Saturday, March 24, 2007
More compelling than Nook Logan pulling a groin muscle trying to get back into first base in today's 9th inning against The St.Louis Cardinals, was Charlie Slowes comments about Cristian Guzman's throwing ability during the 7th inning at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Florida.
The African Queen and I were out doing the weekend errands, so I was listening to the game on WTWP between stops in the car. During the top of the 7th inning, Cardinals Centerfielder, Skip Schumaker was at the plate batting against The Nationals Jesus Colome. Schumaker hit a scorcher into the hole between shortstop and 3rd base. Cristian moved quickly to his right, dived, making the stop. Then, according to Slowes, "Quickly gets to his feet, throws, but NOT IN TIME to catch the diving Schumaker at first base." Charlie then went on to comment that he felt Guzman DID NOT give 100% on the throw. "He got to his feet and released the ball quickly, but you could see he DID NOT GUN THE BALL to first," said Slowes. Obviously, Charlie felt--Guzman either held back on the throw, feeling he's not 100%, hesitant to attempt a hard toss, or is simply not ready yet to play in a regular season Major League Game. "I have yet to see him whip the ball in a game so far this spring," concluded Slowes.
Slowes radio partner, Dave Jageler commented that "maybe Guzman is just saving himself for the season." The two Nationals Radio partners went on to talk about Guzman and his throwing for the remainder of the half inning. Their commentary was very compelling, and a telling sign that Guzman may not be ready, just yet.
To most everyone's surprise, Number 15 has hit the ball well at the plate during his shortened Spring Training recovering from his torn labrum. But, with one week to go before the start of The Regular Season, Our Washington Nationals need to know, RIGHT NOW, whether they can depend on Cristian Guzman to start the season, as our regular shortstop--100% ready to play and give his all. The "NEW GUZ" can't be put out on the field if he's unable to go deep into the hole or retrieve a relay toss to make the hard throws. That scenario will not only hurt his chances for a full recovery, if he's not ready, but kill the teams off season maneuvering up the middle. Guzman reinjuring himself would reopen another potential hole in the lineup.
As much a maligned player as Cristian Guzman is to many Nationals Fans, the team needs to know, whether he will take his spot at shortstop come April 2nd at RFK and be ready to give his all. I have always felt "Guz" could, IN NO WAY, repeat his horrible performance of 2005, and I have been pulling for him. But, PLEASE, lets not put him more in the hole, by just HOPING he's fine. No more messing around.