Saturday, 28 November 2009

The Spirit of James Bowden

I've been so immersed in the Hall of Merit and some spin-off research from that, that I haven't been paying much attention to the Nationals' 2010 Hot Stove season.

A quick scan of MLB Trade Rumours reveals very litte of interest for Nationals' fans in the last ten days or so (unless you were, like me, with the Expos in 2003-4, and remember Livan Hernandez' more fondly - he's now unlikely to come back according to Bill Ladson).

"Our goal is to trade for pitching, pitching, pitching," our old friend and mentor, Jim Bowden was once quoted as saying. Mike Rizzo's first offseason has much the same theme, as so far the Nationals have only been linked to big-name pitchers.

I do enjoy the pursuit of John Lackey, though. He's headlined not only the article I linked to above, but also another one by Bill Ladson that ties the Nationals to Mike Gonzalez and Billy Wagner.

Whoa, let's think about this here. I have always been a fan of Wagner, especially when his 2004 version helped a Diamond Mind team of mine make the playeoffs, but Wagner's a Type A, so that's a lost draft pick (quite probably a second-rounder, as .500 ball still strikes me as another season away). Gonzalez is a Type A, too, and I find this worrying sentence in Ladson's article:
Gonzalez played for the Braves in 2009 and had one of his best seasons, appearing in 80 games, recording a 2.92 ERA with 10 saves and 90 strikeouts.

That's the bullpen equivalent of buying into a bubble - signing a player who just had his best season, so can demand more money. Well, I guess if you have it, you can spend it, but I'm out of a more frugal tradition. Save your money until you need it.

Now that the Soviet Union is gone, enigma-lovers have two options - Vaticanology or NatsTownology to amuse us. Since Vatican City isn't a baseball team, I'll stick to the latter. Let's look at that Ladson article again. What do Billy Wagner, Mike Gonzalez and Ron Villone have in common? Why, they are all left-handers! And then there's this sentence:
[Villone] has a fan in manager Jim Riggleman.

Sorry, Billy and Mike, but I don't think you'll be on our team next year.

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