December 3, 2010

This is a Job for WikiLeaks

As soon as Julian Assange is done wasting his time with the military, the diplomatic corps and the financial sector, he's got serious work to do. I want to know what the hell goes on in the front offices of the Washington Nationals. I want a raft of emails from Mike Rizzo, Mark Lerner, Stan Kasten, and Uncle Teddy explaining exactly how subtracting Adam Dunn from the roster improves the team.

I want to know the thought process that leads to this statement:

The Washington Nationals wish Adam Dunn and his family the best of luck and good will in Chicago. Adam contributed much to the Nationals and to the Washington, D.C. community. He will be missed, but will remain an important figure in the early history of this franchise and will always be a part of the Nationals baseball family.

This is the perfect sentiment to mark the departure of Brad Wilkerson: great guy, commercial spokesman, important figure in the early history of the franchise. As a response to the loss of one of the top sluggers in baseball, it is sorely lacking. Mark Zuckerman does a much better job.

Mike Rizzo is under no obligation to explain himself. When he does get around to addressing the media, you can count on a rehash of the above sentiments and some old classics about the value of team defense and improving through the draft. That's where the boys from WikiLeaks come in.

Does Mike Rizzo honestly believe that improved defense at first base outweighs the decreased offensive production (and there will be a deficit) generated by Dunn's replacement? Did the Nationals offer Adam a market value 3-year contract and just balk at the 4th year, or did they low-ball him? (If it really was 3/$36M, they low-balled him.) When did Mike Rizzo decide that Carlos Pena was Albert Pujols-lite? Seeing as how Dunn ended up with the White Sox anyway, what did Kenny Williams offer at the trade deadline, and was it better than a pair of draft picks?

Make no mistake, whether you agree with the move or not, the Nationals let Adam Dunn walk away over something like one year and $14M dollars, money that probably could have been deferred. Odds are they aren't spending that money on Cliff Lee, so they better get something good for irritating the star third baseman, blowing a hole in the lineup, and pissing off an already shrinking fanbase.

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