Tuesday, March 29, 2005

EndyWatch: OVER!!!!!!!!

As Hawk Harrelson would say, "He gone!"

From Sir Barry of the Post:

The Washington Nationals instigated a dramatic overhaul of their stagnant offense Tuesday, sending center fielder Endy Chavez -- the presumed lead-off hitter -- to Class AAA New Orleans, all but granting the center field spot to Ryan Church, who looked unlikely to make the club as recently as last weekend. With Opening Day just six days away, the lineup is now in disarray.

Jim Bowden characterized this as something of a message-sending decision; if you're not performing, you don't play for the Big Dog. Well, Chavez certainly wasn't performing, but let's call a pig a pig here:


Everyone knows it. You can say it more tactfully, and everyone---from Bowden/Robinson to all the beat writers---has. It's Bill Ladson's favorite hobby over at MLB.com. But, at the end of the day, if Chavez is your regular lead-off hitter, then:


It's just the way he is.

Maybe he can help out as a fifth outfielder/pinch-runner/defensive sub. Now, that, he can do. Anyway, upon learning the news, Chavez was---to use sportswriterspeak---rather taciturn:

"I'm not going to answer nothing," he said after packing his bag. "I don't want to."

We give him a hard time, we jerk bloggers, but deep down you have to feel for the guy. He's one of the 500 best baseball players in the world, give or take; he's just not a starting centerfielder.

What's next? Well, Terrmel Sledge is presumably still a "complete player" in Robinson's judgment, but he's apparently not getting a full-time job out of it:

Robinson indicated that his preference would be to play Church, 26, in center, leaving Wilkerson in left, and keep Terrmel Sledge as the fourth outfielder. Church hit .343 with 17 homers in 347 at-bats with Class AAA Edmonton last year, but just .175 after being recalled to Montreal.

Considering Church has an option (year) remaining, that's big news. Let's see what he can do. I'd say there's a distinct possibility of a trade in the works; it seems a reasonable way for this to go, and we are talking about our AD/HD GM here.

Oh yeah: Big Jon Rauch and Gary Majewski also got the death-o-gram, too. So the pitching staff is now set, and so are the position players---for now, at least.

And who said nothing happens during spring training?

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