Sunday, July 29, 2007
Rainy Day Random Thoughts
The Rains Came Down And Didn't Let Up. Neither did The New York Mets. Our Washington Nationals lost 5-0 playing five abbreviated innings this Sunday Afternoon at Shea Stadium, in Queens. Billy Traber got hammered, not much else really happened, unless you enjoy seeing Major League Players taking a shower while the diamond becomes an ever dangerous slick playing surface. So, instead of rehashing what little there was to digest--here are My Rainy Day Random Thoughts.
When Former Washington National Ramon Ortiz got off to such a hot start to the 2007 Season playing for The Minnesota Twins, I remember reading him exclaiming: "I feel great, best in years and thanks to Pitching Coach Rick Anderson" for all his work with Ramon. Vividly, I remember this, because Ortiz went on to say that Washington Pitching Coach Randy St.Claire never really helped him out. And, I was stunned to read this remark. Although I can't find the exact quote online, this one was close. I know Ramon said it though.
Never have I felt that Randy St.Claire is anything but a TERRIFIC PITCHING COACH. One who can have his job with Washington FOR LIFE--as far as I am concerned. And, as the 2007 Season has progressed, St. Claire has been Our Savior. Really, what a fabulous job working individually with each and every pitcher that Our General Manager Jim Bowden brought to camp. Who could have predicted that four of Washington's top 5 supposed starters would be lost for most of the season.
Who could have predicted that Randy St.Claire never missed a beat. Whether Our Manager Manny Acta has thrown Matt Chico, Jason Bergmann, Mike Bacsik, Micah Bowie, Tim Redding or Joe Hanrahan out on the mound--each has had their moments. None have really embarrassed themselves. Sometimes all six have been really good. Remarkable that 13 different Pitchers have been handed the baseball to start games so far in 2007. And, Our Washington Nationals haven't fallen off the face of the earth.
Credit that to Our General Manager Jim Bowden and his scouts for finding them. And, a HUGE TOAST to Randy St.Claire for finding a Major League Game in each and everyone of them, again. There was a good reason that Washington re-signed Our Pitching Coach last fall, before hiring Manny Acta. Why let someone leave that's just PERFECT FOR THE JOB!!
Oh Yeah--Where's Ramon Ortiz Now? He's barely hanging on--in a mop up role. No starts for Ortiz since May 26th. I like to know what he thinks of Rich Anderson and Randy St.Claire today? Ortiz was far more reliable, in his own mediocre way, last season pitching for Our Washington Nationals. Even he has to realize that now.
Thoughts of Nick Johnson just pained me this weekend while Our Nats played at Shea Stadium. Our Number 24 was such a fun player to watch those first seasons of Washington Nationals Baseball. Never did he give up. Always giving his all. And going all out is how he was so tragically injured. More and more, it appears Johnson will not recover fully in time to play this year. And, when management starts suggesting further diagnosis of Nick's hip--it only makes me sadder. Like many other Fans of Our Washington Nationals--I miss his efforts out on the field during each and every Nats Game. My grief will not go away, fully, until Nick Johnson returns to play baseball for Our Washington Nationals--100% recovered (that I can only hope). And, Our FANS GIVE HIM A WELL DESERVED STANDING OVATION!! That Day, will be A Special Day!!
The Houston Astros Designated Morgan Ensberg for Assignment, ending his one time promising All Star Career as their third baseman. Last June, Ensberg injured his shoulder and has never been the same. Some would say, he never healed properly. Being the vacuum of all Major League Baseball's lost souls--would not Our Washington Nationals be PERFECTLY suited to pick him up?
Ensberg would provide a fine backup to third base for Ryan Zimmerman. Also allowing "Z" to possibly take a break now and then. And, more importantly--would give Washington a right handed power bat off the bench, and a much better choice for backup first baseman--than Tony Batista. Ensberg's got to be cheap. Besides, he's cranked out TWO MONSTER HOME RUNS at RFK the past few seasons. Why not take a flier on Morgan, if he doesn't cost much? No reason not too.
Team President Stan Kasten is a very dedicated man when it comes to some of his former ballplayers with The Atlanta Braves. When Greg Maddux was looking for his 300th victory--Mr. Kasten promised to personally be in attendance when this Sure To Be Hall Of Famer made each attempt. Personally, he was there when Maddux won his illustrious 300th Game.
Now, Mr. Kasten has made the very same promise to Tommy Glavine. Which leaves Our Team President in a bind. You see, Glavine was missed in the rotation this weekend by Our Washington Nationals in New York. Tommy's next scheduled start is Tuesday Night, July 31st--Trading Deadline Day--against The Brewers in Milwaukee. Will Mr. Kasten Stay--Or Will He GO??
Maybe the signing of Ronnie Belliard and Dimitri Young was part of "The Plan" after all--allowing Mr. Kasten to head to Milwaukee to personally see Tommy Glavine go for Number 300. Gotta Love His Dedication, though. How many of your former bosses have personally come to see you have a GREAT DAY??!! None of mine, that I can remember. But, I would have loved it, if they had made the effort. Loyalty, on the part of Our Team President, that has not gone UNNOTICED by me.
Finally, This Thursday August 2nd,--Our Washington Nationals will honor and celebrate the 100th Anniversary of arguably The Greatest Pitcher in The History of Baseball (not many come close, if at all). Walter Johnson pitched his very first game for The Washington Nationals (Senators) on August 2, 1907. No other "Washington Great" links the fine history of baseball in Our Nation's Capital than "The Big Train". The ceremony will preceed that night's game against The St.Louis Cardinals.
For some time, I have worked on something special for that date. An Anniversary piece that means alot to me. Please look for my very distinctive post, later this week. Any Fan of Washington Baseball and Its History--will enjoy it. That, I am sure.