Friday, November 30, 2007

That Gut Feeling, Hurts Sometimes

It's the part of The Great Game, you come to dislike. The Trading of Your Favorite Players. Sometimes, following Our Washington Nationals can hit me hard. And, it has nothing to do with a frustrating loss. Whether or not My Main Man!! Ryan Church or Our Favorite Catcher--Brian Schneider--would EVER be All Star Players is not the point--the African Queen and I came to like both of them. We admired their professionalism on the field, as well as,the way they handled themselves off the baseball diamond. They are fun--enjoyable people. No, we did not know them that well at all. But, both Ryan Church and Brian Schneider were stand up folks. And, their spouses--Tina & Jordan always had something nice to say to us when we came across their path at RFK Stadium. The announcement this afternoon that both Church and Schneider have been traded to The New York Mets for Lastings Milledge--hurts us--right in gut.

Yes, Major League Baseball is a business. And, Our Washington Nationals are building to win for the future. Lastings Milledge is a quality talent, although--like everyone out there--no one really knows yet whether this 23 Year Old will live up to his hype. But, right now--having just heard the word while editing our latest story this afternoon--all my work came to an abrupt end. I felt like I have just lost some of my best friends.

Immediately--I called Sohna and she was stunned. And, could no longer concentrate on her tasks at hand. No, as much as we LOVE RYAN CHURCH--we were not surprised to see My Main Man!! traded. For some time--his future wearing a Washington Uniform was in doubt. Our Former Number 19 was a good player, with power. But, its become clear that Our Washington Nationals did not wish to continue with his services. And, despite other rumors--the fact that Brian Schneider was also included in this deal--was something not reckoned by us. No--we didn't expect Our Former Number 23 to hit the road--especially to play for The Mets. Yeah--Brian regressed at the plate last season, but he is a very good catcher. Many have said, its better to trade ANY player one year too soon, than one year too late. Hopefully, Our General Manager Jim Bowden knows what he's up to for this trade.

From the very first days of Our Washington Nationals--Ryan Church and Brian Schneider stood out for us over most every other player that transferred with Our Team from Montreal. Today--as Our Washington Nationals look to an even younger and brighter future--Sohna and I reflect back on all the enjoyment both these fine young men gave us as members of Our Washington Nationals these past three seasons.

My Main Man!! Ryan Church and "The Captain" (to me) Brian Schneider--Good Luck to both of you. May your Major League Careers be long and rewarding--no matter where you play. And, to Tina, Jordan and Baby Tatum--Sohna and I thank you also--for letting us into a very small part of your hearts. We shall miss you at the new ballpark on South Capitol Street.

Yet, none of you--will be forgotten for Your Efforts on East Capitol Street since 2005.

Written from Our Now Broken Hearts.

More later--after Sohna and I have a chance to better reflect and look at the complete picture. You have to wonder whether this is a set up for something greater come next week in Nashville, Tennessee--at The Winter Meetings.


Anonymous said...

This is horrible news, Schneider was the guiding influence last year for all of the young pitchers thrown his way. Without him, we would have had the season everyone predicted for us. No one else could have taught the young pitchers, or his young catcher like Brian Schneider did. He deserved to be the face of the Nationals until his knees gave out.
My family went to the last games of the season in Philly, and Schneider signed my son's No. 23 jersey as he got on the bus to go home for the season. Larry is an usher at the portal to Section 320, and was thrilled to have the autograph, since ushers can not get them at RFK. Little did he know it may be the last thing Brian signed as a National Player.
I love Ryan Church too, but that trade has been coming for two seasons somehow, despite the fan support. I don't want to have to root for the Mets now!!!

Anonymous said...

Good luck guys... We wish you the best!!! :(

Brandon said...

I think you'll get over your grief when you consider that:

-Our outfield will be set for the first time ever
-No more starting Nook Logan
-Jesus Flores (and his bat) now an everyday appearance
-Milledge, Kearns and Pena will provide tons of fireworks at the plate that will translate into wins
-This is starting to resemble a real major league ballclub and look less like a ragtag bunch of loveable losers

Yes, Church and Schneider are nice guys, but I'm ready to start rooting for a winning team, already.

Anonymous said...

At first blush, I can't believe the Nats could not get more for Church and Schneider than an unproven talant like Milledge. Schneider is a great defensive catcher and if they would ever just let him play, Church could be a superstar. Lastings Milledge is Nook Logan with attitude. This trade smells like Jimbo getting rid of more players who predate him in DC. Watch out Nick, Chad, Hill and JP, you may be next!

