When it comes to how the Nationals are being run, it's the little things that get to you. That's by necessity, since there are no big things. Other teams get to worry about big things: whether to trade Manny Ramirez, "brain-dead Carribeans," hairdressers -- you know, the big things. Nats fans are stuck contemplating the true worth of Sunny Kim and whether Tomo Ohka or Frank Robinson is a bigger jerk. So keep that in mind as I pick my nits.
We had plenty of outfielders before Jim Bowden acquired Preston Wilson, and we still do. Ryan Church is rotting on the bench when he should be solidifying his Rookie of the Year case, for instance. Meanwhile, the offense is atrocious, and it's largely owing to the infield. Vinny Castilla's been in a free fall since the eleventh game of the year (I'm serious -- his OPS was 1449 on April 16 and has fallen steadily to its current 698). Jose Vidro was fine until he missed two months but has hit Vinny-style since, and you know he's not helping us with his glove. Both these players are old and gimply and could use some time off. If only there were someone who could fill such a role. There's Jamey Carroll, but he's busy giving us the occasional day off from Cristian Guzman, and he can't hit either. Regular Distinguished Senators readers (if there are any) probably know where I'm going with this: Free Brendan Harris! Harris is putting up a solid 281/332/424 in AAA at the moment with 10 homers and 17 doubles. He's not exactly ripping up the league, but he's obviously not overmatched, and he did hit in the majors before being inexplicably shipped back down. He plays third and second and is more than capable of giving our ailing infielders the time off they need (which in Castilla's case is the year and a couple months until his contract expires).
Instead we get another frigging outfielder. Nothing against young Brandon Watson, and his call-up could wind up being a good thing. He has a homer and a double tonight, not that I expect that to keep up -- remember Preston Wilson's first at-bat as a National? Anyway, Nationals Farm Report profiles the new guy for us. His batting average in New Orleans was .357, and though it may have been a rather empty .357 (low on walks and power), he'll probably be of more use than poor Matt Cepicky was. Nonetheless, he simply doesn't fill as great a need as Harris would, and he'll be just the latest unworthy outfielder to steal playing time from Church. Little thing though it may be (it's not even the worst move Bowden's made this week), this team doesn't have the talent not to sweat the small stuff.