Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Nationals Festivus

Continuing on the Festivus Theme...

Tomorrow is the great holiday of Festivus, which according to legend was invented by Frank Constanza of Seinfeld fame.

"Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had - but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way!" ~ Frank Costanza, Seinfeld, "The Strike," Aired 12/18/97

The official date for Festivus is December 23rd, which is tomorrow. However, since most Nationals fans will take tomorrow off to get a jump on the Christmas weekend, Nasty Nats is declaring today to be "Nationals Festivus Observed."

So my friends, let us all gather around the Nationals Festivus Pole, which of course is made of aluminum. (Very high strength-to-weight ratio, unlike Carlos Baerga.)

The tradition of Festivus begins with the Airing of Grievances. I'm going to tell everyone all the ways they've disappointed me over the past year.

I got a lot of problems with you people! And now you're gonna hear about it!

Peter Angelos: Basically, you suck and everyone knows it. You and your bitchiness stood in the way of DC Baseball. Like the Spanish explorers discovering the New World, you claimed dominion over half the Eastern Seaboard for the Orioles. You failed to realize that the reason your franchise was struggling is because your team SUCKS! And then, Captain Asbestos, you hijacked the Washington franchise by blackmailing baseball into giving you the TV rights to the DC franchise. Rot in hell, Havana Pete!

Bud Selig: First of all, you took your damn sweet time moving the Expos. You stuck them in Puerto Rico for a couple years, and doomed them to mediocrity by cutting their budget. Frankly, even that was a National Disgrace. Once you finally got your act together and brought baseball back to DC, you sold us down the river by giving the Pratt Street Anus our TV rights! Then you kept missing your own self-imposed deadlines to sell the team to an actual owner. First, it was by Opening Day. Then it was the All-Star Break. Then it was by the World Series. Then it was by Christmas... Now, who the hell knows?!

Linda Cropp: You hijacked DC Baseball at the eleventh hour last December, holding it hostage in order to jumpstart your mayoral bid. Then miraculously, you released the Nats from your demon clutches, allowing the Stadium Agreement to pass the DC Council. Now, you wants credit for saving baseball AND for standing up to MLB. Fortunately for you, the voters of DC are probably stupid enough to buy that line of crap.

Bob DuPuy: To start with, you're a stupid flying monkey. And you're fat. Now, you're threatening DC, who's simply trying to figure out who will pay for cost overruns of the stadium. You put a gag order on potential ownership groups, not allowing them to offer to pay for any stadium cost overruns. The only thing that should be gagged is your fat jowly neck.

Jim Bowden: Where do we begin with you, Cap'n Leatherpants? First, you were hired to be our GM. That's disappointing to begin with. Then you signed Cristian Guzman to a contract so ridiculous - the Minnesota Twins laughed at Guzman and told him to get his ass to Washington. Right there, that's enough to get you fired. But you weren't done yet. You traded two perfectly good starting pitchers for a backup second baseman and an overrated outfielder. Both those players are now free agents, and we're out two starting pitchers. You stink! But you weren't done. You traded our most marketable player and some of our precious minor league talent for an overrated, overpaid, smug, asshole second baseman. You, in all of your stupidity, never bothered to ask the guy if he was willing to change positiions! Soriano is now saying that not only will he not change positions, he's going back to the American League after 2006!!!! So as it stands now, you've effed us over, you stupid, stinking moron!

I got a lot more grievances for all of you, but ... I lost my train of thought.

And now as Festivus rolls on, we come to the Feats of Strength.

With the help of Nate from Triple Play, we've come up with a dandy of a fight: A Greased-up Leatherpants-Wearing Jim Bowden vs. Jose "I KEEL YOU" Guillen without his medications. Until Guillen Sans Meds pins Greasy Jim, Festivus is NOT OVER!

I lost my train of thought. But do my half-dozen readers have any grievances that need to be aired?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

'Twas Three Nights Before Festivus

Time for some airing of grievances, bitches.

Well, they effin pulled the lease vote from today's DC Council agenda. Fan-flipping-tastic! The optimist in me says this is just Mayor Williams buying some time so he can try to pull seven votes out of his hat. And the fact that this opinion is the optimistic one is frightening.

And Bob "Jowls" DuPuy has sent a threatening letter to the DC Government, warning that DC will be in breach of the Baseball Stadium Agreement if a lease is not in place by 12/31/05. Then, he said, MLB can take DC to arbitration to recover damages. I don't know if DuPuy has a leg to stand on, but all this sabre-rattling bullshit from both sides is tiresome.

I won't pretend to know what's going on. Other bloggers have done a much more thorough job of following this crap fest. And even if I did have a clue of what's going on, it would frustrate me to no end. I've taken the attitude of the wise Hoosier, MattNats: "Everyone involved is an asshole, and all I want is a ball team."

Speaking of the airing of grievances, our little Google-bomb made the Baltimore Sun. The writer quotes this site, which is flattering but misleading. I did not come up with teh Google-bomb, nor did I spearhead it. I just used this space to advocate for it. Still, it's nice to get some more publicity for our little prank.

In the end, are we going to lose the team over this craptastic mess with the Council, MLB and the lease? I suppose it could happen, but we're a long way from that. If I understand the agreements involved, MLB doesn't have the right to take away the team before 2008. But I could be wrong.

