Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Monday, June 28, 2004

A Small Dark Cloud

I started this blog thinking that a team in DC was a fait accompli, as the Expos fans say. I knew that I was running the risk of making my disappointment even worse, but I figured DC just made too much sense. I should have realized that "sense" doesn't have anything to do with how baseball makes its decisions.

This Post series on Selig has me pretty bummed. I knew Selig was incompetent and sleazy, but I managed to put it out of my mind. Having it front and center just reminds me that the leadership of baseball does not have the game's best interests in mind. I can't blame them for being concerned with money. I can't blame them for trying to avoid paying for stadia. But I can blame them for making a free stadium their only concern, for leaving a team in limbo to extort cities, for allowing baseball in Montreal to wither and die, for the farce of contraction, and for a multitude of other things. I actually agree with George Will that baseball is is in a Golden Age, but this is the case in spite of Selig and Co., not because of it.

Will Carroll thinks the DC bid is dead. He's been wrong before, but I still don't like hearing it. (Check the comments - I have to agree with Yuda's suggestion for the name of a Loudoun team. Ignore that Ryan guy and his potty humor.)

One the other hand, Pedro alerted me to this from Gammons:
Montreal may have to take offers on Tony Armas Jr. as well as Orlando Cabrera, if he proves he is as healthy as he appeared Thursday. Omar Minaya had inquiries on Brad Wilkerson, and refused to talk, figuring he wants every possible good player in Washington next season.
Now, it's quite possible that Gammons isn't differentiating between DC and Virginia, but it still sounds good. (By the way, I know we have some Expos fans around here - what's the verdict on Wilkerson? He put up a .380 OBP last year, and that's the only stat I care about.)

In spite of Gammons' off-hand comment, I feel as bad about DC's chances as I have since I started this blog years ago. This may be a product of my place of residence, but I haven't heard much buzz about the Expos going to Norfolk or Portland or Vegas (except from Carroll), and Monterrey and San Juan never had a shot. I'm pretty confident that the team will end up somewhere around here, but that's what's making me nervous. It's well established the MLB loves free stadia, and that means Loudoun. Loudoun means the cruel scenario of the Squires or whatever whiling away three years at RFK before they brave the gridlock for Diamond Lake Stadium. I would not support a team in that situation - they may as well go to Mexico as I'm concerned. For now, all we can do is wait, and we don't even know how long.

We'll sit around,
and sit around,
and wait
-Pere Ubu, A Small Dark Cloud


Olivier said...

Trading Cabrera would be sad. He's a very nice player. Trading Armas? Maybe it's a mistake, he's got the raw talent, but I just don't know.

On Wilkerson: Take Nick Johnson, but double the Strikeouts rate (130 in a good year, but he topped 160 in the last two seasons). Reduce Batting Average accoridngly. But make him play 150+ games. He plays above average defense on 1B, is oustretched but very reliable in CF, a very, very good RF and a Gold Glover LF (his normal position). Above average speed, Amazing patience (Edgaresque # pitches/Plate apperances ratio), and when he does touch the ball, he usually blast it to smithereens. Oh yeah, he hits lefties as well as righties (actually, better) and when I checked late last year, his Average on Balls in play was in the Alfonso Soriano range.

He is not an absolute stud yet (he is still young and improving), but if Omar trade that guy, he's dead meat. Just don't get fooled by the low Batting average. Its a statement of the stat's shortcomings.

Ryan said...

Great! That's exactly what I was looking for - thanks a lot.
I wouldn't mind seeing Cabrera go, though I don't know who'd replace him. He's about to be a free agent AND turn 30, and his best ever OPS is only 807.
It's a good sign that Minaya values Wilkerson, given that his strengths seem to be in areas that are often overlooked. I'm sure some GMs would be saying, "Sure, you can have Wilkerson. He's only hitting .257, sucker."