Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Vaya . . . Con Dios

All in all, this is probably a good thing for my precious credibility. No one made me look dumber than Esteban Loaiza. I was positive that the guy was going to suck, as this post (later mangled beyond recognition in the Washington Post) made clear. Anyway, it's too bad that the Nationals' ridiculous ownership prevented the team from making a serious attempt to keep Loaiza, but Esteban just isn't the kind of guy I can get that excited about. He's getting $21 million and three years from Oakland, and it's not breaking my heart or even irritating me a little bit that it's not my team doing that. Plus we get a draft pick!

So I've already moved on. Where does this leave the Nats? Well, we need pitching. Right now, we're looking at ¡Livan!/John Patterson/Brian Lawrence/Ryan Drese/Jon Rauch, and that's damn shaky. ¡Livan!'s indestructible, and Lawrence should be fine. Drese and Rauch, however, are coming off injuries, and Rauch has never demonstrated an ability to stay healthy. Patterson's 2005 saw him pitch far more innings that he ever had in a year (198 versus 140 in 2003), and that's enough to worry me. We need depth -- someone's going to get hurt, and there's no reason to think Hector Carrasco can bail us out again if he's even still around. Our non-Esteban alternatives have been investigated by Capitol Punishment, Capitol Punishment, and Banks . . . Anacostia (no way I'm typing that out every time). I'm a Kenny Rogers man myself, and my advocacy is serious, not just a reason to cast Elliot Gould as Needham. The real issue, of course, is can we afford any of these jockjaws?

And that's why I'm really worried. The Nats had offered $4 million a year to Loaiza, an offer which, if Esteban has any pride, no doubt earned Nationals management a hearty string of Spanish swears. His departure frees up at least that much, and my first reaction when I puzzled this out was "Sweet! We can keep Wilkerson or sign Paul Byrd or something!" Then I realized who's in charge and started swearing in Spanish. Jim Bowden isn't a guy I trust with money. Among his other attributes, Bodes is known for his yearning for former Reds and mediocre outfielders and for his willingness to force his manager to scrape by with three starters. Esteban Loaiza's generous new contract could well set off a chain of events that results in the long-delayed beginning of the Juan Encarnarcion Era.

Boswell has chimed in on the situation.
So, the Nats can sign anybody they want. As long as he's lying in the remainders bin or the damaged-goods box. That's where GM Jim Bowden found Loaiza and Jose Guillen last year. He signed them late and cheap because nobody else wanted them much. But can lightning strike again?
The Nats traded for Jose Guillen, dumbass, they did not sign him "late and cheap." I'm sure Boz is just guessing as to how Guillen got here. It's tough to figure out when you think Juan Rivera's still around.

1 comment:

El Gran Color Naranja said...

No! You see Tomko is a FORMER RED. We're getting that pitcher!