Sunday, May 08, 2005

There Are Far Too Many Commas in This Post, and I Haven't Even Been Reading Wodehouse

The last week may have disguised this fact, but Distinguished Senators is, in fact, a blog about a baseball team. So that's today's topic. The Nats, in case you haven't been paying attention, are hot. It was widely assumed that the ten-day, three-city road trip that the Nationals are tearing through would be disastrous, that the team would limp back with their eyes blackened and in a plane that had a couple of engines shot out, Memphis Belle-style. Not the case so far. 4-2 with two series wins against quality teams, and all this in spite of a practically Biblical plague of injuries and some very shaky starting pitching. Neat! I still think we've been lucky and that we're about to get kicked in the junk by an infuriating losing streak, so I'm enjoying this while I can. What follows is a series of useless observations. I can't be bothered with a theme unless I'm complaining about writers.
  • Why isn't Giant Jon Rauch starting? We've already established that he's really tall, and that's reason enough to put him in the rotation as far as I'm concerned. But he's really pitching like, hell, I don't know, a decent pitcher. Better than Day and Ohka, at any rate. He was brought in in long relief twice in the series against the Giants. 6 innings, 2 hits, 1 earned run. Only 3 strikeouts vs 4 walks, but he's earned a shot.
  • Needham's convinced that Frank's a bad manager. I'm not disagreeing with him -- he's paying much closer attention than I am -- but he did the right thing Friday and Saturday by yanking obviously ineffective pitchers before they could do irreperable harm. On the other hand, he let red-hot Ryan Church stew on the bench for 13 innings today, so screw him.
  • Jose Vidro's out for one or two weeks. That's just part of the budget with Vidro. You get the bat, you put up with the poor defense, lack of speed, and the injuries. Jamey Carroll is playing well in his absence, slapping singles and probably improving the infield D. Which brings me to my next point.
  • Carroll should be playing more -- he hasn't played at all in 17 of our 31 games. I'm not the only one who thinks so; the last two Washington Post chats with Barry Svrluga have included questions about the Carroll PT issue, but Svrluga dismisses them. Let's have a look at his most recent response.
    Carroll is, right now, a utility player. A fine one at that, but he won't play every day.
    Let me rephrase this: "Carroll won't play every day because he doesn't play every day." That's true, I suppose, in a zen sort of way. Barry continues:
    Plus, where are you going to put him? At second? No, Vidro's a star. At short? No, Guzman's coming around and is superior defensively. At third? No, because the surprise of the first month has arguably been Castilla's bat.
    Let me run this through Babelfish: "Vidro makes $8 million. Guzman makes $4 million. Castilla makes $3 million. Carroll makes $300,000." Don't think this kind of thing doesn't make a difference. Imagine Castilla was benched for Brendan Harris (not that I'm advocating that move at this point); that would mean the organization would be admitting that it made a huge mistake. Guzman is sitting at 239/276/312 after the old size 5 collar today, which is just astoundingly bad. He's going to have to keep that up for, by my reckoning, three and a half years before they sit him. We've got a shortstop who can field but can't hit, a second baseman who can hit and can't field, and a utility guy who can hit better than the shortstop and field better than the second baseman. Seems to me like you could fashion a pretty nifty three-man rotation out of that set-up. Guzman needs pinch-hitting for, Vidro needs time off and defensive replacing, and Carroll needs playing time. I'm thinking about sending Frank this biography of Casey Stengel when I'm done with it. That guy knew how to use his whole roster.
  • Back in the early days of this blog, before all the fame and fortune, back when I was scrapping for every link and hustling 24-7, I lamented Nick Johnson's amazingly ugly moustache. To quote myself:
    He looks like he lost a bet. I mean, Johnson isn't exactly Travis Lee to begin with, if you know what I mean, and having what looks like two anchovies attached to his lip doesn't help.
    Well, hide the kids, because it's back.

17 comments:

Trapper John said...

I actually think that the moustachioed Nick resembles what I always imagined Ronnie Fish or Catsmeat Pirbright must've looked like.

Chris Needham said...

Thanks for hopping aboard the Jamey Carroll bandwagon. It's been pretty empty all year, but it's filling up fast!

And Frank most certainly is a bad manager. He was amazingly proactive in those two games, but as Mr. Magoo taught us, even a blind, senile man can stumble out of danger every now and then.

Basil said...

I'll probably ask this question later, Chris, but bad in a normative sense or bad in a "compared to the rest of the league's managers" sense?

Ryan said...

FUCK! Everyone go read Dayn right now.

http://msn.foxsports.com/other/story/3601732

Chris Needham said...

Basil, are those mutually exclusive?

Certainly there are some other bad managers, but he's not good at on-the-field stuff, and he's not good at the off-the-field stuff.

How many other managers are running their non-malcontent players down in the papers?

Trapper John said...

Wow. I'd never actually read Dayn's Fox columns before, preferring to rely on Ryan's digests. Putting aside the moustache plagarism, I gotta say that Dayn-o is as derivative and unimaginative writer as I've ever read. To wit: "Hands-free devices are annoying. Here's why: they mislead you into momentarily thinking someone's crazy. You see someone chatting away, presumably to himself, only to later discover that he's babbling into a hands-free device."

This is to observational humor as Marmaduke is to comic strips.

Ryan said...

"And what's the deal with airline food?!"

Yep - and you should have seen it back when he was still a pervert.

Basil said...

Well, it says "Posted 9 hours ago." You posted approximately 15 hours ago.

If it were plagiarism (well, idea-stealing, which I guess is different), he would have had to have read it and written that part of the "column" (does it even qualify as one?) pretty much late last night.

It's possible, I guess.

Basil said...

Chris, I probably phrased my question badly. Insofar as this is now (again!) a Dayn Perry thread, I'll direct it back on your blog or in a post when I've got the time.

Ryan said...

Basil, you're giving Dayn the benefit of the doubt. You oughtn't do that.

Dayn Perry said...

We're not that different, you and I...

Ryan said...

Aside from a few restraining orders, I guess Dayn's right.

Basil said...

Justice is blind, dog. ;-)

Basil said...

BTW, regarding the Carroll quote in the chat, I'm operating on the assumption that Svrluga is giving us the Nats' position on it. Given the assumptions stated therein, I guess it's reasonable to keep Carroll---absent injuries---locked to the bench.

Of course, it's sort of our role to REJECT those assumptions! :-)

Ryan said...

Exactly - the fact that the assumptions behind keeping Carroll on the bench are that weak is an indication that we should reconsider his role on the team.

Basil said...

Verily so.

I'm just posting out of the interest in preserving St. Barry's canonization. ;-)

I mean, if someone asks, "Hey, why isn't Carroll getting more playing time?" St. Barry has provided the answer.

(The answer does sort of suck, though!)

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