Friday, June 5, 2009

Believe me, I don't want to be positive but . . .

. . . I have to.

It's my nature.  I always distrust popular opinion, generally I despise anything that everyone else loves.  There are exceptions of course (usually when I was there BEFORE the crowd arrived i.e. U2 during and before War, dropped like a stone after they exploded).

And Boswell sums up for the most part the objections to the decisions made over the last two plus years by this ownership group.

A lot of it hits the target.  The Lerner's have not invested as much as they should have in the major league product.  But, I am not sure that is really such a terrible thing. 

He cites Randy Wolf and Jon Garland as FA's that should have been signed.  I'll give you Wolf, who's having a great year in Dodger Stadium, but would you want to gamble that he'll keep it up for the next two years?  Check his injury history.  FOr one season, yes.  The Nats FO should have outbid the Dodgers by a substatial margin and put him in the front of the rotation.  Agreed.

Last time on Jon Garland, Boz.  Give it up. He SUCKS!
What is there to like here? His 5.34 ERA?  How about a 86 ERA+?  I case you are wondering, an average pitcher would be 100.  So he's way below average.  62 IP 27 K's Really?  And you would have given him his 3/30 Really?   

Boz gives us all the free agents that populated the '91 Braves worst to first season as an example of how to spend.  Ok fine.  But were any of those guys half as valuable as oh Ron Gant, David Justice, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Steve Avery and Mark Wohlers all developed by the Braves system?   No.  And here's why.  The Braves could AFFORD free agents like Terry Pendelton (who was basically dumped by the Cardinals) because they had such a bounty of young, talented and cheap players. 

Where are the Nats young talented and cheap players?  I'll tell you.  They are playing for other teams thanks to the miserable drafting record of wait, you guessed it TWGMIBB.

(recycled mateiral ahead)

You don't like Lastings Milledge in CF. Well it could have been AL MVP candidate Grady Sizemore except for Omar.

Top of the rotation got you down. Nothing that reigning AL Cy young award winner Cliff Lee couldn't fix except for Omar.

Wish for some more production from 2B? How about 20/20 guy Brandon Phillips? Whoops. Omar dealt him too. 

Jason Bay have been an upgrade in left for the last few years?  If you
say yes, you have Omar to thank for missing out.  But that's small
potatoes next to the Lou Collier Experience!

Want the list of MLB players Omar drafted for us?

2002 -- Darrell Rasner, Mike O'Conner and Jason Bergmann. 

2003 -- Chad Cordero, Jerry Owens, Kory Casto, Daryl Thompson and Luke Montz

2004 -- Bill Bray and Brett Campbell???  Look him up. He pitched 4 1/3 innings in 2006 for the Nats.

by the way in case you are wondering if it makes a bit of difference to
have an incompetent running your draft, see 2002.  Clint Everts 5th
overall. Who was 6th?  Zach Grienke.  7th? Prince Fielder.  How about
17th? Cole Hamels.

How about that brilliant Erik San Pedro pick
at #54 in 2004?  Care to guess who went back to back at 64 and 65?
Hunter Pence and Dustin Pedroia.

In other words, there is
precious little to reap in 2009 because nothing of value was sown in
2002-2004.  (For those who can't see the connection, imagine an 18 year
old drafted in 2002 who's now 25 and in the prime of his career.) And
you have to imagine it because there is nothing of the sort in the Nats

Kill this ownership group for not being more aggressive in using their financial advantage in creative ways not in NOT blowing cash of mediocre free agents. 

I ask myself, why are the Pittsburgh Pirates leading the bidding for a 16 year old Dominican shortstop prodigy whom they say is better than anyone they could take in this draft?  Go and BigFoot them Teddy.  Why did the Oakland A's get Michael Inoa last year for a mere $4m?  You can't tell me the Nationals couldn't afford to massivly overpay? 

Mike Illich told baseball to screw off and took Rick Porcello late in round one and now look . . . he has a 20 year old potential #1 starter.  It ws a risk yes but we can see the results of not taking big risks.

Can someone explain why the Nationals financial advantage can't be leveraged at the major league level by absorbing bad contracts in exchange for prospects?  Basically, I'll take on your sunk cost obligation (say Barry Zito) in exchange for a nothing prospect of ours or a bad contact that is not as bad.  SF throws in one of their pitching prospects.  It boils down to a prospect sale.  Owners may like to win, but there is some point where saving $20 million outweighs winning.

August 16th.  You have Strasburg, Zimmerman, Lannan, Detweiler, Martis and Stammen as starters.  That's 6!  Tom Glavine was 7-17 his first year.  He got better.  These guys will too.

Nick Johnson will be gone by then.  So perhaps another arm has arrived.  Or the middle infoelders with a high OBP and solid glove. 

Maybe Josh Willingham is gone too for a live arm for the pen. 

2009 offseason.  No more Kearns, no more Dmitri.  $13 million freed up. 

Basically, it can be done and it can be done quickly.  Unless the FO is paniced and does some real stupid things.  Look at what happened in Tampa pre-2008.  Bought faded stars and nothing ever developed.  Pittsburgh did the same.  Pat Meares?  Derek Bell?  Is that what we want?  Gamble big fellas.

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