After my novel-length complaint about Frank Robinson on Sunday, it seems only fair to point out when he does something good. Have a gander at this rather odd L.A. Times column (registration required, so on second don't bother and just read this).
A large group of reporters and TV types arrives with the intent of talking to Guillen on his first return visit to Angel Stadium since being suspended for insubordination, and a team spokesman says Guillen will speak to everyone in the dugout at 4:45.Writer T.J. Simers goes on to get all pissy because Frank is actually enforcing the rule and making sure these hacks can't get Guillen to say something he'll regret. Good. As little regard as he has for certain of his pitchers, Frank realizes that part of his job is to keep his mercurial right fielder happy, and that involves keeping the wannabe Rick Reillys away from him. See the difference? Here he's protecting a player from the press. With Ohka, he was trashing a player to the press.
He's a few minutes late, takes his place before the reporters, but before he can answer the first question, Washington Manager Frank Robinson demands everyone's attention so the team's PR guy can make an announcement.
The PR guy says Guillen will speak until 5, but Robinson interrupts with a stern pronouncement of his own, warning the media it cannot ask Guillen any question having anything to do with last season.
Bryan Smith at Baseball Analysts has a review of the draft for the NL teams, and here's hit take on the Nats:
One of the most important things for this organization at this time, besides winning, is creating a face for themselves. Washington is such a perfect place for baseball, that I think they are just a superstar away from blending in. While winning will continue to sell itself this year, the club will no doubt find its dry spell at some point. Then what will the marketing department use? Cue Ryan Zimmerman, maybe the surest thing in this draft. Zimmerman, from nearby UVa, has potential that tops out at (ironically enough) Cal Ripken Jr. Great choice there. I also like what Washington did after Zimmerman, though they didn't pick again until the fourth, choosing only players from competitive areas or programs. As Zimmerman goes, so does this draft, but choosing a few well-tested Tar Heels, Terrapins and Dirtbags can't hurt either.We rank 9th of 16, but I'm sure that has a lot to do with how few picks we had.
Oleanders and Morning Glories just eviscerates Nats GM Jim Bowden and MLB.com's Bill Ladson today for a self serving (on Bodes' part) and embarrassingly gentle (on Ladson's) interview. It's really bad, actually. Among other things, Bowden:
- Touts the team's "compassion"
- Justifies Guzman with the old "Twins won the division" routine
- Claims he knew Church was going to be a star
Our old friends at Baseball Prospectus had a feature column on D.C. baseball today (40 bucks required), and it lived up to the quality we've come to expect from the internet baseball community's savage, Mean Girls-esque tastemakers. Yuda does the evisceration this time. BP's Joe Sheehan is concerned at the attendance. Yuda responds:
Yes, it’s incredibly unimpressive that this team is currently outdrawing Philadelphia, Baltimore, Texas and the Chicago White Sox. Nobody is questioning their ability to sustain a team. On top of that, there’s been practically no marketing. I’ve met people who thought the team didn’t move here after Linda Cropp’s gambit. There’s a lot of people who don’t even know when games are played, and even more who have no idea how cheaply you can get in (outfield seats are $7). This is a market that can sustain baseball, and with competent management under new ownership, I expect it to be in the upper tier of attendance and revenue most seasons.I think I know how much research Sheehan did for this piece: less than some.
New blog! Nationals Gallery started on Monday and already has about forty posts. Get over there. Now! Pretty soon there'll be so much content you'll need to take a day off.