Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A Launcher Transformed

The Yankees want Brad Wilkerson, as well they should. I don't see it happening, but that won't stop me from giving advice to someone who will never see it and would ignore it if he did. There is no pressing need to trade Wilkerson, strikeouts aside. Whatever he gets in arbitration, it won't break the bank. He's not holding back a more deserving player, and he's not a Milton Bradley-style headache or anything. I don't know what the Yanks would offer, but I probably wouldn't like it. There's been a lot of talk about Brian Cashman asserting his authority and trying to stop Steinbrenner from doing the absolute stupidest goddamn thing all the time, and that means no Robinson Cano or Tiger Wang for us. Perhaps, as Needham suggests, other teams could be involved. But if I know know Bodes, all that's going to mean is Juan Encarnacion (or, if you're a professional sports broadcaster, "Encarnarcion"). Of course, ears should be kept open, particularly if the magic words "Vernon" and "Wells" are uttered, but there's no reason to hurry on this or to take action at all if a great deal doesn't present itself. In other words, don't you fucking go all Preston Wilson on us again, Bodes.

Hector Carrasco got me to thinking about the coaching staff, just as he once made me think about my improbably successful magic show in the old barn. Bodes recently told the coaches that it would be wise to get while the getting's good, and set a fine example of what he expects them to do by pursuing a better job. Near as I can tell, the staff consists of Frank Robinson's lackeys, and it's no skin off my ass to see them leave. Except, of course, for pitching coach Randy St. Claire. St. Claire has been lauded previously here and elsewhere for turning ¡Livan! into an actually good pitcher by changing his arm angle -- the Rob Neyer article that described the process is now behind the subscription wall, but here it is in French and here it is Babelfished back into English. And now we have Carrasco chiming in with this:
Carrasco reiterated on Tuesday that he wants to stay with the Nationals because they were the team that gave him his first chance to pitch in important games. He also made it clear that he wants pitching coach Randy St. Claire to return to the team. St. Claire, whose contract expired on Oct. 31, taught Carrasco to throw a deadly changeup.

"I hope the negotiations work out because I want to go back to Washington," Carrasco said. "I want St. Claire there. I owe him a lot. He taught me everything."

For the most part, I don't think outsiders can gauge value of coaches with any accuracy -- there's simply too much statistical noise to sort through. But here we have a coach who took two mediocre or worse talents, made adjustments, and transformed them into extremely valuable (and helpfully underpaid) assets. Losing Randy St. Claire on account of the lack of ownership would be a greater tragedy than missing out on this year's free agent class.

Bartolo Colon won the Cy Young Award, and I have nothing to say about it except that I completely disagree with Harper. I believe this is the first time this has happened. The important part of this result is that I have finally had a question answered. For years I had wondered what it would look like if Andre the Giant and Robert Smith had a child who grew up and went to a party with a bunch of Dominicans. Now I know; it would look like this:

I think the guy over Bart's right shoulder has had enough

Then I came up with a new question: what would it look like if ¡Livan! went to a Halloween party dressed as Dr. Dre but had his enjoyment ruined by the paparazzi? I had the answer within moments.

1 comment:

Chris Needham said...

Actually, the Livan reminds me a lot of Gilbert Gottfried -- especially with the tension in the shoulders.