Anonymous said...

Anon.-- Your waaay off base. Milledge is not like Logan AT ALL. Just look at the numbers. I have to agree with Brandon 100%. I LOVE Church and was a big Schneider fan, and am sad to see them go. However, Im happy to see them go to a contender. BUT...with Milledge gone, and if the Mets land Santana for lots of prospects, the Mets future chances look bleak.

SenatorNat said...

It is a smart trade in view of The Plan, although, like all trades, absolutely uncertain how it will pan out. I suspect that it is the front end of two major trades...

Mets must have soured a bit on Lastings Milledge, as they have swapped him for one servicible right fielder, plus a back-up catcher who can, of course, play decently everyday. Mets have Endy Chavez whom the Nats gave up on prematurely, while Nats have Jesus Flores, whom the Mets did not act to protect. There is an unusual interaction with Nats-Mets these days...

Acta liked Flores which is a big reason we got him Rule 5 last off-season; and he likes Milledge. Both now shall start in very key "up the middle" locations at VERY YOUNG ages, and if successful, are going to be big part of Acta's winning team for a long time, hopefully.

The move speaks to the fact that the Big Three now in decision-making is Kasten-Bowden-Acta - that Acta has quickly moved into the preeminent position long-tenured managers with winning track records demand - but often, even they are shut off from the personnel process. Something very special brewing here.

Can Nats swap Cordero, Maxwell, and someone else (?) to Florida for M.Cabrera, and move Z to Short?! Can you even imagine the buzz leading up to Opening Day at Nationals Park in that event!!

Trust in Kasten-Bow-Bow-Acta. All Good. (And Godspeed and play well Nos. 19 & 23: except v. the Nats...)

Anonymous said...

Schneider OR Church for Milledge would have been bad, but BOTH of them? I do agree with "Anonymous" regarding Milledge and the attitude. When Milledge came to RFK in August and September (apparently he was being showcased for this very heist), I noticed a swagger after he fouled off a pitch. This from a guy who was 3-for-17 with 5 Ks during the showcase period. ("You could look it up.") I wasn't impressed with his defense either. But as senatornat says "Trust in Acta." However, given JimBo's track record here in DC, I'm finding it very difficult to "trust in Bow-Bow." Hang on folks. This might get painful.

Positively Half St. said...


As soon as this trade happened I thought of you. Still, I am excited about this trade, and I think the Nats got the better of it. That's in baseball terms. I think we all were really fond of Schneider and your Main Man!.

One advantage of this trade is that there is no reason any more to consider trading for powder keg Elijah Dukes. If anyone wants to consider the character aspects of this deal, remember the move it keeps us from doing.

Anonymous said...

I will miss both Church and Schneider terribly. I really, really like both of those guys, and they made the Nats a very easy team to root for. But, as Andrew S. said, I'm very happy for them that they're going to a contender, rather than spending the next few years (probably Schneider's final years as a starting catcher) playing for a poor to mediocre team here in Washington. That being said, I think that we got the better end of the deal. Less than 2 years ago Milledge was considered one of the very top prospects in all of major league baseball. He can't have fallen that far this fast. Time will tell, of course, whether or not this was a good deal for the Nats, but that's true of any trade.

Anonymous said...

Does this means no Andruw (we've been lusting Lastings for a while, but still talk extensively to Andruw, even up to yesterday through Boras)? Can he be moved to right and Kearns let go (trade for starter?) because of his underproduction since he got here (somewhat unhappily).. BTW, how bad did it turn out for us with Lopez & Kearns? We were told we were gtting front-line starting players from Cincinnati for a song, but they've been underwhelming to say the least. Whoever has been beating the "Trade FLip" drum is getting a crowd behind him/her. Now that would open up short for Zim (his natural position) and make room for Cabrera, too. OK, pull those triggers and we are starting to look like we can contend in the Mighty East sooner ather than later.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know where we can find more details on this trade...did we unload the entire Schneider contract? How many years is Milledge on the Nats contract for?

I think this was good for Ryan Church. I have always been a big fan, but he never got the chance and full support he needed here. I think he will prosper with the change of scenery.

