Report from the ESPN Zone Q&A with Nationals C Brian Schneider:
The crowd was much smaller than when The Chief was in the house, probably owing equal parts to the Nats recent anemic play and the fact the catchers aren't as big a draw as closers. The numbers seem to indicate a steady decline toward my hoped for one-on-one session with Carlos Baerga.
Schneider, he best defensive catcher in the game, didn't even move behind the plate until his junior year of high school, and learned to catch in the minors. His favorite pitcher to catch was Bartolo Colon, who was briefly with Les Expos in 2003. Apparently the financial situation in Montreal was even worse than widely reported because Brian said that this was the first year the team has had a video room to study tapes of opposing pitchers before games. Maybe last year the coaching staff just made flip books with stick-figure pitchers.
Schneider acknowledged that the team knows to aim for the bullpens when hitting fly balls, but didn't say anything about putting this theory into practice anytime soon. During the autograph session he seemed slightly surprised when I told him he was catching for my fantasy team. Hopefully the added pressure won't cause him to crumble at the plate. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to ask him how he felt about getting mounted by the home plate umpire during last night's game.
In Other News:
Jim Bowden is apparently considering adding to our collection of crap-tacular backup infielders. He has expressed interest in ex-Mariner and Twin 2B Brett Boone, who's hitting a robust .221 with 7 homers and 37 RBIs on the season. Now if Brett were a shortstop, that might actually be an upgrade, but he's not. Brett is, of course, the son of Nats assistant Bob Boone, who seems to think he can get his son turned around at the plate.
A) If that's true, then why has he been holding out on the rest of the team?
B) If a 36-year old man can't hit without his daddy, is he really the kind of guy you want in Jose Guillen's clubhouse?
C) If so, can someone locate Christian Guzman's dad and get him on a plane, pronto?