Monday, December 10, 2007

Hanging Out The Laundry

Paul LoDuca's Fine. Nothing Special--a veteran on the downside of his career. For one year--he fills a void with the departure of Brian Schneider. No--he's not going to throw out many runners. And, by mid-season--for the short term at least--Our Washington Nationals will be lesser behind the plate. No doubt about it. But, what LoDuca does provide is the opportunity to bring along Jesus Flores at a more controlled rate. Our Number 3 doesn't need to be rushed now. And, in fact--would you really be surprised to see Our General Manager pick up Johnny Estrada also? That is, if The New York Mets release him?

No--not at all.

Pitching was the All-Comers Meet during Spring Training, 2007 For DC's Team. Who shall start at Catcher is the new "En Vogue" Position for Washington in 2008. Hopefully one year really soon--Our Washington Nationals will head to Viera, Florida--with a set lineup. At that time--We Better Be Contenders.

Besides--Paul LoDuca's past personal issues fit the billing on the character traits added to Our Washington Nationals over the past few weeks. Something, The African Queen is not too excited about. Nor, I. We find it interesting that Good Character Now, for Our Team--means a character past, when it comes to new additions to Our Lineup. Oh well.

In the meantime, what really intrigued me this afternoon was Bill Ladson's trashing of Schneider during his weekly Monday mailbag.

"His temper tantrum is one of the reasons I've called the 2006 Nationals the worst team I've covered. When things were going wrong on any given day in '06 and '07, there was a good chance Schneider would be in the computer room or went home instead of facing the media. This team did not have a leader until Young came along."

"When he faces the New York media, it would be nice to finally hear Schneider say that he hasn't performed up to his capabilities the last two years."

Bill, maybe you can FESS UP--Too.

Wow--thanks for letting the corpse dry before you slam him in the dirt--Bill!! Where does all that venom come from? You have covered Our Washington Nationals from the very first days of The Franchise move from Montreal. In fact, you worked for MLB in Montreal. So, you had to get to know Brian Schneider fairly well. So, why after so long being by his side--day in, and day out--do you now take the opportunity to rip him?

Is this something personal? Because quite frankly--if you NEVER reported any of these so called issues with Brian Schneider during THE ENTIRE TIME you have covered Our Washington Nationals. Then, you have NO RIGHT to bring these issues up now. Especially, after he has been traded to The New York Mets. What's the real problem here, Bill? Really? Inquiring minds want to know.

You know Brian Schneider was well liked, and well respected by Our Fan Base. Sure, I am sorry to see him go. Others not. But, I am positive none of us were ever upset to see how Brian treated EACH AND EVERY FAN HE EVER CAME ACROSS at Team Events. More times than not--Brian Schneider showed up to meet and greet EVERYBODY. Always had something nice to say to Fans of Our Washington Nationals. No other Media Outlet has ever questioned his regard and respect of his teammates in such a negative fashion. Only the Esteban Loiaza--Jose Guillen retaliatory pitch argument against The New York Mets in 2005--is the only big ruckus I ever recall Brian Schneider having with teammates. EVER.

I am sorry--If Brian Schneider got sick and tired of you. But please, don't try to hang your dirty laundry out on us, the fans--publicly. Take that type of stuff elsewhere--or become an "Independent" Blogger.


Anonymous said...

Not that Bill is objective he is a jerk who let's others ask the hard questions then he takes notes and writes articles...but neither are you, SBF, you are basically another face of the establishment, getting audiences with ownership and officials whenever you are NOT John Q. Public.....Schneider was a great guy in 2005 and an ok guy in 2006 but during 2007 his interaction with most fans after Spring Training went down hill...I believe it was clear that he was happy under Frank and unhappy under Manny, so it was time for a change of scenery...LoDuca will bring more to the plate than Brian ever did and that is what we need offense...and defensively while LoDuca does not throw out as many runners he calls a good game and is sued to working with young and veteran pitchers...I trust Manny's judegement on this one.

Rob said...

