Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


It could be that we haven't shown the appreciation to MLB.com's Bill Ladson that he deserves. Things are quiet on the personnel front, and it's tough for a stadium-ignoring blogger to bring the content. Tom Boswell's talking about football, the Venerable Svrluga's off covering darts or shuffleboard or something, and there aren't even any glacially-paced Post chats to keep us occupied. Yet Ladson keeps on churning it out, and we should thank him for it.

A related problem is that the lack of grist for the blogmill means anything new gets picked clean by the time I get around to it, and I'll thank you to pardon my mixed metaphor. So Ladson has a new mailbag, OMG and teh Triple Play have already had at it, and I'm feeling like the last jackal to the dead gazelle party. But what else am I supposed to talk about? A few thoughts:

There's a pretty nifty non-sequitur when Ladson responds to a question about Soriano's unwilling and as yet unagreed to position shift.
In 1994, when he was the GM of the Reds, Bowden signed shortstop Tony Fernandez to a free agent contract on March 8 of that year. The problem was, the Reds already had Barry Larkin at the position. Then-manager Davey Johnson put Fernandez at third base. Bowden said that Fernandez was very upset about playing a different position, but the Reds ended up finishing that season in first place.
I can't possibly critique this better than Naranja:
I’ll assume Ladson’s logic is “Making a player unhappy by position change will not necessarily mess up a team” rather than “Making a player unhappy by position change means you will finish in first place!” You just have to read between the lines.
Ladson projects our 2006 starting lineup. Keep it in mind in case you're still thinking about those season tickets.
As of now, I see this lineup:
LF Brandon Watson
2B Jose Vidro
1B Nick Johnson
RF Jose Guillen
CF Alfonso Soriano
3B Ryan Zimmerman
C Brian Schneider
SS Cristian Guzman
"Brandon Watson?" you might be asking yourself. "Who the hell is that and where's Ryan Church? Is he at church?" Church, it seems, will never get a fair chance from this team. No matter he does or is capable of doing, it's not good enough, and Frank and Boswell will continue to compare him to various slang terms for female genitalia. He's the Brendan Harris of baseball.

Another question:
Why are you so down on strikeouts? They're frustrating to watch, but they're not all that different from a ground out. -- Chris N., Alexandria, Va.
I've got a question for you, Chris N. Why do you hate children?

Some starry-eyed fan asks why there's no hype around John Patterson. Ladson responds:
Let's face it, "The Big Nasty" has done the job for one year, and one year doesn't make him a premier pitcher. Let's not forget that Patterson wasn't very good the last month of the season. Let's see Patterson do it again, and then I'm sure he would get recognized as one of the better pitchers in the game.
First, let me say that Ladson is completely right. Second, "The Big Nasty" is about the least appropriate nickname anyone could possibly think of for Patterson. While there are no set rules for this kind of thing, a man called "Big Nasty" must, by my reckoning, possess at least two of the following traits:
  • Exceptional height
  • Exceptional girth
  • Exceptional amount of hair, facial or body
  • A reputation for headhunting
  • An unusually severe chewing tobacco habit
  • A face only a groupie could love
  • A felony conviction
Patterson has only one, height. There's nothing nasty about Patterson; he looks like a baby deer and has never gone into the stands after a vicious heckler or amenable-looking blonde.

Above: The Big Nasty wipes away a tear after thinking about his childhood pet, Mr. Whiskers.

I only mentioned it in passing before I got distracted by the Olympian pronouncements of the mighty Carroll, but this big board thingy is freaking great. Brian and Scott over the Farm Authority are providing something really useful rather than filling up the idle winter hours with wacky pictures and character assassination.


Anonymous said...

At least this blog seems to be paying SOME attention to what is happening on the stadium front, and the situation looks very bleak.

Has anybody read this?

And no...I don't know why now---in our hour of need---Tom Boswell feels we should be talking about the Redskins and his last baseball column did not even MENTION the deepening crisis Washington baseball now finds itself in.

Still, I think the major blame belongs to MLB. They are the one who refused to name an owner before this was settled. They were the ones who refused to pony up a small amount of cash to satisfy Wall Street and by the time they did that it was too late---Cropp insisted that the lease be voted on by the entire council and the Post started reporting about stadium cost overruns.

If they had actually NAMED an owner by the All-Star break instead of trying to find the perfect guy who would vote just the way the rest of the owners wanted, they could have not only quietly wrapped up the lease, but the Nats could have made a few moves that helped them stay in contention. Heck, maybe we could have gotten the MASN/Comcast dispute resolved, and actually BUILT on the enormous goodwill that had built up over the season?

Now it looks like baseball in D.C. is dead, thanks to the greed of baseball, and lack of vision of people like Adrian Fenty, who still cannot see how much money the MCI Center---paid for Abe Pollin---has made for the city. He voted against the project and STILL thinks it was a bad idea. Is it any wonder he refuses to see what losing baseball will do?

I've got to eat breakfast now. Anyway, I hope you manage to have a Merry Christmas...

Olivier said...

I must admit never, when I loathingly (is such a term correct?) watched MLB sink the plunder the barren carcass of the expos, I tought they might pull a San Juan on DC...

I still don't believe it either. You should calm down eddie; my worthless canadian money is on the Nationals staying put.

There; feel better now? :-)

Anonymous said...

happy birthday a few days ago!


Ryan said...

As messed up as the whole thing, I'm with Olivier - I think there's very little chance the Nats go anywhere. Of course, I have no idea what I'm talking about, which is why I avoid the issue as much as possible.

Tony Kornheiser's wishing me a happy birthday! Thanks, TK!

Anonymous said...

There is one bright spot, but I don't want to raise false hopes. Remember how there were plans to build a stadium in Virginia until Governor Mark Warner refused to back it with the "moral authority of the commonwealth"? Supposedly, Bud Collins is willing to make a bid for the team and he is friends with Governor-elect Tim Kaine.

Now, as a fan in Silver Spring, MD it will be a lot harder for me to drive out to a stadium in Dulles with no Metro than go to RFK or the SE stadium, but that's still a lot better than no team at all. I also would prefer that the team still be "Washington", but too many of my fellow Marylanders (not all) feel the need to be loyal to the Toad and the Orioles over a local team in their own backyard---so as far as I'm concerned Virginia deserves the team.

I just hope that the team remains the "Nationals" if this scenario is what happens. If they have to change the name (and they don't), they should call the team the Virginia Senators since they no longer have to assauge the feelings of the only two people (Tony Williams and Mark Plotkin) mortally offended by the name "Washington Senators"


Anonymous said...

This is the one thing which I continue to be amazed at when it comes to the Nats---the number of Montréal fans who continue to root for the team and wish Nats fans well even though they were ROYALLY screwed by MLB.

(Yes, Montréal is not a baseball town, but we aren't a hockey town, either and the Caps have managed to survive. With the proper ownership, I think the Expos could have survived in Montréal. I will not lie and say I'm sad they moved, but we should have received an expansion team in 1989 and not HAVE to steal a team like we did. In hinsight, I'm sure MLB wishes they went to D.C. instead of Miami.)

Anyway, I just want to say that there is no contest as to which area has the best Nats fans. D.C., Virginia, and even Maryland have to take off their caps to Montréalers like Olivier!