Thursday, January 27, 2005

Doughnuts, and the possibility of MORE doughnuts

Thursday morning crumbs for the masses . . .

"Say what?" award unequivocably goes to Tom Boswell, who was perhaps one-quarter lucid while composing today's column in the Wash. Post.

It's one of those "Nationals vs. Orioles offseason performance"-type columns, which are dubious to begin with, for the simple reason that many baseball writers---Boswell included, apparently---confuse "doing something" with "getting better." I think even Boswell himself recognizes the difference, as he contorts the Castilla, Guzman, and Loiaza signings several ways (good players; well, they're not as good as I said two paragraphs ago; aw, forget it---they're good signings, anyway). And Boswell might be right; maybe Bowden has done a good job with what he's been given. That's why they play the games, so guys like us can find out.

Another issue is his evaluation of the Orioles' offseason. I think losing out on Delgado hurts, because their offense isn't quite as good as it seems. (The Orioles of recent years, since about 1999 or so, have had better teams for batting average than for scoring actual runs. I know that "team offense" is still characterized in an Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer fashion by just ranking teams by average, but it shouldn't be that confusing: the object is to score runs.) Other than that, though, I tend to think---either through discretion or through being used by Pavano et. al., or through a disingenuous "negative marketing" campaign to aid his "negotiations" with MLB over media rights, it doesn't matter---they've been rather wise not to invest big-time in this market. Baltimore could have used another starter like Perez or Clement, but it didn't happen, and they've got oodles of young pitching anyway. Like I said, just because you've "done something" doesn't make your decisions particularly intelligent. See, e.g., Arizona Diamondbucks.

Okay, that's all the preliminary stuff; here's the whopper. Boswell, after intimating (though not explicitly stating, I'll concede) the remarkable proposition that Castilla, Guzman, Guillen, and Loiaza are bargain picks, writes:

Yet Bowden has managed to put together a heart of the order --
Castilla, Guillen and Brad Wilkerson -- that hit 94 homers last year. Second baseman Jose Vidro is a perennial .300 hitter. Outfielders Juan Rivera (.307 in 391 at bats) and Terrmel Sledge (15 homers as a rookie) are promising.

Yo, Tom! You are the lead baseball columnist for the Washington Post! Your city is now a big-league city! This is your moment! This is what you've pined for! Your city, our city, the whole city, the whole nation . . . we're looking to you!


That is all.

A number of other Nats blogs also picked up on the "Around the Horn" outfield profile on yesterday, including Nationals Baseball, which points out that it's a bad sign the team's Pravda correspondent speaks ill of Endy Chavez's hacktistic nature. Adub finds humor in the 2003 Expos' "Twelve Disciples Outfield" (most of whom stunk). And Ryan correctly points to a blind spot in my take of Tony Siegle's OBP quote yesterday: actions speak louder than words. Good point, as well as the point that Batista's departure is not constructively Batista-for-Guillen, but Batista-for-Castilla---who is no OBP deity himself.

Looks like Boswell just won the Mark Sterne Award:
Ooh, Boz should be proud. First ever winner!
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