Thursday, January 04, 2007

Alot Of A Little

Although nothing spectacular has occurred with Our Washington Nationals over the past few days, many little news items have bared fruit that, at least, deserve some notice. Of course, Idaho's Favorite Nats Fan, Farid, over at The Beltway Boys, has been on top of all of it.

As everyone who follows the Nationals knows, pitching is all we are really concerned about right now. Rumors persist that the the Red Sox are still interested in Chad Cordero as their stopper in 2007, but, as usual, Jim Bowden, is holding out for the "Kings Ransom". And, rightfully so.

After Free Agent Pitcher, Joel Piniero, signed today with Boston, although not a starter, Piniero may mean that Boston Management may well be heading in a different direction--not one involving Washington.

Still, Our Nats are interested in bringing back Ramon Oritz. The Twins are interested too, among others. Tomo Ohka is still looking for a job, but his agent wants to pump up the volume (and monetary compensation) by stating the Mets are interested, among others. Finally, today--journeyman right hander, former Phillie (who got hammered at RFK last season) and, one time, busted steroid user--Ryan Franklin, has appeared on Washington's Radar--among other teams.

None are overly impressive, but at least Ohka could be a diamond in rough, looking to make a statement, like Esteban Loaiza did in 2005, and Ortiz--at least seemed to enjoy playing in DC last year--and was a good pinch runner. Although, being fast doesn't necessarily help pitching on the mound. Ortiz was good and bad throughout 2006, and, as a bonus, Ramon could usually make it through 5 innings, something many Nats starters could not claim last season.

I am all for a fall back plan, if some of the rehabs and Minor League Free Agents don't pan out. Right now, though, I am all for Hanrahan, Redding, Chico, etc., getting their opportunity first and foremost. We all really do know what Ohka, Ortiz and Franklin are capable of doing, and not doing. Its pretty cut and dry. If the Nats sign one of them, I'm for Ohka.

But, what ever happened to Jerome Williams? One time hot Giants prospect, traded to the Cubs, where all talented pitchers seem to go to see their career's die. He's available, cheap and young. Why not? Unless his agent is holding him back for the "RESPECT" offer (stupidly so), this man should be signed--by us.

Two Former Ex-Nats and True RFK Favorites--Jamey Carroll and Brendan Harris made news. Jamey ( Nick Johnson's closest friend--photo courtesy of Miss Chatter) signing a two year contract extention with the Colorado Rockies. William & Mary Product, Harris, designated for assignment by Cincinnati and subsequently traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for either a player or cash. I am happy for Carroll. Unfortunately, Harris may well waste away for one of the most talented, but armpit franchises in baseball.

More importantly, was the news, and it was NO SURPRISE to me, that Nick Johnson (Jamey Carroll's best friend) is recovering slowing from his terrible broken femur incident. As I mentioned some months ago, I went through a similar painful accident. For me, and I was, and still am, a healthy athletic type--my recovery time was 6 months, and I never felt 100% for a full year. Its a terrible situation for Nick to be in--and, more than anything else--I want Number 25 to come back, if and only if, he's ready to play. The Nationals may well be terrible as the talent develops in 2007, a healthy Nick Johnson is more important than the few games he may well win for us, in the short run.

GWU product, Mike O'Connor, who at times last year, was a pleasant surprise for Washington, is also recovering from elbow surgery slowly, and may well not be ready for Spring Training. I have NO DOUBT--Mike O'Connor is a decent person. We all love sitting next to his terrific parents in Section 320. But, I have never been impressed with him (SORRY--FARID). O'Connor doesn't have a real out pitch. He's able to fool a batter the first few times around, then those same hitters tend to hammer him. As the 2006 season progressed, O'Connor was less and less effective. I truly believe his "smoke and mirrors" pitching is over, and so is his Major League Career.

On the pleasant side, a smile came to my face to read that John Patterson was on the mend, and, hopefully, come Spring Training, John can let loose and regain that TERRIFIC FORM from the Inaugural Season. There has been NO PITCHER since Orioles Great, Jim Palmer, retired, that reminded me of that Baltimore Hall of Famer more than JP. They wear the same number, their demeanors on the mound are similar. If John Patterson breaks out, like so many of us would love to see in 2007---life would be special at every single Nats Home Game he walks to the mound. I am really pulling for him. Our Nationals need an ACE.

Finally, Farid came up with a nice post on The Nationals changing their Batting Practice Jersey for the 3rd season in a row. In 2005, MLB produced a RED Jersey with "DC" Logo. Last Season, that uniform became mostly Blue with the "DC" Logo. Now, for 2007, The Lerners have switched the uni, once again. Blue is still the primary color with some White/Red Trim, but the "DC " Logo is gone, replaced with the "CURLY W".

Management mentioned to me, some time ago, that Ownership was enamored with the "CURLY W", and expect to see more of it, not less, in the very near future. I love the "CURLY W" too, but, at the same time, the "DC" logo, more than most anything else, distinctly says "WASHINGTON, DC"--Nation's Capitol.

"DC" is something that is not only known, throughout this great country, but internationally, as well. The Nationals have billed, big time, how they wish to be, not only Washington's Team, but an International/World Reknown Ball Club. If that's the case, The "DC" Logo needs to stay. Anyone can come up with a "Curly W" to stand for just about anything they want, it can be very generic. Many would associate a "Curly W" for various different reasons. "DC" stands out and is recognized for one thing--WASHINGTON, DC.

"DC" has got to stay--FOREVER.

Sorry its been a few days since my last post. During the off season, I have attempted to post every other day. Unfortunately, the TV News Business has swamped me. You can probably guess, some of the things I have work on over the past 9 days.


Harper said...

Actually when I hear "DC" I first think of comics, but that's just me.

I was hoping that the new owners would make the home uniforms classy (in the style of the Yankees or Tigers) and give us the DC as the chest emblem. I think we can still hold out for a change going into the new stadium. A new beginning and all.

Screech's Best Friend said...

El Gran: I really like the DC logo as the Chest Emblem, especially with the Gold Trim. It looks really nice. I have been told that Management will change the uniforms once the team moves to South Capitol Street. Lets hope they will also listen to the fans.

I started laughing when you said DC Comics. I can see that Logo with Stars right now. But, I didn't read many comics growing up.


Anonymous said...

I am glad to see Jamey Carroll get a two year contract. I wish it was to play for the Nats instead of the Rockies.

Screech's Best Friend said...

Phil: I couldn't agree with you more. Jamey Carroll is the type of player that every team needs, unselfish team player.