February 22, 2006


I was going to hold off a few days on this, but in light of the twin stories by Rocket Bill and Dave Shenin (Why is it that every news outlet turns into Pravda during Spring Training?) I feel the time is right to kick off "Guzmania 2006: Reuse the Goooz!" my official campaign on behalf of much maligned SS Cristian "Mendoza Line" Guzman.

Now I know I'm opening myself up to endless mockery from the Natosphere, who regard Cristian as a cross between Stalin and Pokey Reese. And I'm not for a second trying to justify Goooz's 4-yr/$16M contract (though honestly, that's not his fault... if P.T. Bowden offered you $4M a year, you'd take it, wouldn't you?) But I've never believed that Guzman deserved to be the whipping boy for everything that's wrong with the Nats front office and coaching staff.

When The Federalist ran his Guzman Prognatstication I submitted a line of .276/.315/.390 for the year, which is less than mediocre but represents a massive improvement over his 2005 line of .219/.260/.314. In retrospect, I was too conservative. If I'm going to go back in the tank for Goooz, I may as well go in the deep end. Here's my revised, offical, Guzmania 2006 prediction:

(BA/OBP/SLG) .282/.324/.406 for a respectable .730 OPS

This is more than an exercise in blind faith. I think Cristian losing weight will help. I think vision correction surgery will help (Want to argue that seeing the ball better won't make anyone a better hitter?) I doubt being "pushed" by Royce Clayton will make any difference at all... and why aren't Royce and Damian Jackson even on the depth chart at shortstop? But most of all, I think replacing Tom McCraw with a real live hitting coach will help.

Last year Guzman struggled at the plate and got advice from McCraw, Barry Larkin, Frank Robinson, Miss Cleo, Robert Redford (he's a Natural) and Bill Ladson. It obviously didn't help, but I think replacing that Greek Chorus with Mitchell Paige will pay immediate dividends. Everyone concedes that Guzman will improve on last year's numbers, the law of averages says it's all but inevitable, but I'm going out on a limb and predicting that Goooz betters his career averages this season, and produces gap-to-gap line drive hits tailor-made for RFK.

Gentlemen (and Ladies), start your mockery!


Watson said...

You forgot to mention that you proudly wear the number 15 away jersey.

Nate said...

No, I'll stand by my original Prognatstication for Federalist purposes. Think of this more as a separate suit covering related but distinct state law claims.

I really do think Guzman could do well in RFK as a gap-to-gap line drive hitter. But I'm also prepared to take my lumps if he hits .240/.288/.344 on the year.

Brian said...

Nate ... please put down the paint thinner

Harper said...

You're going to be shocked, but I don't think that's a bad prediction.

He should do well after accepting his demotion to Triple AAA. The Pacific League is a hitter league.

Nate said...

Very nice... are you projecting Clayton, Labandiera, Jackson, Soriano, Zimmerman, Harris or Wes Carroll as the starting SS at that point?

DJDave said...


I choose to argue that better vision does not help a batter hit better, and I argue you with the "you're stupid" line of argument.

So take that! ;)


Nate said...

Go soak your head, you high-minded philanthropist jack**s!

Harper said...

I;m going to say Damian Jackson. He's the toolsiest of the bunch

Watson said...


You're right, you never called Dave stupid. You indicated he wrote "one of the dumbest things you've ever read", You cast aspersions on his business acumen without any evidence to back that up, you called him a "jackass", and you intimated that he's illiterate. But you never called him stupid.

DJDave said...


And I have now declared him completely correct and the winner. So you go right on being right, Yuda. I'll go sit over here and be wrong, incorrect, and a jackass .... with my season tickets.


Brandon said...

Wow. I think that is the hardest I've ever laughed at any post I've ever read - and not because I was laughing at the projection, which I agree with! It was funny, and well-written...thanks!