Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Trolling the creek behind my house

When a post mentions Jeff Smulyan and Gary Bennett, you know it's not earth-shaking

---Bunch o' rich guys to meet in NYC for the Showcase Showdown next week, the WaPo reports. See what happens when you complete important tasks, like---I don't know---completing a television deal?

The article also provides a run-down of the contenders, from the purely evil (Jeff Smulyan), to the seemingly solid (Fred Malek), to the laughable (Bill Collins), and every freak in between (Franklin Haney, Sr.).

Just in case you forgot, Forbes' team valuations can be found here, with a quick Nats-centric summary here.

---Also in the Post, Sir Barry explores the thrilling life of a no-hit, all-field back-up catcher. It's worth four paragraphs, easy. At least Gary Bennett can conjure some wicked quotes:

"I have to come in every day expecting to play," he said.

Okay, scratch that. Anyway, it should come as no surprise that Robinson didn't know Bennett was a career 6-for-10 hitter against Mike Hampton, last night's pun-worthy starter. Well, it wasn't 50 at-bats, so who cares?

---Speaking of last night's FUBAR against the Braves,, Sir Barry sums it up in his lead:

The hard part was figuring out which was worse, given the choices. Option A: The Washington Nationals' pitching, which featured a seven-run effort from starter Zach Day, who couldn't escape the fifth inning, the first of four pitchers who surrendered a season-high 15 hits. Or, try Option B: The Nationals' offense, which never collected back-to-back hits, which went meekly inning after inning against Atlanta Braves left-hander Mike Hampton. There's no wrong choice, really.

Or, to put it another way, see Ballwonk.

In the WaTimes' account, Ken Wright explored another theme:

Nationals starter Zach Day (0-1), meanwhile, has had virtually no success against the Braves. He came into the game with a 1-4 record and a 10.27 ERA all time against Atlanta. Last night's line — seven runs on nine hits in 41/3 innings — did nothing to help those statistics. "They've hit my mistakes," Day said.

No kidding, Zach. But I dare say A.C Slater could have hit you last night.

Help might be on the way, though not as soon as we'd like, as Tony Armas will parade his tweaky groin around New Orleans for three starts. It looks like the groin won't be big league-ready until the end of the month.

---Rueckel Report material!!! Also from Ken Wright's "Notes" column in the WaTimes:

There are some early positive returns from a few players in the minor leagues who were invited to spring training. Outfielder Tyrell Godwin is hitting .375 (6-for-16) at Class AAA New Orleans. Closer Danny
Rueckel has one save in two scoreless innings for Class AA Harrisburg
, and 19-year-old shortstop Ian Desmond is batting .333 (4-for-12) and belted his first home run Sunday for the Class A Savannah Sand Gnats of the South Atlantic League.

(emphasis added---as if anyone else matters; okay, Desmond matters, too)

---The National Guard Recruiting Station at RFK Stadium naming rights deal might fall through, or maybe it won't. Who cares?

There's an OBVIOUS ANSWER out there, people, and it needn't require ANY name change of RFK Stadium.

[Speaking of which, here's a trivia question: The naming rights holder I propose is headquartered in a hometowner that shares its name with the last name of a Nats blogger. Can you name it? (Okay, you can look at the link . . .)]

---Congratulations to Distinguished Senators blogger Ryan Moore, who took time out from his busy schedule to claim "low amateur" status at this year's Master's. With the impressive finish, Ryan gets an exemption for next year's tournament, too. Isn't Augusta pretty?

---Nats Blog has a neat year-to-date look, including some comments on a Sports Illustrated article on batting order positions.

---Finally, did you know that Jose Guillen is on pace to challenge the home run record and Brad Wilkerson would shatter the whiff record?

Oh, and using the Pythagorean formula, the Nats would go 27-135. But then, Pythag records are notoriously inaccurate for outlying records, so cheer up!

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