Friday, February 25, 2005

Check swings

And I thought "deadline day" was yesterday; little did I know . . .

Not much time; I'll try to pound this out quickly.

---In the most recent---and least substantive---of my "Nat of the Day" features, I looked at guys who might become the Nats' first star. I kind of started with the assumption that it probably would be Brad Wilkerson, and he's looking like an increasingly obvious choice. He's certainly been the (players') face of the team so far---for instance, he got the 10 minute sit-down interview with Scott Hansen on Comcast SportsNet's "Baseball Preview Show" the other night---and it's a good choice. He's seemingly good natured, is aligned as a team leader, has a sort of charming Kentucky accent, and portrays a nice public persona.

Mark Zuckerman's WaTi profile of Wilkerson (and Brian Schneider) today continues the theme:

They are the foundation of the franchise, and it's no surprise they are the two players club officials want to become the face of this new-look organization. "These are the people you keep and build from and build with," manager Frank Robinson said.

---I don't really know the future of the "Nat of the Day" series, to be honest. Most of this stuff is relatively easy. I'm a really fast reader, a faster typist, and I'm the kind of guy who "outlines in my head"; consequently, I can plop an entry or two in no time. I do this rather than play Solitaire during a dry moment at work, in other words.

But I'd like the "Nat of the Day" series to be substantive and informative and thought-provoking; if I can't accomplish those goals, there's really no point in doing the entries. (I've done six in all and, by my recollection, only one in February.) Aside from issues of scope (just the likely 25-man roster? the whole 40-man? NRIs too? what about management?) I just can't commit the time necessary to do a bang-up for every guy I intend to cover. And, if I can't do it to my satisfaction, then I've got to be kidding---especially given the volume and excellence of fellow Nats' bloggers, their diversity in style, scope of coverage, etc.---if I expect to foist up something half-assed and think anyone else is going to care about it even a thousandth as much as my limited dedication to the project would demonstrate.

Consequently, as far as focused, discrete player profiles as concerned, I recommend and refer wholeheartedly to Rich Tandler's Capitol Dugout site, home of the "Who are these guys?" series. Rich offers rather the same information that I intended to provide (sans the hokey "The Inquirer wants to know" lead-ins), in a more concise and concrete form, and he adds a neat picture of each profiled player as a bonus (free of charge!). Plus, Rich is from Midlothian, VA, the greatest little sprawl suburb in the world. The most recent entry involves Endy Chavez, our speedy "out-making machine."

Enjoy! And be sure to mention my name; two slayed Bulgarians for every referral.

---Speaking of Rich's Capitol Dugout blog, there's other neat stuff there. For instance, Rich previously interview ex-Expos announcer Elliot Price, who was all geeked up over doing Nats games but will apparently remain unrequited to that end. And today, Rich got the skinny on some Nats from Stephanie Myles, a former 'Spos beat writer for the Montreal Gazette.

Way to go, Rich.

---Finally, there's this from Rudy Martzke, whose job as I understand it is to get paid by USA Today to watch television. File it under "Improbable Quotes":

Said NBA Commissioner David Stern: "I don't know if Billy [Packer] knows rap from hip-hop.

As a two-fer, here's our "Corporate Shill of the Week" (no, not Bill Ladson):

Greg Hughes, Turner senior vice president, said, "The [NBA all-star] game continues to be a beacon of must-see events on TNT."

The game scored a whopping 4.9 rating, by the way. A poker game between Judging Amy, Jerry Orbach (RIP), Detective Sipowicz's bare ass, and Marv Albert's defense attorney might come close to that.

I haven't seen such a comical use of the word "beacon" since "Sneakers".

Well, this was a bit longer than I expected . . .

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