Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Today's essential reading is this post at Banks of the Anacostia, where the advisability of a long-term extension for Jose Guillen is discussed. It's well-argued and full of fun charts, and I'm certainly not here to refute it or anything. Rather, I present a commentary. Further reading. If the BotA post were to be published with a foreward by Norman Mailer, this might make a good appendix.

I think both JammingEcono and Farid in the post that inspired him are rather too optimistic when it comes to Guillen's good behavior. Yes, he more or less behaved himself last year. But it wasn't all that long ago that he made himself so unwelcome in Anaheim that the Angels suspended him for two weeks in the middle of a pennant race. Or that he probably lied about willingly taking anger management classes. Or that, at least as of March, they still hated him over there. Just because it hasn't happened here yet doesn't mean it won't, especially if Frank Robinson isn't around to keep him line.

Econo notes (with the help of rad charts) that Guillen's OBP is right around average even though his walk rate is lousy. This is due in part to his solid batting averages, but a not insignificant factor is that Jose gets plunked a lot (and it happens disproportionately against teams Guillen used to play for). His 19 led the NL in 2005, and it apparently is a repeatable skill: 15 in '04 and 14 the year before. It may not look like much, but for a guy who walks under 40 times a year, it's an important addition to his OBP.

Whither Guillen's shoulder? I sure as hell don't know, but Guillen isn't the most durable guy. He's not Nick Johnson or anything, but his shoulder ruined him late last year (427 OPS in September), he could miss the start of this season, and he wore down at the end of 2004 as well (606 in September). So that's something to think about.

I quote Econo's conclusion:
At the end of the day, I just don't believe that Guillen brings enough to the table to merit a long-term deal. If JimBo wants to sign him to a 2 year deal for around $10M, I could get on board. Anything more than that, and I'd think we were overpaying for what Guillen produces.
I pretty much agree. All this analysis was prompted by Guillen saying that "Money is not going to be really an issue" as long as he stays in Washington. He'll be making $3.7 million this year, and that's a real bargain. Would he be willing to stay under $5 million on an extension? If he is, sign him for as long as he wants. We should be able a trade a guy making that little even if he goes nuts.

Ah, the revolution of the earth. Or something. In December, it was noted that spent my birthday in 2005 complaining about Linda Cropp and that I spent my birthday in 2004 complaining about Linda Cropp. Now it's February, and it should come as no surprise to anyone who remembers last February that it sucks and there's nothing to talk about. Last year, I was rescued by the greatest idea in entertainment since they started fixing wrestling matches: the Puppy Bowl! The Puppy Bowl is back this year, and in case you were worried about a sophomore let-down, they've added the only thing that could possibly make it better: a kitten halftime show! It's going to be great. Check out the roster, vote for the MVP (which they allow before the airing of the Bowl), put together puppy puzzles, and see video previews. I would have no hesitation in signing Badger to an extension.

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