320 blog? Most recent update: SBF went to the Health and Fitness Expo but alas, was unable to come away with either Boone or Bergmann's phone numbers.

      Anyway, great to have you back Chris. You've been missed.

      And, i think the Nats need to sign Boone's wife. Hell, let's put her in the OF! Yowza.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/13/2008 11:39 AM  

    • Welcome back. Great links and just the right mix of cynicism as far as I'm concern.

      With regard to issues such as fan fests and parking, I give the team's ownership a really low grade. I just have to keep telling myself that this is better than giving them a low grade on baseball matters.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/13/2008 1:17 PM  

    • Fanfest, shmanfest. It might cost Uncle Teddy $150 to rent a Greyhound. Better to use that money for the alternate Southeast parking plan, with the remainder used for 1) signing free agent pitchers; 2) canned videos for that hideous videoboard in centerfield; 3) that raise they promised Charlie Slowes; 4) Nick Johnson's personal trainer; 5) DaMeat's dietician; 6) the Hall of Fame plague for John Patterson that these dreamers still think he's going to win; 7) more hot dogs for Chad Cordero; 8) the attorney Paul LoDuca is going to need; 9) the attorney Elijah Dukes already has; and 10) a Rainy Day Fund.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/13/2008 4:53 PM  

    • Looks like Pete Rose put a potato in his jockeys.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/13/2008 7:09 PM  

    • Welcome back Chris, you were missed. Frankly, I am sick of seeing pictures of bloggers hugging Bodes, Stan the Plan and Screech.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/13/2008 7:21 PM  

    • This doesn't seem like a particularly difficult or delicate subject. The team has crap or otherwise low-profile players. Zimmerman may be the face of the franchise (tm), but he hasn't developed the type of name or media presence to be a Face of the Franchise. Maybe Dmitri declined to participate much. Who knows - I know there are a lot of people who like the Fan Fest kind of stuff, and this might seem like a disappointing or half-assed slate, but in the long run I doubt it makes much of a difference.

      Bottom line, when a newly acquired Aaron Boone is a headliner, ... yeah, mocking that is pretty much fair game and expected.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/14/2008 9:14 AM  

    • Why is Wily Mo ranked ahead of Chris Snelling on your Majority Whip ratings?

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/14/2008 12:55 PM  

    • Why is Wily Mo ranked ahead of Chris Snelling on your Majority Whip ratings?

      You add 1.5 point to Wily Mo for the fear factor. [see Rice]

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/15/2008 8:46 AM  

    • I can't decide what's more hilarious, that Aaron Boone's wife is a Playmate or that her IMDB page lists her not as Aaron Boone's wife but as the sister-in-law of Bret Boone.

      When IMDB is inadvertently commenting on the quality of your players, you're probably in trouble.

      By Blogger mpowercc, at 1/15/2008 5:49 PM  

    • Why some of us like Fanfest: It's free.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/16/2008 2:33 PM  

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