I don't think we have to worry about losing our ball team. It doesn't change the fact that everyone involved is still an asshole. What we really want is a team on equal footing with the rest of the league. That means we want a team with an owner!

Right now, it doesn't look good for the Nats in 2006. We've already lost two key pitchers to free agency, in part due to a lack of ownership with a budget. (Some would argue we didn't need Loaiza and Carrasco back. But lack of an owner robbed us the chance to even consider it.) We don't have the money to go sign another pitcher, and the lack of stability in DC is scaring away potential free agents.

Everyone involved is an asshole and all I want a ball team with an owner. I'm waiting on a Festivus Miracle.


EDIT: 1:25 pm

Another grievance to air:

Bowden's big acquisition still won't play outfield, and now he wants to go back to the American League after 2006.

I nominate JimBo to take on Jose Guillen in the Festivus Feats of Strength, provided that Guillen skips his meds before the fight.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Oh Captain, My Captain

Well, in the midst of all the stadium madness, which other Nat bloggers have been chronicling dutifully, the Nats signed Frank Robinson for another year as manager. Also coming back are bench coach Eddie Rodriguez and pitching coach Randy St. Claire. I'm particularly happy that St. Claire is returning.

And despite the criticism that Frank gets from all corners of the Natosphere (including from myself), I am glad Frank will be back, at least for 2006.

There's no doubt in most people's minds that Frank is not the best manager in baseball, or even an ideal one. He's obsessed with the sacrifice bunt and the hit and run. He trades pitchers who show him up. He's unaware that the double-switch even exists. He's mean, cranky and curmudgeonly.

But in an off-season of uncertainty, there's something to be said for the status quo, even if it is crusty ol' Frank Robinson. We have no owner, a GM who makes trades for poop and giggles, and a stadium deal that could be in trouble. We just created a "second base" controversy by trading one of the area's favorite players.

The Nats need some stability somewhere. This is already Frank's team. The players, at least those who were around in 2005, already know Frank and what he expects. Recently signed Robert Fick is excited to play for him. Throwing a new manager in the already muddled situation would make things worse.

It's not like Frank is all bad, either. I don't think I ever loved the guy more watching him throw himself at Mike Scioscia in the Pine Tar game. Bad hip and all, he went out there and stood up for his team, possibly providing the inspiration for a comeback victory.

Frank makes plenty of poor managerial decisions. He's a crusty ol' curmudgeon. But he's the captain of the ship, and it's the right move to bring him back.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

While I Was Sleeping

Brad can field. Fonzie can't.

I'm sure you've all noticed by now that Jim Bowden, in his infinite wisdom, has traded Brad Wilkerson, Terrmel Sledge and Armando Galarraga to the Texas Rangers for Alfonso Soriano.

My first impression. Wow! Not necessarily a good "wow" or a bad "wow," but just "Wow."

The ramifications of this deal have already been tossed around by the vast members of the Natosphere. (Getting married turned me into a responsible working adult that goes to bed early. Yawn.) The reactions range from downright scornful to jubilation, with most people falling somewhere in the middle.

The trade is not the worst thing ever. Soriano is a better power hitter than Brad, but Wilk is vastly superior to Fonzie with the glove. Sledge is coming off a horrendous injury, and Galarraga might become a 3rd or 4th starter at best.

But why do it? Soriano will make about $5 million more than Wilk next year. Is a bit of power at the expense of a lot of defense really worth that much money? Soriano hit 36 homers last year, but that was in an extreme hitter's park. Can he even crack the 20 HR barrier in RFK Canyon? Soriano is a free swinger who's not as good of a contact hitter as Wilk.

Soriano is also best acquainted defensively with second base. But wait? Don't we already have a three-time all star? Never fear, it's being reported that Soriano will move to the outfield. But he doesn't want to play outfield, and Soriano has been known to be sullen.

So JimBo just traded for another mediocre defensive 2B who doesn't want to play outfield. But we frickin need pitching, dammit! JimBo said so himself. Right now, we only have four starters, and that assumes that Drese is healthy and serviceable.

Now, if either Church or Vidro are shipped out for pitching, we can revisit this deal as maybe an excellent one. But for now, we gave up our biggest trading pieces for a guy that may create more problems than he solves.

It's not the worst deal ever, but I don't see how it improves the team that much. JimBo filled a moderate need (power and speed) by creating another (too many 2B), while all the while ignoring our biggest need (pitching).

Why would Boston even consider hiring this guy?

Monday, December 05, 2005

Please, Have Mercy


We did it! We successfully google-bombed the Dark Lord!

As detailed here, because the jockjaws at Yuda's -- along with other Nationals fans -- are sick and tired of MLB ownership of our team, we decided to google-bomb the Commissioner of Baseball, Emperor Bud Selig.

As of right now, the first result of a Google search of the phrase 'National Disgrace' is the official MLB biography of Bud Selig. Click here to see for yourself.

There was some progress over the weekend. It has been reported that the District and MLB have reached tentative agreement on a lease deal for the new stadium. This was widely believed to be one of the major obstacles impeding the announcement of a new owner. (Assuming the lease is signed and approved by the DC Council, which unfortunately is still not a guarantee)

So there is a light at the end of the tunnel. But I don't think any of us will be satisfied until the Nationals have an owner, and the team is finally free from the clutches of the Dark Lords of MLB.

Oh and by the way:

Bud Selig is still a National Disgrace.