Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Jack Evans said a swear!

First off, another new blog. Your daily reading should consist mainly of DC baseball stuff by now. Washington Baseball Blog features the musings of erstwhile Yankees fan John Viega. Go have a gander. John reports on a rumor that the Expos are interested in picking up troubled outfielder Jose Guillen from the Angels. As you may recall, Guillen was suspended for the last two weeks of the season and the postseason, which is no doubt why he's available. He's been a fine hitter over the last two years, he's right in his prime, and he'd provide some right-handed pop, a department in which the Expos are sorely lacking. Furthermore, he has only one year left on his contract. I would hope he'd come cheap, given his status with Angels' management, but I can't think offhand of anyone Anaheim would want and I'd want to part with. We'll see.

A quick update on the progress of the stadium financing bill. David Catania introduced twenty impossible amendments to the bill to get himself in the paper. All but one of them were shot down in committee. It was a tense session, including this outburst from my hero and yours, Jack Evans:
"I've been on this council for 14 years, and I don't just ... vote for anything," said Evans, using a profane adjective. "I take my job very seriously. I mean, shit, dude."
Meanwhile, the Tyrone Biggums of DC politics is also trying to keep his name in the paper.
"I'm still fighting against the baseball stadium," he said.
Mr. Barry said that even if the council approves financing for the new stadium before he takes office, he can still work to defeat the project.
"A lot of votes come in after January," he said, pledging to block construction contracts for the new stadium.
Oh, please. I dare you to try and stop this thing in January, Marion. I double-dog dare you.

Will Carroll is reporting that New Era is going to present Washington Grays hat designs to MLB. He's been wrong before, as you may have heard me mention once or twice, but time will tell.

I keep talking about Baseball Prospectus, I know, but at least I'm not complaining this time. Clay Davenport went over the NL Gold Glove winners today (no subscription required for this one), comparing them with the guys he thinks should have won. Check this out about our own Brian Schneider:
With his second Gold Glove in a row and third overall, [Mike] Matheny is a good choice, but perhaps not the best for this year. His 36/9 is solid enough, but doesn't quite stack up to what Brian Schneider was doing up in Montreal. Base stealers went 38-for-54 off of Matheny--the caught-stealing percentage isn't that good, but the attempts were low. That counts in his favor, even after allowing for the fact that trailing teams don't try to steal as much, and opponents trailed the Cardinals a lot last year. Off of Schneider, they were only 36-for-72; he was the only regular or part-time catcher in the league who had as many CS as SB against. Schneider's season scored a 44/13, and fits right in with how he's played the last three years. In my opinion, he would have been the better choice.
That's nice to hear. Schneider isn't much of a hitter, though he's certiainly not atrocious by catcher standards. He's cheap, too. In light of the fact that Tavares and Bowden want to keep Tony Batista, this is an interesting tidbit:
Everyone says what a terrible fielder [Batista] is, but he's put up numbers like this in Toronto (40/17 in 2000), in Baltimore (37/13 in 2002), and now Montreal, too. The odds of it being some sort of teammate or pitcher interaction are getting pretty low.
I've never heard much about Tony the Baptist's defensive game, but he's damn good, at least according to a couple of Baseball Prospectus metrics. Remember when the O's played him at shortstop part of the time? Those were hard times in Baltimore.

And finally, some follow-up. In the comments to yesterday's post, reader Olibou makes an interesting point: the return of Frank Robinson probably means the return of pitching coach Randy St. Claire as well. St. Claire had at least something to do with the transformation of Livan Hernandez from innings-eating mediocrity into innings-eating badass, so I figure that's a good thing. Olibou also agrees with me about Rickey.

Thom "Tom" Loverro has an annoyed column about our new GM.
But the Washington club didn't get a general manager until Tuesday, when it was announced former Cincinnati Reds GM Jim Bowden agreed to take the job. So the Washington franchise, in its infancy, is taking on an identity: Home of Dysfunctional General Managers. Dan Duquette and Bowden — these were the candidates for the Washington job? Heck, why not Syd Thrift?
We got any Red Sox fans out there? I know Duquette's reign ended badly, but was he all bad? I remember that he caught a lot of guff for letting Mo Vaughn go, and he was vindicated in that. Anyway, Loverro wonders why Pat Gillick wasn't even considered, and I do too. The poor old guy was practically begging for the job. And if Bowden is going to sign Batista for three years and trade Brendan Harris for Jose Guillen, it won't matter that he's only around for a few months.

1 comment:

WFY said...

There was a lot of ballpark (it's not a stadium, ballpark sounds much better!) funding talk on Kojo today. Our hero Jack Evans called in and apparently, Linda Cropp has put forth a RFK site proposal as well. The audio should be up on WAMU's site this afternoon.