Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Monday, August 02, 2004

Backed-Up Stuff and a Korean Digression

I've been in a pretty crappy mood about our prospects, so I've been derelict in keeping up with things. I'd promise it won't happen again, but it will.

As you may have heard, the trade deadline came over the weekend, and did it ever rock. The Expos, Twins, Red Sox, and Cubs threw a bunch of players into a pot, each team grabbing what it wanted. The Expos rid themselves of sore-backed malcontent Orlando Cabrera and picked up Alex Gonzalez, a pretty crappy shortstop himself, and a couple of prospects (3B Brendan Harris and RHP Francis "the Other" Beltran). Chris Kahrl's Transaction Analysis columns in Baseball Prospectus are subscription only, but I don't think they'll mind my saying that she gave it a thumbs-up from the 'Spos' standpoint. Indeed, "next year's Expos team could be a passel of kids with promise." Now if Peter Angelos would only return to the Stygian depths whence he came, we could have a good ol' time.

Speaking of Trading Day, you won't find a bigger divide between the statsy types on the Web and the mainstream sports media than in analysis of the Dodgers/Marlins blockbuster (with the possible exception of the debate over the value of Derek Jeter). Each side thinks someone got fleeced - the old school fellows cite Paul LoDuca's veteran leadership and Guillermo Mota's setupping goodness, while the more sabermetrically inclined point out that Juan Encarnation sucks and that the Marlins got really badly screwed.

In this article from Jayson Stark, the most important guy in the trade is completely dismissed. See if you can spot it:
All he traded was his fifth starter (Brad Penny), a platoon guy (Hee Seop Choi), a bench player (Abraham Nunez) and two minor leaguers (Bill Murphy and Travis
Chick)," said one NL front-office man.
I guess slugging 25-year-olds with great plate discipline who make chump change aren't worth what they used to be. Choi is currently putting up a .270/.388/.495 line, which, in technical terms, is rad, particularly for a guy years away from free agency. The Cubs' trading Choi for Derrek Lee was one of the great unheralded dumbass moves of the off-season, as the Cubs paid almost six million bucks for an improvement at 1B that was, if anything, marginal. Now it's happened to Choi twice, but I think he's found a home with Paul DePodesta in LA.

Dick Heller had another article about remembering those Grays on Saturday (clarification: the article came out on Saturday, but does not advocate remembering the Grays on Saturday specifically). If you've been following the advice of the country's leading scientists and reading everything I've been telling you to, there's nothing you probably haven't heard before, but what the heck.

I advise you to listen to Sportstalk 980 here in the DC area from 10-11 am on Saturdays. Baseball Roundup with Marc Sterne (neither of whose names is spelled the way one would expect) naturally spends a good amount of its hour on relocation. If you hear a guy with a thick Australian accent complaining about the Loudoun Cabal, that's probably me using my radio voice.

A free article on BP led me to Field of Schemes, where Neil "the Mouse" daMause discusses the thieving SOBs who run the National Pastime. There's a lot of Expos content over there. I'm going to put up a link when I get around to it.

I'm off to Camden tomorrow night for the Orioles vs. the Mariners. It's not my fault; some dumbass Mariners fan I know wanted to go months ago, that game got rained out, and then he skipped town. I will be wearing my Senators hat (or, as the kids say, "Rocking my Nats chapeau"), don't you worry.

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