Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

An Inauspicious Beginning

I warned you just yesterday that Jim Bowden was on the verge of doing something infuriating, and now he's done it. Sometimes I hate being right.
The Expos made their first big splash since the announcement they plan to move to Washington, agreeing Tuesday to a $6.2 million, two-year contract with third baseman Vinny Castilla and a $16.8 million, four-year deal with shortstop Cristian Guzman.
My first reaction, after the swearing, was that Jim Bowden has no right to saddle the incoming owners with Guzman for four years. He's acting like he's the real GM or something. My second reaction was more swearing. One at a time:
  • Castilla parlayed some Colorado home-cookin' into a nice and undeserved contract. Fine, he had an .867 OPS last year with 35 homers and 43 doubles. But his road OPS was 774, with a Batista-like .281 on-base percentage. He's solid defensively (9th among 3B in fielding Win Shares last year, a respectable 22 Runs Above Replacement), but we will be getting very little offense from the hot corner. It's only two years, but that's one year too many. Brendan Harris will fester on the bench for a while, I guess, while we endure endless My Cousin Vinny jokes.
  • I still haven't decided which of these is worse, but I'm thinking the Guzman contract wins on length alone. Four year - four damn years - of this guy. Yeah, I know, he hasn't reached his offensive potential, and now we have the pleasure of watching him put up .310 OBPs for four years on the off chance that he gets it up into Julio Lugo territory. It's like what I say when people get all whistful about Orlando Cabrera: if you want an all-glove, no-bat shortstop, Maicer Izturis is already in the system and he's practically free. If Guzman can match his 2004 defensive performance, this won't be awful. But he won't and it will.
And we give up three draft picks for the priviledge of signing these titans of the diamond! Way to build up the farm system, Bowden, you mercenary bastard. There can be no clearer indication that Bowden cares less about the long-term future of this team than he does about his next job.

The signings accomplished something else: they set a land speed record for proving Will Carroll wrong. In his latest foray into magical realism, the fabulist Carroll gives a run-down of the injury problems associated with some of the top free agents and provides a prediction for where they'll end up. We get Edgar Renteria. That prediction was absurd when he made it, and was firmly refuted a mere six hours later. Keep up the good work, Will! Maybe we'll sign Magglio Ordonez and prove you right for once. And maybe Cristian Guzman will win a batting title.


Bijan C. Bayne said...

Former Yankee p.r. director Marty Appel had some interesting things to say about how the new club should be marketed (see www.bbayne.com)

Yuda said...

Words simply cannot describe just how angry I am about this. At least, not words suitable for a family establishment such as this one.

Ryan said...

If it weren't for the memory of ODB, that post would have been nothing but swears. But I picture Dirty saying "Distinguished Senators is for the kids!" while Shawn Colvin looks on in wonderment.

Olivier said...

It ain't over untill it's over. That's one of the reasons why I love baseball. Yesterday, when I saw the RICO ruling (wasn't surprised mind you), I tought to myself "well, this is it, they're gone".

Then I saw that "Big splash".

Man, that is a craptacular trade. That trade made me glad, for a second, they were gone... Why not take that money and go after, I don't know, John Lieber?

Jesus, what an awful move. I think of Izturis and Harris, two perfectly acceptable defender (one perfectly acceptable and one very good and potentialy great) and I wonder: what is that Bowden guy smoking? Those moves fly in the face of the most basic facts...

Knuckles said...

weird weird moves...why jump at Guzman while it still costs draft picks, and when there's tons of SS out there?

Yuda said...

I'm actually thinking of calling up the City Council and telling them "nevermind, if the team's going to sign crap like this, don't build them a stadium."

Anonymous said...


That may be the stupiest comment found on the entire worldwide web.

Yuda said...

Ah, how I love criticism from people who don't have the balls to sign their name.