Being a longtime lurker, I feel almost bad with one of my first comments being a nitpicky one, but I somehow feel the need to point out that Lo Duca doesn't bring anything more to the plate than Schneider did. Lo Duca just singles more, and walks less. But their OBP and OPS numbers are very, very similar.

Anonymous said...

Anon, that's junk. SBF probably won't go out of his way to address it, but he didn't do anything to get the interviews he got other than ask and be a vocal season ticket holder. So "face of the establishment" is nonsense. Similarly, it's nonsense to expect SBF to be as "objective" as "the Rocket." One's a volunteer blogger, the other a paid journalist. Big difference.

SenatorNat said...

Bill Ladson has not distinguished himself in his capacity - indeed, he has brought nothing memorable to the table in his three years. Having said that: I am thrilled about the Nats, in essence, trading Schneider and Church for LoDuca and Milledge - and the money lines up, too. (It is almost like the Nats know how "to work the cap" - ironic since the D.C. team that actually has to - the Skins - does not...)

Sentimentality is a great thing, SBF, and it is evident that the Nats arrived from Montreal with a nucleus comprised by some immensely likeable throw-back styled players (Wilkerson; Schneider; Church) who are all gone now. It is Z-Man's job, along with Young, and especially the Manager to carry on the tradition of class and fan responsiveness.

But think about the upside to all these moves, integrating the "young and the restless" with the "older and fiery":

The Nationals can put on the field a variety of line-ups, now, unimaginable in their first three years. With the exception of Dukes, everyone of the current 14 everyday players is a credible starter.

Presuming Guzman hits first in most games, there are now several possible decent second hitters, including Lo Duca. And the 7-8-9 hitters are not automatic outs in any line-up scenario. A rising tide lifts all boats - if the 1-8 hitters are ALL credible, as Bow-Bow is saying, then the pitchers do not have to be as fine - they can rear back and throw in situations where it could have spelled the end in 2007...Cordero can perhaps be positioned more often than before to "waste one" {run} before closing the door!

It cannot be overemphasized that the signings and deals with the now ex-Mets bears Manny's prior assent, and enthusiastic seal of assurance that character will not be the issue. He proved in his rookie season that he can be tough and fair and consistent with all on the squad, including those he clearly favors...His discipline is clear and meted out fairly and without fanfare - he commands respect by his nature.

IF Johnson is healthy; IF Guzman's 2007 start of the year performance is the true Guz; IF Young and Belliard perform at or near 2007 levels; IF Lopez and Kearns can return to their Reds' performance levels; IF Z-Man is not jinxed by a nagging hand that will not heal completely; IF LoDuca finds even a small resurgance under Acta; IF Milledge is not a complete dud; and IF Willy Mo Pena is just now realizing his potential - THEN, IF Hill can stay healthy; and Bergmann and Chico are the beneficiaries of a season under fire in 2007; and IF Bow-Bow has found another starter in the Yankee Clippard; and one of the other young guys like Lannan is solid in the rotation, the Nationals at Nationals Park are going to be something to watch in 2008!

Objectively, IF only half of these IF's were to come to fruition, this is a .500 team without a doubt, and more likely a wild-card contender. {Meanwhile, now on the Farm, the animals are growing up...}

Trust in The PLAN. All Good.

Anonymous said...

Um, do you know Brian Schneider or something aside just from being a fan? The stats don't lie, he was not producing -- you need to see the forest from the trees.

Were you in the clubhouse?

How do you know if Bill Ladson is not speaking the truth?

There are two sides to every story, you know.

Brandon said...

Ah, but this isn't the first time we've seen Ladson lash out...remember the infamous Farid interview of 2006?

SBF is correct to point out that it seems unnecessary and unbecoming for Ladson to rip Schneider, especially when his tirade did NOT answer the poster's original question, pasted here in its entirety:

"I just don't understand the Brian Schneider trade. All I hear is how great he is as a defensive catcher and how great he was at handling the numerous pitchers the Nats had last year. Why did they trade him anyway?
-- Bob D., Chantilly, Va."

