Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The African Queen's Southern Gentleman

The African Queen and I cheer for Our Players. We wish for all of them to do well. But one of the toughest aspects of being a fan is when those players you really like, and enjoy, are released, traded or moved off the roster of Our Washington Nationals--No longer With Our Team. An official changeover that occurred today when Steven Shell elected Free Agency after Washington designated him for assignment 10 days ago.

Since the very first day we met him at Nationals Park, Sohna has always called the soft spoken and well mannered Steven Shell her "Southern Gentleman". Personable and nice, Steven enjoyed the camaraderie of it all. In fact, we laughed along with Steven at Spring Training, this past February, when he mentioned how happy he was when his Mom called him from Texas to tell him how much she enjoyed Our Spring Training Interview with Shell.

That's the part of our fun we most enjoy. It's more than just the games sometimes. It's about people connecting.

So upon hearing that Steven Shell had elected Free Agency this afternoon instead of reporting to AAA Syracuse, The African Queen and I were saddened a little bit. But happy that Steven Shell will get another chance to show whether he is a Major League Quality Pitcher for another Franchise.

Wherever Steven Shell ends up, rest assured, we will be rooting for The African Queen's Southern Gentleman to succeed.

Good Luck--Steven Shell.


dcbatgirl said...

Like you, I had a wonderful conversation with Steven one day at spring training, which included him telling me about some common history with Mike Hinckley.

Even before we talked that day, Steven had been one of the guys I was pulling for.

I join you in wishing him well.

Tom said...

Always root for the individual players you get to know and like throughout their careers. They are human too.

paul said...

Why did Shell fall out of favor? He pitched better last year than most of the Nats' current pitchers.

And you're right, he is a really nice guy. He was at our table for the season ticket holder lunch.

Screech's Best Friend said...

Paul: It's a good question and we are not really sure why? He did pitch well last year and he never really got a chance in April to prove himself. Everyone in the bullpen was struggling, but Shell seemed to be the least of the worries of the lot.

Anonymous said...


Concur thoroughly with both your assessment of Shell as an individual and his performance not meriting being DFAed (although Bill Ladson posted on his blog an assessment of Shell that he was purportedly given by Mike Rizzo which was less than complimentary).

My initial suspicion was that they originally wanted to bring up guys like Wells and Bergmann, who were more capable of making multiple inning appearances, and poor Steve was a victim of that perceived need.

Now, with the trade for Kensing and consequent demotion of Bergmann, I'm a little confused. Why send Bergmann down and leave Rivera with the big club when Rivera was originally optioned and Bergmann brought up at the same time, with Rivera staying only because Beimel went to the DL two days later?