Sunday, July 20, 2008

Great Minds Think Alike!

Dave Sheinin has a piece in the Post today listing ten second-half to-dos. I did the exact same post last week, and our list is 70% identical. Don't get me wrong--I'm not accusing the Post of stealing my content. I'm don't think for one second that's what happened. I'm just saying... great minds!

Here are the items where we agree: sign the picks, extend Manny, trade vets for prospects, add some really juicy fan appreciation days, and (I love this) fire Clint. We also both had a Zimmerman item on our lists--I said we should get him signed to a long-term deal, while Sheinin says we should name him captain as a step down that road.

Dave's list also has three items I didn't:

He says we should fire Lenny Harris (ok, now I am starting to think they're stealing ideas from the Natmosphere!). I actually had this on my list but took it off because I'd rather see them just give Manny power to hire and fire his own coaching staff, which I think would lead to the same thing. I also think that Sheinin and some of the most virulent anti-Lenny people in the Natmosphere tend to overargue the point. No, Lenny doesn't seem like he adds much, but most hitting coaches don't really add much. Most of them are just guys, pretty interchangable, not very important. There are a handful who are really good, but they are the exception. And to blame Lenny for the decline in productivity of vets like Lopez, Kearns, Pena, and Nick? Well I think that's silly.

Sign Barry Bonds. I've said that I don't completely dismiss this like I would have 6 months ago, but I still say no. We just don't need any more negativity.

Release Lopez. I don't disagree with Sheinin's criticisms, but I just don't see the point. We have no replacement-level MIs in the minors, and if Felipe goes, we're one Belliard injury away from, what? trying Lo Duca at second?

Also, occasionally correct SI rumor-monger Jon Heyman continues his series on rumors of Bowden's future. After raising our hopes that Bowden was in trouble, then dashing them with rumors that the team was sticking by him in the wake of SmileyGate, we get this:
Despite his bosses' support for him in the scout skimming investigation, there's increasing buzz that Nationals GM Jim Bowden will be replaced before next year.

Tip of the cap to loyal commenter Mike.


Hendo said...

The Bonds suggestion left me agape, until I read Sheinin's conditions. Which, if Bonds were willing to meet them, would make him attractive to 10 or 20 other teams.

Ain't gonna happen, though, and it's too bad. The man's hubris is killing what's left of his reputation and career.

Nationals Fan said...

I agree that if Bonds agreed to "No entourage. No flaunting team rules. No indictments." that it would make sense. Almost a no-brainer actually.

But as you say, if he really agreed to that, there'd be 20 teams that would want him. Hell, he'd still be in San Francisco.

It's like saying "I want Ben Sheets, but only if we're sure he can stay healthy" or "I want Joel Hanrahan to be our closer, but only if he shows he can throw strikes consistently" or "I'd definitely buy an SUV but only if there's a guarantee that I'll get the same gas mileage" or "I'd have another baby but only if I can be sure she's not going to keep me up all night."

If only life was like that, just make choices and leave out the downsides. But Bonds is Bonds. There's an interesting debate that lots of teams are having about whether the value of his bat offsets the drama and clubhouse poison. Sheinin's comments on Bonds don't really offer anything to that debate though, unfortunately.

JayB said...

NO NEED TO KEEP LOPEZ, he does far more harm than good. Pete Orr, Willie Harris, both would be much better at 2B/SS than LOPEZ.

Enough already. Have some guts and just cut him. Jimbo's pride is the oldly thing hurt by admitting Lopez was a HUGE waste of money.

Nationals Fan said...

JayB--I understand your frustration with Lopez. And if we had a Flores ready to step in who was being blocked by Felipe, then maybe it would make sense to just eat the salary. But we don't have that.

We don't even have a replacement-level stop gap to plug in. Harris and Orr aren't options for SS every day.

Guzzy is one of our most valuable trading chips, not a blockbuster by any means, but someone we should be able to turn into a a prospect with upside, especially if he was packaged with Rauch and/or Rivera, let's say. I don't want to be in a situation where we CAN'T trade Guzman because of him.

It could make sense to pick up a guy like Freddie Bynum too, BTW, again just to have replacement-level options available.