Sunday, August 14, 2005

Define irony

Is it a bunch of idiots dancing on a plane to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash, or is it this quote?

There are five outfielders on Washington's roster with a reasonable claim to play every day (Wilkerson, Wilson, Watson, Church and Jose Guillen). Only three can play at a time, and for now, Guillen and Wilson (despite his .216 average with the Nationals) are getting two of the spots.
Of Wilson, Robinson said, "You're going to get a guy, and then in less than a month you're going to give up on him?"

Totally, man.

Sincerely,
Ryan Church


__________________

Constructing the doghouse

On July 14, Ryan Church came back from his injury. He went 0-for-1 in a pinch-hitting appearance.

On July 15, Church returned to the lineup and went 1-for-4 with a ribbie and a strikeout.

On July 16, replacing Marlon Byrd mid-game, Church went tripled and walked, scoring a run.

On July 17-18, starting both times, Church went a combined 0-for-7 with a strikeout, though he did have two ribbies in the latter game.

On July 19, Church started and went 1-for-4 with an RBI and run scored.

On July 20, starting again, Church went 2-for-4 with a double, a stolen base, and a strikeout.

On July 21, Church started and went 1-for-4 with a run scored.

On July 22, starting again, Church went 2-for-3 with a double, a ribbie, and a whiff.

On July 23, Church started and went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, and a caught stealing.

On July 24, Church pinch-hit and made an out.

On July 26, Church started and went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.

On July 27, Church pinch-hit and made an out.

On July 28, Church pinch-hit and struck out.

On July 29, Church pinch-hit and struck out.

On July 30, Church started, going 1-for-4 with a strikeout.

On July 31, starting again, Church went 1-for-4 with a run scored and three strikeouts.

On August 2, Church struck out pinch-hitting.

On August 4, Church started and went 1-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base, and two runs scored.

On August 6, Church started and went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

On August 7, Church started and went 1-for-4 with a strikeout.

On August 12, Church pinch-hit and struck out.

On August 13, Church struck out pinch-hitting.


TOTALS
G  AB  H  AVG  BB SO
23 60 13 .217 4 18


AS A STARTER
G  AB  H  AVG  BB SO
14 48 12 .250 3 14


OFF THE BENCH
G  AB  H  AVG  BB SO
9 12 1 .083 1 4



The strikeouts are kind of rough (especially when in the game they've occurred) and Church seems to have responded in a peculiarly negative manner to pinch-hitting. Then again, it's hard to see exactly how Church "earned" the spot on the bench in the first place, posting 14 mediocre but hardly awful starts. He never went more than consecutive starts without a hit, for what it's worth. If only Church were a shortstop, eh?
________________________

I confess that I find this outfield logjam fascinating. Part of my fascination stems from how Mark Zuckerman of the Washington Times has covered it. I have noticed throughout the season that the Post and the Times generally cover the same things at the same time, and they generally cover them with the same general tone and level of detail. There are variations here and there, but broadly speaking, the coverage is similar. (MLB.com's coverage, by comparison, tends to be a bit more, uh, cloistered.)

This outfield story has been different, though, mainly because Zuckerman's approached it quite aggressively. Compare his Sunday story with St. Barry's and tell me if it sounds like the same clubhouse.

It's a fascinating contrast, to say the least.

(In case you're wondering, MLB.com has moved on, perhaps because Brad Wilkerson indeed did start this afternoon, and Owen Perkins' article informs us that happy days are here again.)

Comments:
The quote about Wilson is particularly ripe (as in pungent), given that Frank "gave up on him" in the ninth inning of Wednesday's game in Houston, when he pinch hit a hurt Jose Guillen who was supposed to rest for Wilson. Rubbing it in a bit further, Frank told reporters after the game that the move was a "no-brainer".
 
Good point. I feel bad for the old guy. He's got five outfielders with some claim to start, two of whom are pushed hard by the GM.
 
I guess the hope now is that Wilson + Watson can be what Church would have been because Church is not going to get a lot of playing time.

Not that I think that's all that much, injured and regressing I'd expect something like .250 .350/.450? Of course looking at Preston and Brandon's stats my answer right now they haven't been even that.
 
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