January 22, 2006

Stop Him Before He Signs Again

Jim Bowden is not housebroken. You have to keep an eye on him, or he will ruin all your nice things, like starting pitching depth. You want to believe him when he says it was an accident, says it won't happen again, but then you let him go off to the Winter Meetings by himself and he comes back with a petulant, egotistical second baseman turned not-quite left fielder, bringing the total number of infielders on the 40-man roster to somewhere around 39.

"No" he says, "you misunderstand. This was not an accident, this was an improvement. For a measly $10 million dollars I have purchased for you 15 additional homeruns and speed in the middle of the lineup!" ("Speed in the middle of the lineup?" you say,) but by now Jim Bowden is into a full-fledged coked-up Amway salesman pitch. "Just for the sake of argument" says Jim, "say Soriano doesn't work out. Say he wasn't just displaying that famous Alfonso sense of humor when he said there was no way he was going to move to left field and jepordize his career for a 1-year contract with a grubby National League quasi-expansion franchise. Well then, have I got an insurance policy for you... I can get you a great deal on an All-Star outfielder, a real Hall of Fame caliber hitter. Who needs A-Sor when you can have Sosa!"

By now we should recognize the look in Jim Bowden's eyes. It the look that says, "I'm about to make a mess, and you're not going to be able to get me outside in time to prevent it." Sure, he says all the right things about non-guaranteed contracts and Spring Training invites, but Sammy Sosa is a brand new squeaky toy for Jim, and if somebody else makes a move for him, you just know Bowden's gonna lunge. Without an owner to take JimBo to obedience school, teach him to heel and clean up the big messy piles he creates, he's living on borrowed time. Nobody faults him for his enthusiasm, but he has yet to prove that he can distinguish between motion and progress. If Sammy Sosa occupies a guaranteed spot on our roster "as insurance in case... Alfonso Soriano continues to refuse to play the outfield" it's time for an Old Yeller-style intervention.

At Least Someone's Getting New Digs

Sure, the new stadium is getting a pre-approval downgrade (much like my post-holiday credit score) but spiffy new homes are abounding in the Natmosphere. Nationals Farm Authority sheds its proletarian blogspot roots and lands over at DCSportsNet.com. By way of unsolicited housewarming advice, the color scheme needs work. BallWonk went the DCist-approved route, opting to upgrade his current home. Read the whole traumatic (and somehow Tron-related) saga here. Major props for the new left field foul pole, or as it is better known, Cap'n Hook's homerun vanishing pole.

We here at Nats Triple Play are humble, simple folk who don't go in much for fancy graphics (or any graphics really), expanded bandwidth or corporate sponsorship. We need all our money just to pay for the increased cost of our season tickets. Expect a Very Special Nats Triple Play Rant on that subject from Dave any day now. In the meantime I'll try to get around to editing our links to reflect moves and updates, and to account for the fact that the boys over at Nationals Interest have apparently lost, ummm... interest. If anyone can suggest a Nats blog that isn't linked here but ought to be, drop a comment in the box. C'mon people, this is your chance. Pimp those blogs!

January 19, 2006

12 Million Reasons Why Not

Is Alf Soriano roughly half as good as A-Rod? Cause he's asking for 1/2 A-Rod money. Stingy Trader Jim is offering a measly 2/5 of an A-Rod. This is another one of those City Council-MLB, Comcast-Angelos pairings where the only acceptable outcome is a targeted meteor strike. Since that's unlikely, I'm reduced to hoping that JimBo will be allowed to spend $10 million on a one-year rental of a disgruntled LF who's not Sammy Sosa. Continuing the offensive nicknames trend from earlier posts, if Alfonso gets his $12 million, I'm calling him A-Sor.

January 17, 2006

Getting on the Schneid and Say it ain't Sosa

So we have good news/bad news from the Nats this morning. On the positive side, the Nats locked up Brian Schneider for four years in a $16 million dollar contract. He did a good job managing the staff during games last year and his rifle arm is a great weapon to have. He also hit a healthy .268 and knocked in 10 dingers. That's pretty good production from behind the plate and I'm happy to have him back. I see another Jersey hanging in my closet soon.

