Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Friday, February 24, 2006


I can't say I ever paid attention to him before I started doing this, but I am assured by reasonable men that Tom Boswell is a widely respected and highly skilled sportswriter. That makes it all the sadder that the arrival of the Nationals has turned him into a pathetic fanboy. Boz just concluded a chat on the Post website, giving us a sneak peek at the bizarre contortions we'll see throughout the season as he tries to convince everyone that Jim Bowden is incapable of error.
Loved Wilkerson. A gamer. Wonderful personality and respected teammate. I hope he hits 35 homers a year for the next seven years in Texas __and he might. But he was hurt a lot, has always struck out a ton and was totally spooked by RFK's deep fences. The team does NOT want to move in the RFK fences. So Wilkerson's effective power, IMO, was cut way down. And the Natys may be in RFK for three more years.
Spooked? Really? It wasn't Wilkerson crying about the fences. And though Boz mentions that Wilkerson was "hurt a lot," he neglects to specify. Wilk dealt with nerve problems in his arm for pretty much the entire year, which messed up his swing and ruined his power. In spite of that, he managed to get on base and play four positions competently. All indications are that he's better and that he's going to be an all-star for Texas. But pointing any of that out might make one question Bowden's wisdom, and Boz won't stand for that.
When Soriano hits it, it's gone.
That remains to be seen.
Just more talkent and a bigger up side.
Oh, bullshit, unless "talkent" is something other than a typo. I have a theory that it's hard for people to remember on a certain level that Soriano is three years older than we thought he was when he broke in. Soriano is older than Wilkerson, and 30 year olds with no strike zone judgment tend not to have bright futures.
A lot of people will really miss Wilkerson, even though the guy hit .248 with 11 homers and 147 K's in 565 at bats and was only a nice smooth outfielder. That is a LOUSY season.
It was a BETTER season than Soriano had. Something isn't true just because you capitalize it, Boz.

But that's all typical, and you certainly can fashion a reasonable argument using the same raw materials Boswell used. Soriano is fast and does have a lot of power. Wilkerson isn't fast and didn't have a lot of power in 2005. But where Boz really breaks new ground in the field of Defending Bowden No Matter What is here, where he argues for Soriano as a positive clubhouse influence.
And he makes everyone else around him more confident. Don't worship stats so much that you forget that the game is played by real people. You need a few who SWAGGER. In Soriano, Vidro, Nick Johnson, Guillen, Livan, Patterson, Cordero, Schneider (defenisvely) and, probably, Zimmerman, the Nats actually have quite a few players who __in their specialties and their roles__ have this find of baseball presence.
So when Soriano struts through the lockerroom like Kevin Federline, his teammates will take heart and start jacking dingers, I guess. But -- and pardon me while I pretend this makes a damn bit of sense -- if eight other guys have _in their specialties and their roles_ SWAGGER, why did we need another? Is it possible to have too much SWAGGER? I wonder if Boswell has considered that maybe a guy making more than anyone else in the clubhouse who has already stated his desire to get out of there the instant free agency kicks in and who's refusing to help the team by switching positions could actually hurt team chemistry with his SWAGGER.


Harper said...

You know who had SWAGGER last year? Wil Cordero. Flex his muscles, say "Hey coach need some of this?" He was ready for anything. Of course he had one of the worst pinch hitting seasons ever but he had SWAGGER.

I'm going to try to ignore Boswell as long as possible (unless it's a Guzman comment. I've never been able to let that pass)

Chris Needham said...

Blah blah blah

Anonymous said...

Feh. You think Boz is bad - wait till you see Sheinin's article today where he cites Will Carroll as "a leading expert on baseball injuries."