Friday, June 10, 2005

Happy Thoughts Friday, June 10

Yeah, I haven't used this theme in quite awhile, though I promised to do so on a weekly basis back in March.

But it seems germane to bust out unremitting optimism today. I mean, the Nats have won seven games in a row, including last night's contest versus the gleefully hapless A's. There were some nervous moments, sure, but if you view them through the lens of Friday optimism, they're kind of funny, right? In fact, look at the lead (lede? where did that blogging convention come from?) paragraph of St. Barry's happy prose this morning, which might be summed up as:

---> Ugh.
---> Oh no.
---> Hey! They won, anyway!

(And I'll also happily dismiss the split infinitive in that paragraph, too!)

Of course, were this not a Friday, I might point out that a reasonable person could question Frank Robinson's wisdom of not only starting Carlos Baerga at second base again (especially since the team had just called up a capable utility man in the previous 24 hours), but keeping him in for defense with the Nats protecting a two-run lead in the top of the ninth.

An unhappy person might consider Robinson's managing a bit too disposed to sensation-seeking, even before learning of the outcome of a play involving Baerga:

With two outs and runners on first and second, Jason Kendall hit a grounder to third baseman Vinny Castilla, who went the short route to second, trying for the force play that would have ended the game,
wrapping up the Nationals' seventh straight win.
Since Vidro went down with a severe left ankle sprain and tendon damage on May 4, Jamey Carroll has filled in capably at second
base, especially on defense. But Carroll himself rested a sprained ankle last night. So when Castilla made the throw -- "It was a little high," Castilla admitted -- it instead found Carlos Baerga on the receiving end, and Baerga, whose nimblest days have long since passed by, couldn't catch it.

But we won anyway, so it's Happy Thoughts for us on this Friday, brother!

Now, what does it mean when a manager is criticized for doing stu . . . well, let's say things that don't necessarily lead to happy results? What is the effect when the happiest result nonetheless occurs?

Should it be an utter lack of criticism? I don't know. But I do know that when your team wins, you can afford to be a bit more gracious---or, you might say, happy.

Especially on a Friday.

There's nothing wrong with criticizing Frank in this circumstance. This Rick Short cat seems pretty capable, and it is bizarre to start Baerga at second. Pinch hitting every now and then, fine...but starting in the infield? I'm optimistic all the time, but it would have been easy for that play to have resulted in a loss.
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