Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Everybody loves Jamey

Hip-hip-hooray to the scrappy, fundamentally sound love-machine

You may have noticed that Washington's sort of a football town. I don't even live there anymore, but I can still feel great disturbances in the Force when the Redskins lose, like millions of voices crying out in agony. (Did you know that the last time the 'Skins had a winning record, Nick Johnson was an injury-prone minor leaguer? That long ago?)

Or perhaps it's just Andy Pollin whining.

Anyway, the most popular guy in a football town is the back-up quarterback---whose name, when things are going badly, is usually expressed as "X" in the sentence "I can't believe that idiot still isn't giving X a chance."

Jamey Carroll is essentially the Nats' back-up quarterback. Cristian Guzman got off to a horrendous start, and Caroll started off very well. Guzman has since righted himself back to "sometimes effective, but still subpar," but Carroll is hot to trot right now and still gets the love. Man, does he ever! I'd link to all the blogs or forum discussions, but that would be too timely. Instead, I'll just link to an entry that Rocket calls the "best blog entry." (Ever? Perhaps; it's pretty darn good.)

Essentially, as Ryanpaved the way, Harper at Oleanders and Morning Glories just lays waste to the Nats' proffer for why Carroll shouldn't play everyday: Carroll hasn't played everyday, he's a back-up, live with it. And so forth.

Well, Fate is apparently the scissors to (Flawed) Logic's paper. Events ensure that Carroll will get a shot of some length (albeit not for very long). First Jose Vidro went down, and now Guzman has, too. And now, despite the organization's consensus otherwise, Carroll will play everyday "for the foreseeable future."

The unfortunate byproduct of Fate's overeagerness to obligaterate Flawed Logic is that the team now has holes at short and second. And, as Nats Blog points out, Carroll can't do both. (Oh yeah? Just watch him try!)

St. Barry lays it out:

Yet Robinson said Guzman will certainly miss the rest of this series and will likely be out five to seven days. His removal in the seventh moved Jamey Carroll, already filling in for Vidro at second, to short, and put the portly Carlos Baerga at second.

As the guy who played Cameron in Ferris Bueller's Day Off later said in Speed, "Oh darn."

I quickly scanned the comments from the chatters (okay, it was just Chris and Yuda) during the late stages of the game chat last night. Baerga made a play of some quality that may have saved the Nats' collective butt. I haven't seen the highlight, though, and here's Svrluga's take:

Then, perhaps the game's most important play. Diamondbacks shortstop Royce Clayton ripped a 1-1 pitch to second, where Baerga was playing for the first time all year - despite the fact infielder Henry Mateo was activated Monday. Robinson said he felt more comfortable with Baerga, and that Mateo isn't completely over his shoulder injury.
Yet at 36, with a spare Michelin around his middle, Baerga's range is limited to perhaps a step or two. Still, he lunged to his right, knocked the ball down with his glove, and popped back up in time to retire Clayton.

Let's see. The ad hoc regular second baseman is, well, showing tell-tale signs of age, and the back-up/"Ryan Freel"-type has a bum shoulder. (As Chris asked earlier, why even bring Mateo up, then?) Too bad Danny Rueckel doesn't play the infield, eh?

Still, I'm not worried. This team has had monkey feces thrown at it for a month now, and all it does is win more often than it loses.

-------------------------------------
Speaking of Ryan Freel-type players, there were several suggestions brought up in the comments corresponding to yesterday's post.


In addition, Josh from Nationals Review brought up another one I completed missed: David Newhan.

Good call! He's exactly the type of guy I'm talking about---and the type of guy I think we need. Freel and Newhan and Chone Figgins (another guy mentioned) may prove flashes in the pan, but I'm telling you: I'd pay a decent player who can man several positions $ 4M a year before I'd give Cristian Guzman that much.

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