Meanwhile, the Nats signed a couple pitchers. Ramon Ortiz gets one year, $2.5 million. Here's the best thing that can happen: RFK acts as a soothing salve on Ramon's oozing tendency to give up homers, Randy St. Claire teaches him a knuckleball or something, and he gives us 200 innings and a 4.50 ERA. More likely: those homers turn into Soriano-assisted triples, and we get 170 innings and an ERA in the fives. I don't think we're looking at another Esteban Loaiza here, but what the hell. We needed rotation-fillers, and rotation-fillers is what we get. Anyway, it's a fine signing. I would have preferred Ryan Franklin, a trickster figure in the tradition of Loki, Bugs Bunny, and the main character of a rather offensively-named children's book I saw at the Denver Art Museum, infamous Latin American trickster Pedro Urdemales. Cheat to win!
Tony Armas got $2.1 million. Armas has always bugged me, a holdover from my days as leader of the Tomo Ohka fan club. For a variety of reasons, Ohka never got the credit he deserved, while Armas routinely got more than he did. Get in a time machine, go back to May, and go shopping for Nats merchandise. You'll find (or is it "you found"? Time travel is hell on grammar) endless Armas shirts, and nothing for Ohka. Never mind that Ohka has been vastly better than Armas every year since 2002. Armas always got credit for his potential, potential it seems he'll always have. He isn't so much competing for a spot in the rotation as he is readying himself for another trip to the surgeon. For two mil, you can get all the Tommy Johns you'll ever need.
Will Carroll, a jolly embodiment of Christmas spirit, has brightened my holidays by admitting (again!) that he makes stuff up just to get people talking about him. This marks the second time he's owned up to his buzz machine strategy. A week and a half ago, Will confessed:
I have two jobs - generate content and generate interest. It's best when I can do both, but doing one or the other has some value as well.And now:
If you didn't realize my predictions suck, then you haven't been paying attention. I admit they suck, know they suck, and make them anyway. Know why? Because the debate is interesting.Hey, say whatever the hell you want, as long as it gets people talking! A player you will care about just got busted for the roids, and I'll bet you chemical McCarthyists can't wait to find out who! Will wants to be thought of as a real, grown-up journalist, and he's really hurting his case here. Make whatever Faux News/Rathergate joke you're most comfortable with, but it's an important part of real, accredited journalism to -- even if you are making everything up -- not admit it. It got Peter Gammons in the Hall of Fame, and if Will doesn't learn from his hero, he'll never stop whining about not being taken seriously. And I'll never run out of material.