Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Yes, More Lopez. Sigh.

Check out OMG's take on the whole Lopez thing.

He gives the rundown of which players should be playing depending on what you're looking for out of the season.

I like this part, too:
It’s a tough choice, but it looks like Belliard and Guzman to start the season. That should make the fickle fans happy. They don’t want Lopez. Bad seed. Bad Apple (probably grown from that bad seed). Stank last year. Get rid of him. I was confused for a moment by this Lopex-hate but it’s all about perceptions. Lopez is a disappointment. He was supposed to be a potential cornerstone of good offense in the middle infield. He’s disappointed the fans and now they are taking it out on him. Contrast that with Ronnie Belliard who had nothing expected of him, or Cristian Guzman who went into 2007 with the hope that he wouldn’t accidently kill himself with the bat. They didn’t disappoint - they suprised. Good feelings matter as much as good play.

(side note - this is the crux of the whole “Hill is a unlucky warrior saddled with injuries” and “Patterson is a pansy who can’t man up and play” juxtaposition I despise. Patterson disappointed the fans, Hill never did, so even they are both relatively in the same position - injured pitcher with decent potential - to Joe Fan Hill’s a hero waiting to happen, Patterson the loser waiting to fail. Joe Fan…what a maroon)


  • FLop just doesn't get it. He's being beaten out by an oft-injured has-been (Goozie) and a journeyman (Belliard). He's had every opportunity, and just didn't perform. I'd cut him because I doubt he has any trade value.

    On a different subject, Chris, did you catch this gem from Alex "60-day DL) Escobar, after he was cut? It's a classic:

    "I'm getting used to being on the field every day."

    Now, THAT'S funny. He ought to try a new career as Letterman's chief writer.

    Check's in the mail, I'll respect you in the morning and Alex Escobar will play more than 25 games a season.

    Like Hill and Patterson, these types of players are delusional. They are mirages whose only hopes are small-budget, cheap operations. Like ours.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/19/2008 11:15 AM  

  • the difference between hill and patterson is that patterson has a longer history (in the majors and in the eyes of the fans) of injury. for four years of expected full-time starting, he's struggled to stay on the field, only once pitching more than 100 innings. and always for some odd malady. he's got a perception, fair or not, that he's not willing to pitch through pain or discomfort. personally, i think it's fair, to a point.

    hill, on the other hand, has only had one season in the majors where he might be considered a full-time starter. so only one year of injury disappointments, leading into a possible 2nd, instead of 4 years, leading into a possible 5th.

    patterson has the longer track record of not living up to expectations due to injury/malady.

    By Blogger greg, at 3/19/2008 11:49 AM  

  • Meh. I agree with OMG that fans are freaking out way more than they should. Really, I'm at a loss as to why fans would freak out at pretty much anything other than a career-ending injury to Zim at this point. We're pretty much tagged for ~.500 ball, if that, so people going crazy about WMP being injured or Hill or Patterson not performing seems silly to me.

    That said, three things:

    1) Hill and Patterson aren't different--they're pretty much the same, actually--I differ from OMG, however in believing that both are pretty much spare parts who might toss a good inning once in a while but who are hardly long-term solutions. The sooner we get enough good pitchers to replace both of them, the better, but that will probably take a few years.

    2)FLop's problem isn't his disappointing performance so much as it is his attitude and the fact that it's been consistently disappointing. Normally, you shouldn't extrapolate from ST at bats, but we shouldn't just ignore the fact that he tanked badly last year and looks to be continuing it this year. He shouldn't be tossed aside or traded (unless salary concerns are primary), but he really does need some serious help getting things back together.

    I don't care so much that his performance has been disappointing so much that it appears to have carried over from last year to spring training this year. Furthermore, based upon his attitude which isn't quite "team first," I just think he needs to get some individualized attention.

    3)Let's not downplay what Guz and Belliard delivered, either. Guz, when he was playing last year had crazy BABIP, but also hit .300 and this spring has been on virtually every pitch he gets. Maybe it's all fluky, but I'd bet we get at least some improvement and it won't take that much to shove FLop aside given last season's effort. With regard to Belliard, yes, expectations were low, but his performance was league average both offensively and defensively, whereas FLop wasn't just a mess on offense, defensively, he was a nightmare. A guy who is average both offensively and defensively is actually a pretty valuable commodity and to diminish his play as a product of the expectations game is somewhat harsh.

    By Blogger Michael Taylor, at 3/19/2008 12:17 PM  

  • Michael brings up an interesting point after (I assume) having read Ladson's latest Pulitzer-caliber article regarding FLop; that being, his attitude certainly sucks for someone who can't outperform Pete Orr...