On the other hand, and this is definitely bad news, Trader Jim is talking to Sammy Sosa and his agent. At last count we had (maybe) Soriano, Guillen, Church, Tucker, Watson and Byrd competing for outfield spots. Why in the world would we want to sign a washed up steroid user who causes clubhouse problems? He's got serious health problems and in 102 games last year he only hit 14 homers. That's playing in the less than spacious Camden Yards. His production would nose dive at RFK and he doesn't have the speed to make an impact on the bases.

Hey Jim, instead of getting another problem outfielder, HOW ABOUT YOU GET US A FREAKIN' PITCHER.

January 11, 2006

Warning: Adult Content

This post is not suitable for children, the elderly, women who are pregnant or may become pregnant (you know who you are), people with heart conditions, small woodland creatures and habitual readers of DCist. The opinions expressed in this post are solely those of Nate, and are not approved or endorsed by Nats Triple Play, its affiliates or subsidiaries. Nats Triple Play assumes no financial or karmic liability for the following commentary.

Let's Ask a Real Expert

It's long past time for paragon of virtue and social responsibility Marion Barry to take the lead role in discussing the propriety and reasonableness of using public funds to build a baseball stadium. After all, who has a better grasp of the sliding scale that is misappropriation of taxpayer dollars? Anyone want to come out and claim that at least half the adjusted cost of renovating RFK didn't go up Hizzoner's nose during his years in office? And that's leaving aside the lavish security detail necessary to keep pesky dealers at bay, the rampant patronage that crippled city government and the expense of those pesky, video-monitored hotel rooms for the smoking of the crack rock.

Only in D.C. would uber-weenie and Defender of Libraries Jim Graham attempt to turn Marion Barry into a poster boy for treatment-on-demand for addicts. Because clearly the address of Marion's Narcotics Anonymous meeting was lost when his wallet got jacked by his constituents.

Now I'm Kinda Rooting for Him

BASEketball is one of the great underappreciated sports movies of 1998. Witness the following exchange:

Cooper: Hey pigfucker, can I call you pigfucker?
Reemer: No, only my friends can call me pigfucker.

Needless to say, should semi-local boy and designated
Jeffrey Hammonds 2006 Michael Tucker make the team out of Spring Training, I will be his friend, and his nickname will be waiting. Makes Preston "F****n" Wilson look positively complimentary by comparison, don't it?

January 9, 2006

It's a Sweater! A Sweater!

Word down from Mount Saint Barry is that Luis "El Guapo" Ayala will be able to buy himself a plethora of pinatas this winter. Cap'n Leatherpants inked Luis to a 2-year, $2.2 million deal, avoiding arbitration with the soon to be 28-year old reliever. Apparently the prospect of being yoked to the Nats for two more years drove El Guapo to the brink hot, bitter tears (of joy one hopes.)

Luis is the first arbitration-eligible Nat inked to a multi-year deal during the Bowden administration, which almost certainly guarantees that his arm will fall off at the elbow during spring training. Ayala's signing follows the non-guaranteed $700,000 contract given to utility IF Jamey Carroll, and insures that JimBo won't succeed in jettisoning every player Nats fans have ever cared about all in one offseason.

Aside from locking down El Guapo, the biggest Nats news is the latest trade that didn't happen. Peter Angelos, in an act of uncharacteristic generosity, kept Corey Patterson from becoming a Nat by acquiring him from the Cubs for chump change. Now, let us be clear. I don't want Corey Patterson anywhere near the Nats. That said, the Os gave up two scrub minor leaguers for a 26-year old with a great glove, speed and at least the potential to be a servicable 5th OF/pinch runner/defensive sub. Given the front office's obsessive insistence that Brandon Watson is a major league caliber CF/leadoff hitter Corey might one day look pretty good to the Natmosphere.

January 6, 2006

Tell It Like It Is

There's a great column in the Post this morning by Steven Pearlstein about the stadium deal and why the stadium is a good business decision. It does a great job of looking at the situation without bias and makes some excellent points.

Hopefully someone will have the DC city council read it.

January 2, 2006

Ron Darling.... oh, how I'll miss you.

Just thought I would get something online I found. Kudos to the folks at DCRTV.

Our friend Ron Darling will not be returning to the Nats TV broadcasts, it seems. According to Northjersey.com, he'll be joining his Mets friends, doing color commentary.

Now, I have to admit, part of me is sad about this. Ron Darling, what do you think?


See? You can't get humor like that just anywhere.