October 12, 2005

The Glass Half Full

It's a slight understatement to say that I am cynical by nature. I firmly believe that MLB will screw the Nats by installing a failed ex-owner at the head of the organization. I believe that the DC city council will screw the team by trying to score political points off the stadium financing deal. And most importantly I believe this is all part of a larger cosmic scheme to make me just a little bit less happy. But...

Even with all that I look around the division and don't see anyone in dramatically better shape than our Nats. A quick, uncharacteristically optimistic look at our foes offseason woes:

Atlanta: The Braves win the division, the Braves lose in the playoffs. Lather, rinse, repeat. Besides, at 9-10 we played the best team in the division almost even. And the Braves might be without Rafael Furcal at SS next season.

Florida: No money, no manager, no new stadium. Sounds almost familiar, no? The Fish are losing a top pitcher in A.J. Burnett, and might lose leadoff hitter Juan Pierre and slugging 1B Carlos Delgado. Mike Lowell, he's a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer... DEAD! 'Nuff said.

New York: The Mets seem to consistently do less with more than any team outside of the Bronx. I'm optimistic the trend will continue, although the departure of Mike Piazza, his Playmate wife and his spaghetti arm might actually be good for the team.

Philadelphia: Funny how the NL East seems to be littered with perennial underachievers. The Phils need a new GM, and have to figure out how to clear the billion-dollar logjam at 1B that is Jim Thome. Really puts our $3 million Vinny Castilla problem in perspective.


Olivier said...

No, Thome doesn't put Castilla in perspective. It was a risk, and it paid off until now (I think they sold something like 4000 seasons tickets more than usual the very next day they signed him...). It might turn out into an albatross, but Thome's not dead yet. And Ryan Howard ain't no Todd Helton.

Vinny Castilla, on the other hand, was a bad signing the very moment Bowden had the idea. Period.

Just re-read myself; I do sound dogmatic and bitter when I write those things. But the point is: the Phils got actual value out of Thome. The Gnats out of Castilla? Meh...

Nate said...

You're right, of course. Jim Thome has been much more productive over the life of his deal, but considering his last couple seasons, and the $40 mil+ left on his contract, the prospect of having to eat Vinny's $3.1 million doesn't seem quite as bad.