    But at what point will the Nats say "enough?" Obviously they've invested quite a bit already into Lopez, and I agreed when he was tendered in the offseason, it seemed a better option than letting him walk. But my hope then was that he would perform well enough to warrant a spot in the lineup, and in turn, a trade for ANYTHING of value. Now I'm starting to second guess that scenario.

    Granted, it's only the third week of March, but what the hell? Where does he get off saying that he isn't open to being a bench player? His .245 last year or his .258 career batting average must entitle him, in his esteemed opinion. Or maybe it's his smoking .205 in 44 spring at-bats. All the while Belliard says he would ride the pine, anything to help the team, even though his spring numbers are good enough for him to start making demands like FLop's.

    There are too many reasons why the Nats won't just cut Felipe and call it a day, but I certainly wouldn't fault them at this juncture. Nor would I shed a tear if he catches on somewhere else afterwards and starts lighting up the league. No, my biggest fear is FLop having a career year this season with the Nats and Bowden rewarding him with a lucrative extension. Because in the end I just don't think he'll ever be anything more than a league-average infielder AT BEST (which is not a bad thing,) but given everything he has shown, I really hope his time with the Nats is nearing a close.

    By Blogger HB3k, at 3/19/2008 1:45 PM  

  • Chris, FWIW regarding Felipe not having played an inning at 2nd base this spring, it may be that the beat reporters have not mentioned this, but other Nats blogs have..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/19/2008 1:58 PM  

  • Here is a red flag: when other team's scouts are saying the Nats will have trouble trading FLop because of an "attitude problem," chances are that attitude problem is not just a one-year problem that is fixable. Dude is a head case. My favorite statement from last year was when he said he changes his hitting approach every few weeks just so opposing scouts can't pin him down. Here's an idea, FLop. How about you find what works best and stick with it. Even Homer Carpenter found that one a little odd.

    What is ironic is all the stressing about how Milledge, Dukes, and Lo Duca will affect the clubhouse/chemistry, while FLop gets a free ride in this category from the Flopophiles.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/19/2008 4:47 PM  

  • Michael-
    good point about the over-reactions by some fans. There are 162 games in a season, and we are going to be losing the majority of them this year. Why is it such a big deal who is named the 'starter', when everyone knows that injuries/shit happens will affect any roster over the course of a long season?
    Felipe DOES have more to offer the team in the long-run(although I don't understand him playing SS all spring), and the future is pretty much all we can hope for right now.
    Bill Ladson over at has us contending for a WS championship in 2-3 years so we have much to look forward to. He also continues to swing from the dick of John Lannan.

    By Blogger Rob B, at 3/19/2008 5:35 PM  

  • Patterson was released today...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/20/2008 2:05 PM  

  • How about John Kruk on Baseball Tonight predicting Zimmerman will hit 50 home runs. Give me some of what he's smoking!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/20/2008 8:15 PM  

  • Must be nearly time for the regular season now.

    Patterson's not pitching for us Cordero's giving up 9th inning homers.

    Can't you just feel the spring?

    By Blogger Michael Taylor, at 3/20/2008 9:24 PM  

  • Damn, Patterson 86'd before FLop...
    Let's keep those cuts coming!

    By Blogger HB3k, at 3/21/2008 9:50 AM  

  • "How about John Kruk on Baseball Tonight predicting Zimmerman will hit 50 home runs. Give me some of what he's smoking!!"

    - Spare ribs?

    By Blogger HB3k, at 3/21/2008 9:51 AM  

  • Tough break for Patty, I was rooting for him, but I guess his stuff was never going to come back. Who gets that spot in the rotation? Hanra-awesome?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/21/2008 10:25 AM  

  • Patty was a pussy and a head case. Good riddance.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/22/2008 1:13 PM  

  • The Post is reporting that the Nats are trying to dump Lopez and have been talking to the Cubs. They won't get much for him. I said on this site two years ago when Lopez was acquired that he was a malcontent with marginal talent. That was widely reported by the Cincy press but nobody in DC believed it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/22/2008 1:18 PM  

  • Exactly! It was not a one-year attitude problem due to "off field issues." He ALWAYS HAS BEEN and ALWAYS WILL BE a head case. At this point I would even dump him for mere cash.

    Patty, however, was not a head case. The man was awesome two years ago, the last time he was "right." Injuries are a damn shame.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/22/2008 4:48 PM  

  • i'm down at spring training. here are some notes about the last couple of days and some photos attached. hope you enjoy!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/22/2008 10:24 PM  

  • Happy Easter!

    Looks like the bunny came right on time and Redding went down with an arm injury.

    For those on the Nats' rotation watch, that means:

    Hill (DL)
    Perez (Opening Day)

    At least the kids will get some seasoning.

    By Blogger Michael Taylor, at 3/23/2008 2:35 PM  

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