Thursday, February 03, 2005

Sick the day they taught Nats news in Nats Blogging School

It figures; I spend 73,580 words on what some Poindexters (no, not you, Chris Needham) think about Guzman's defense, then I'm gone the day that actual Nats news occurs

Playing catch-up, and I'm out of time outs . . .

---As usual, William World News has links to everything we need.

---I suppose the big news was the Nats' meet-and-greet at the ESPN Sports Zone (ESPN Zone) yesterday. Among others,
Ballwonk has it covered, including posting a picture of Cristian Guzman apparently modeling his Nats uniform and being tickled at the same time. (Not that it matters, but I don't really care for the red caps. They look like alternates.) Ballwonk gives a glowing review of the occasion:

Guzzy hasn't looked this happy in public since 2000, the year he tied the
all-time Senators/Twins record with 20 triples. He was a line-drive hitter then, and fast, and he smiled a lot. That was the year the Twins turned the corner and although Guzzie has since become a slow ground-ball slap hitter who doesn't exert himself and frowns a lot, Guzzie showed real spark in 2000. Spark and moxie, and in '01 too. He was, briefly, BallWonk's favorite Twin on account of all those triples. To this fan, the triple is the single most exciting achievement in all of sports.
I like it.

[Actually, I think 2001 was the year the Twins actually turned the corner. (They started the year ridiculously hot, like the 2003 Royals, then faded in the second half, also like the 2003 Royals.) They went 69-93 in 2000, which is when, if I remember correctly, Tom Kelly nearly lost control of his young players, including Doug Menkiroewirddfstz. But who cares . . .]

The Nat Fanatic (not to be confused with The Stat Fanatic, his partner in crime) was also there and
met several luminaries, including Nats beat writer Bill Ladson. Very cool.

---Sammy-gate persists; a nation waits for the congressional hearings. In the meantime, Chris (Cap. Punishment) is in the mood for some creepy conspiracy music. My own contribution would be quick cut-away shots of Wayne Knight looking spooked while Kevin Costner rambles on in what must be the world's worst imitation of New Orleans-speak. (For the record, I don't know how official any of these rankings are.)

Ryan (Distinguished Senators) appears to take The Chass Report at face value, or at least worthy of critical discussion:

This busts a hole in my theory that all this Sosa chatter was just another way for Trader Jim to see his name in newsprint. I didn't think the Cubs would give Sammy up for as little as they did. But think about what this tells us about Bowden. He was actually about to give up somebody - maybe even
Brad Wilkerson - for Sammy Sosa. The sooner we get some real owners in here the better.

John (Nationals Pastime) takes a different angle:

Most of the reports say that the Nationals didn't want to give up the player that the Cubs were after (either Sledge or Wilkerson), and never got serious about a counter-offer, but kept discussions alive up until the end. Unlike the conspiracy theory, this seems logical.I give Bowden both the benefit
of the doubt and credit, here. I think he takes too bad a rap in the blogging
community on the whole. I think pursuing a deal for Sosa along the lines of what the Orioles gave up was worthwhile. I also think it's commendable and quite probably the right decision not to mortgage our future by shipping off one of the two people on that short list.

---The Nats Blog has turned it on big-time over the past few days---from discussions on ballpark design, to ESPN SportsCenter, to another look at the recently-signed George Arias. Today, SuperNoVa discusses Sammy Sosa's effect (already?) on O's ticket sales, linking to a Chicago Sun-Times article stating that the O's sold 5,000 individual season tickets over the weekend, doubling its fanfest haul. SuperNoVa comments:

What is perhaps more interesting is how this might impact the
Nationals. Assume, all other things being equal, that the Orioles attendance
goes UP this year due to the presence of Sammy Sosa. Wouldn't that be exhibit A in an argument against Peter Angelos' demands for cash benefits from the Expos' move to DC? What if MLB held the team until the end of this year and said, during the course of negotiations, "Peter, your revenues went UP year over year with the Nationals in'll get nothing and like it." An interesting wrinkle.

Excellent point, I believe. This captures the essence of Captain Asbestos' canard: he wants it both ways.

In addition, this general topic perhaps reinforces Capitol Punishment Chris' point last week that the Sosa trade is beneficial to the O's in the "juice" department.

---Finally (for now), Nationals Baseball gives a tremendously thorough evaluation of Nats' pitcher John Patterson. I foresee it being perhaps the seminal credited resource whenever I get around to doing a Nat-of-the-day on Mr. Patterson.

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