Thursday, July 07, 2005

Bronchitis, Huh?

Jose Guillen is ticking. His problems with the Angels last year stemmed from a perceived lack of protection. Jose felt that he was getting hit and that nothing was being done in his defense. Guillen was plunked yet again by Pedro Martinez on Tuesday, his tenth of the year. It was probably intentional, given that Pedro has superb control and is a dick (and I say that with love -- Pedro rules). Afterwards, Guillen was really, really pissed. Or not, depending on whether you were reading an actual journalist's account of the game or that of a lesser type. Once again I'm going to skip of the Guillen issues to talk about the coverage his issues have gotten from the press.

Lucky for us, Needham is all over the Guillen angle. Go read this.
Guillen's an ass. A complete ass. This isn't the first time that that hothead has let his personal vendettas get in the way of clubhouse issues. And it goes to show that the persona that he and the Nationals have created of a reformed man are horseshit.
Guillen's deep in the doghouse. Don't believe any of this "bronchitis" bullshit. He didn't play on Thursday because Frank rightly took Loaiza and Schneider's side in this issue.

Of course, if you relied on MLB.com, you wouldn't even know there was an issue. Here's Bill Ladson's piece on Tuesday's game.
Nationals outfielder Jose Guillen was upset after Tuesday's win against the Mets and didn't want to talk to the media. According to multiple sources, Guillen was angry that teammate Esteban Loaiza didn't retaliate after Mets right-hander Pedro Martinez hit Guillen with a pitch in the first inning.
...
Guillen apologized to the media on Wednesday and denied he was angry Loaiza didn't retaliate against the Mets. He said he was upset that he made an error in the ninth inning that cost the Nationals a run.
Huh, well that's not that too bad. He's just, you know, intense. Like Tomo Ohka. But check out how the story changes when you hear from a guy who was willing to some actual reporting or at least fact-checking, in this case, the estimable Barry Svrluga.
Several sources said he had a confrontation in the dugout prior to the bottom of the second inning with pitcher Esteban Loaiza and catcher Brian Schneider.
Huh. Odd that Ladson didn't mention that.
"He was on first base, and then we went back on the field [in the top of the second], and then came back in the dugout, and it was our turn up to bat, and he said he told me to hit somebody," Loaiza said yesterday. "He never mentioned anything to me, and then he started going after Schneider. And Schneider didn't hear him, either."
Svrulga went and talked to some of the players involved, it would appear.
Guillen, who declined to speak to reporters after Tuesday's game, said repeatedly yesterday that he was not upset at being hit by Martinez, the fourth time his fellow native of the Dominican Republic has hit him during his career. Teammates privately said Guillen's actions showed differently.
Did you pick up on the vital extra step here? Guillen says he's not mad, and that's good enough for Ladson. Svrluga, on the other hand, did some actual goddam reporting.
All season, players have raved about the club's chemistry, and they consider it an essential element in their rise to first place in the NL East. As one player said yesterday, "We don't need that right now." Some players elected yesterday not to speak to Guillen, who did not take batting practice before the game.
Here's the point: there's a big difference between the rah-rah bullshit you find on MLB.com (among other outlets) and what's actually happening. We've been told since the day of the Guillen trade that he was a changed man and wouldn't dare do anything unpleasant on his new team. The usual wheelbarrow for all this manure has been Bill Ladson's stuff on MLB.com. It wasn't hard to poke holes in this nonsense even when Guillen was well-behaved. But at this point, Ladson's negligence is suspicious. Remember, he simply did not report the confrontation between Guillen and his teammates. Is he just not very good at his job, or did his bosses not want that information to get out? It could well be both. Just remember that anything on MLB.com may as well have been dictated by Tony Tavares or Jim Bowden.

10 comments:

El Gran Color Naranja said...

Well, I thought that the MLB.com article was a message. God knows Ladson isn't going to report anything that the team doesn't want reported. Just bringing up a potential issue was to call out Guillen.

The more I think about it though, the more I believe it was a pre-emptive strike. They knew word of the arguments would get out. If they reported first that it happened but it wasn't a big deal and he was more angry at himself, well then maybe this doesn't become the huge issue that something held secret would.

I think most reporters (especially Boz, but we'll see tomorrow) are going to take the "Frank sent him a message by benching him. The issue is dead now. Guillen, knows who's boss and is back on board." side of the story. No boat rocking here.

Ryan said...

My guess is that Ladson just didn't do his job. He got fed the "Guillen's mad at himself line" and went home. Svrluga got Loaiza to talk to him, and that's why his story isn't bs.

Basil said...

This one's really, really good.

By the way, was there a WashTimes account of this? It would be interesting to see how deep it delves, just to compare the two extremes of reporting here.

El Gran Color Naranja said...

We'll just have to agree to disagree. I'll go on thinking he's a corporate lackey with some surpressed journalistic skills, you can think he's incompetent with some free will. It's like tomato and tomahto, or hot dogs with kethcup or hot dogs with mustard. Well it's not like the last thing. People that use ketchup are just wrong.

Carl said...

However it went down, it best be played out by now. Guillen really needs to play in Philly, where his RFK long fly balls will turn into home runs.

Ryan said...

Basil - good question. Here's the game story, and it doesn't mention the plunking at all. Worse than Ladson!

http://www.washingtontimes.com/sports/20050706-120616-4508r.htm

Naranja - how about an incompetent corporate lackey with mustard?

Carl - have you seen Guillen's road line? 337/348/692 Let's hope he's desperate enough to get back on Frank's good side to launch a few.

Brian said...

I fear this is the beginning of the ugliness. It's sad that a player with above average talent has such little maturity. He's not a superstar. He's not MVP. He's a solid (and integral) part of the Nats success. But he's not the sole reason and never will be. It's disappointing he'll never realize/accept that.

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