Ladson, get over your issues!

Anonymous said...

None of us are in the clubhouse. Who are we to critisize the writer, and not the player? It seems our personal biases are getting in the way of the facts.

Schneider might have been an OK guy to the fans but someone who would know says he didn't have any leadership skills and often tried to escape the media and would have violent outbursts. Not someone who I want on my team.

I feel if everything Ladson said was true, we deserve to know. Doesn't it make you feel better about all of this? Its my understanding that they have nothing against each other.

Anonymous said...

I thought that paragraph was really out of place too. First because of the venom, but also because it wasn't more of the copy-paste that Bill is so fond of. Really, how a "professional" can get away with just pasting in old postings for half his articles is beyond me!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Look at all this venom for Bill Ladson. I love it. You guys are no better than Ladson. Let me ask you, Nats 320: Are you in the locker room on a daily basis? How much do you know about the Nationals other than what you read?

Anonymous said...

And Andrew you don't know anymore than SBF so your assumptions statements are as baseless as you claim those of SBF are

SenatorNat said...

Wpw - you folks really keep this personality stuff going, don't you. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, an enduring franchise is being created from the ground up. I don't think anyone reads my comments, but the Mets deal reminded me of one of the unsung heros of expansion Senators era: Gil Hodges, the man that the Brooklyn Diocese prayed for as a player during a slump, the man who wore Number 14 (like Acta) as Nats' skipper, and the man who had the Senators on the incline, before going back to New York to manage the Miracle Mets in 1969. He was so great to me as a young rabid fan, talking to me and my peers before the games about his line-up - never patronizing, either...I am very hopeful that the Nationals can put something up inside the stadium in honor of him, as they are apparently doing for many old Senators and Nationals...

The Nationals have acquired a leader in No. 16 - Paul LoDuca - someone who guys like Z-Man and Nick Johnson and Austin Kearns are going to rather quickly invite into their lunchpail club.

Nationals obviously intent on adding a back-up catcher, perhaps Estrata or even ex-Expos; Cubs; Padres guy!

And, they WILL add a veteran pitcher; if not Livo, someone in his mold of durability and craftyness. And like Ernie Grunfield (Brendon Haywood), Kasten did not trade Cordero while his stock is a bit in decline - brilliant.

And the Lerners, likewise, are not going to sell naming rights to the Nationals Park while the mortgage markets and banks are in turmoil. Rather, let the first year BE A BIG WINNER on the field and at the new stadium, and then exact a real premium from Wachovia or whomever.

The point is: Lerners; Kasten; Bowden; Acta are perceive winning this year as essential, it would now appear - AND THEY ARE GOING FOR IT - but not in a desparate or longterm sacrificial way.

Trust in the Nationals 2008 - ALL GOOD. (Now you all can resume the blogger food fight...)

Anonymous said...

I saw the Ladson piece on Schneider. I saw no details. Just that he had a temper tantrum and would duck the media. Does anyone know the details?

Anonymous said...

Nevermind. I got my answer from the guys over on NJ.

Anonymous said...

Nats 320,

I knew you were not man enough to back up your claims. You are not in the locker room and don't have a right to say what you said.

Anonymous said...

And Andrew you don't know anymore than SBF so your assumptions statements are as baseless as you claim those of SBF are

8:47 AM

Anon.-If only my assumptions and statements got the press' 320's did!!!

Seriously, I like your work 320, but I don't really see your basis for arguing on this one.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for carrying my water.

Anonymous said...

I have a question, other than the "1 time" Ladson says schneider had a tirade, has anyone heard of another time in his 8 year career that he had another one? Isn't a guy aloud to have one?Shouldn't we be asking the other writers how he was or if he had a problem ducking the media? They are in the clubhouse also, right? Last thing, kinda funny how everyone talks about schneider's offense... I thought defense for a catcher is the most important. Didn't one of or if not the best teams in the NL just trade for him? ENOUGH said....Someone answer me!