I always liked how Schneider was "the guy" representing the team, either on TV shows, or other events. He really was the face of the team, though you can't argue with results. I hope that Flores and whoever else they get are up to the challenge of 1-upping Schneider at the plate, and being even halfway as competent with handling the pitching staff.

paul said...

This trade is absolutely unbelievable. Every time I watch Milledge he seems like a ballplayer on ADHD. All impulsivity and no rational thought. Lots of strikeouts, bad base running, poor defense. Schneider is a classic case of the guy who makes his teammates better; his stats will never reveal his true worth. What a great trade for the Mets. Church even up for Milledge would have been a steal.

I do believe Bowden wanted to do this trade, but I can't believe Stan signed off on it. Imagine Bowden pleading and pleading and Stan finally giving in, with the thought in the back of his head that if it doesn't work out, he will be shopping for a new GM after the season.

The fact that it is such a bad trade is one thing; the fact that we have this GM who thinks it is a good trade is truly depressing.

Bowden's remark about Milledge's youth reminds me of what Casey said about backup catcher Greg Goossen. "We got this kid here Goossen who is 20, and in ten years he has a chance to be 30."

Anonymous said...

I'm going to miss those guys, particularly after predicting that they'd both get a power surge from the new Nationals Park dimensions. Has anybody noticed that the already-lopsided Nats have just traded all their left-handed bats?

Screech's Best Friend said...

The Mets picked up ALL of the remaining nearly $10 Million of Schneider's Contract. In fact, Brian received a $500,000 Bonus for being trading--payable by New York. Milleage is Nats Property until 2012. For Dollars and Years--Washington scores. Still, I have to think this trade over some more.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing to think very few players from the original 2005 squad will even make it to the new Nationals Park. From the Opening Day roster, I think JP, Nick Johnson, Chad Cordero and Luis Ayala are the only one's left (anyone else I'm forgetting?). I will certainly be sad the first time I see Churchy and Schneider in their Mets uniforms, but I'm looking forward to watching Jesus catching (and more importantly, batting), and seeing if Milledge can turn it around under Manny. He'll need to start pretty quickly though, as I've got to imagine a slow start would sour Nats fans considering what they gave up for him.

Anonymous said...

It's strange looking at the Mets page and seeing Schneider and Church with Mets uniforms in their head shots...and it seems strange to wonder about who will catch the first game at the new ballpark. I wish Brian and Ryan all the best, together with their families.

But the Nationals and the Mets could end up with an interesting rivalry, if Flores and Milledge become stars, and Manny enjoys continued success. It's just all very strange right now...

Anonymous said...

Church and Schnieder were two of my favorite players, and I'm going to miss them. But this has the potential to be one of the most lopsided trades in history -- I'm talking Bagwell / Andersen or Ryan / Fregosi. We have Milledge through 2012. The guy was a first round pick, number 1 prospect in the organization, made the majors at 21.

And if nothing else, in the worse possible case, this means Bowden won't be trading for Elijah Dukes.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for your well-wishes! Brian and I have mixed emotions about the trade to NY... Although it is exciting to think about playing for a contending team, it is a bittersweet feeling when we think of how much the Nationals team and fans have meant to us. I look forward to seeing you in the stands when we are in town on the "visitors" side of the new stadium. Thanks again for being so kind to me and Tatum in section 319/320....we will miss you guys!

Screech's Best Friend said...

Jordan: Thank you very much leaving a comment. Sohna and I--along with all Our Section 320 Friends will miss seeing you and Tatum at the ballpark. And, of course--it will be strange not seeing Brian behind the plate, and not see him at each and every team event for fans, that I can ever recall over the past three years. Really, his involvement at these get togethers has just been tremendous. We hope everything works out in your move to New York. Please stop by and see us when you visit New Nationals Park--we would enjoy seeing you again.

Take care.

Anonymous said...


Please thank Brian for us for signing Larry's Schneider jersey in Philadelphia. We were being shooed away and yelled at by Philly security while he did it, and did not even get a chance to say how much it meant to Larry. Brian has been Larry's favorite player right from his start here, and he has learned a lot about the sport just from watching and reading about Brian and the importance of catching. He almost named our new puppy after him, but for a 9 lb Maltese, Schneider was too big of a name!
So often with special ed kids once they reach adulthood, people think the learning is over, but since the Nationals came to town, Larry has been bursting with knowledge. In great part due to his favorite player, and he will wear that jersey proudly!

Thanks again, and we will be rooting for you forever, Martha